Former U.N. Ambassador Andrew Young announced the opening of registration for a 2008 African summit focusing on economic and environmental issues at a meeting in Atlanta offices of consulting firm GoodWorks International LLC in the SunTrust Plaza building Jan. 28.
The 8th Leon Sullivan Summit, formerly known as the African-African American Summit, is to bring educators, businesspeople and politicians from the worldwide African diaspora to Arusha, Tanzania, June 2-6.
Leon Sullivan, a civil rights leader and the first African-American board member at General Motors Corp., began the summits in 1991 to promote entrepreneurship and education in Africa.
The Washington-based Leon H. Sullivan Foundation currently organizes the event every two years with Goodworks. This year’s summit is being organized in partnership with the Tanzanian government with GoodWorks co-founders Carlton Masters and Mr. Young as co-chairs and Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete as host.
Howard Sullivan, son of the summit’s founder and vice president for technology at GoodWorks, said that the events promote his father’s goal of “self-help economics,” the idea that training and employing individuals is the key to regional economic growth.
Each day of the summit is to be devoted to an issue facing Africa, including attracting tourism and investment, building infrastructure and sustainable resource management.
Mr. Young said that the summit provides U.S. businesspeople with an opportunity to experience Africa and “establish the personal connections to do business” on the continent.
“There’s no other time that a company that wants to do business in Africa can go and meet 11 African presidents,” he said, referring to continental leaders’ commitments to attend this year’s meeting.
Tanzania’s population is among the poorest in the world but annual economic growth has been over 5 percent since 2005, and GoodWorks is using the event to promote the country’s tourism industry.
“We think that prosperity by way of tourism is just around the corner” for Tanzania, Mr. Young said, adding that tourist revenues in neighboring Rwanda have doubled since that country began working with GoodWorks.
The summit registration packages, which start at $4,500, include visits to tourist attractions such as Ngorongoro crater and the island of Zanzibar.