Africa Policy Forum in Atlanta Sept. 24-28

The current and a former president of Nigeria are scheduled to attend the Africa Policy Forum to be held in Atlanta from Sept. 24-28.

Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan and Olusegun Obasanjo, who was president from 1999-2007, are to be among a host of African dignitaries that will be attending the forum.

John A. Kufuor, former president of Ghana, also is to be among the dignitaries as well as Adeleia Pires, first lady of Cape Verde and Mohammed Ouzzine, Morocco’s secretary of state and minister of foreign affairs.

The Washington-based Leon H. Sullivan Foundation is organizing the forum. Andrew Young, former mayor of Atlanta, U.S. congressman and representative to the United Nations, is chairman of the foundation’s board.

Originally scheduled for Sept. 22- 25, the event has been postponed to Sept. 24 because President Obama is to deliver an address at the U.N. during the timeframe of the original program and many of the visiting delegates wanted to be on hand in New York before coming to Atlanta.

The forum is to take place at several downtown hotels over the course of the five days and includes both social and issues-oriented sessions.

The forum is to start on Friday, Sept. 24, with a review of media reports about Africa and an overview of the Sullivan Summits that have taken place since the first was held in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire, in 1991. The biennial Leon H. Sullivan Summit has brought together influential political and business leaders to focus on Africa’s economic and social development.

The Rev. Leon Sullivan, a civil rights leader, social activist, longtime member of the board of the General Motors Corp. and an anti-Apartheid activist who died in 2001, organized the first summit.

In 1977, Dr. Sullivan developed a code of conduct for companies operating in South Africa called the Sullivan Principles, as an alternative to complete disinvestment. As a member of General Motors’ board he lobbied the company and other large corporations to voluntarily withdraw from doing business in South Africa while the system of apartheid was still in effect.

On Sunday evening at the Hyatt Regency Atlanta, the actor Isaiah Washington and other dignitaries including Marcus Garvey Jr., the son Pan-Africanist Marcus Garvey and Martin Luther King III, the son of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., will reveal their African origins based on DNA tests.

Among the topics to be discussed Monday and Tuesday, Sept. 27-28, are U.S. policy to Africa, conflict resolution, the continent’s future through competitiveness, trade and investment, Africa’s fresh water supply and safety. A session on dual citizenship also is to be held.

An international women’s luncheon also is to be held on Sept. 28, which is to be attended by the first lady of Cape Verde, Ms. Pires and Mbarka Bouaida, chair of the Committee for Foreign Affairs in Morocco‘s House of Parliament.

There is a range of prices for tickets. For discounts, call Laurenne Sayles at (202) 736-2239, ext. 309 by Tuesday, Sept. 21, or send an email to