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About 250 entrepreneurs, investors, and celebrities participated in the investment-focused Innovators Gathering, honoring the influx of two-way investment and trade opportunities set to be announced at the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit.

The Innovators Gathering: Investing in U.S.-Africa Cultural and Economic Ties was hosted on December 12 by the Secretary of State, the Department of State’s Office of Global Partnerships, and the Prosper Africa initiative. The event was presented in collaboration with the Tony Elumelu Foundation, with support from Google. Attendees included Idris Elba, Yvonne Orji, Tony Elumelu, New York City Mayor Eric Adams, Washington D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser, and more – with virtual remarks from former President Barack Obama. Participants convened to celebrate and catalyze partnerships between U.S. investors and African and Diaspora innovators, influencers, and entrepreneurs.

The evening included a panel discussion moderated by Special Representative for Global Partnerships Dorothy McAuliffe with panelists including Dr. A.V. Elumelu and Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurs on “The Power of Investing in Africa”, a pitch competition featuring dynamic African entrepreneurs, and a reception hosted by Secretary of State Antony Blinken and catered by celebrity chef and entrepreneur Pierre Thiam.

The gathering highlighted the integral role public-private partnerships play in bolstering trade and investment between the U.S. and African nations, which advances diplomacy and creates growth, opportunity, and employment. Special guest Tony Elumelu said he was honored to be among the group of leaders who were building the African and American social and economic landscape, while James Manyika, Senior Vice President of Technology and Society at Google, said that the company is excited to work with U.S. and African leaders from the public and private sectors to support African-led innovation and the people and businesses powering it.

The event launched the week of President Joe Biden’s U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit, held from December 13 – 15, by highlighting the United States’ longstanding commitment to Africa and the investment ecosystem they share.

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U.S. Department of State

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