“Afripolitans,” as defined by the Sullivan Foundation, are leaders under age 40 who seek to make dynamic change in the world, which includes defining Africa in terms beyond foreign humanitarian aid.
The trip is a part of the ninth Leon H. Sullivan Summit slated for Aug. 20-24 in Equatorial Guinea.
According to the World Bank, 200 million people in Africa are aged 15 to 24. “We really wanted an opportunity to engage young people in the exciting things happening on the continent and this partnership helps us bridge that gap and focus on the next generation of leaders,” said Hope Sullivan Masters, CEO of the Sullivan Foundation and daughter of the late Rev. Leon H. Sullivan.
This year's summit will be chaired by the former President of Ghana, John A. Kufuor, and will be attended by U.S. government officials and many heads of state and officials from Africa and Latin America and corporate entities from the energy, telecom, mining, finance, and agriculture industries.
“This partnership aligns with what we are doing with Passport Project — giving young people the keys they need to unlock the door to the world and realize their full potentials,” said Kenji Summers, founder of Passport Project.
The 50 Afripolitans include founders of nonprofit organizations and leaders in the public and private sector, as well as a network of people in the arts.
“I am elated to be a member of an amazing initiative that values our voices enough to invest in our participation and can't wait to build and network with other participants” said Inez Nelson, director of Immersion Excursions, a boutique “volun-tourism” travel agency.
Leon Sullivan, who became known for his Sullivan Principles around human rights and corporate responsibility, began the summit as a way to open dialogue and investment between African Americans and Africa. The goals focus on inclusive growth and self-sufficiency.
Held biennially in an African nation, the summit has hosted high-level U.S. government officials, including former Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, as well as former Secretaries of State Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice.
Since 1991, more than 20,000 people from the United States and across Africa have attended the summit and more than $180 billion in debt relief from developed nations has been forgiven through the work of the summits.
The Passport Project was founded to address the needs of young people, starting with Americans, to have passports, to travel and to participate in global culture in order to create change in a world that is in flux.
In response to more Americans logging on to Facebook than holding a passport, the Marcus Graham Project's GO Fund Director Kenji Summers used the nonprofit's diverse network to start a movement of creative professionals who have a passion in developing American youth into global citizens.
Persons interested in attending the summit have until Aug. 1 to register. The cost of registration is $2,012, which covers chartered air travel, accommodations and all delegate events.