The Africa America Institute opens doors to talented young people, helps them further their education and develop a network, and encourages connections between people from different disciplines who might not otherwise cross paths.
The AAI alumni network welcomes and embraces new graduates, supporting them as they navigate through their career choices. AAI’s 2022 honorees were a fascinating group: they work in technology, film, and food science—all areas where Africa has plenty to offer.
Solomon Assefa, a young scientist from Ethiopia working inside the research labs of IBM is spearheading innovations in climate science and other areas that affect Africa—and the world. His mentors noted that one of his gifts is seeing—and acting on—the link between knowledge and action.
Mahen Bonetti, a filmmaker sees the depth of creativity all around the continent, and has exposed global audiences to a diverse group of African artists through the African Film Festival. Her initiative capitalizes on new technology and a rising global appetite for new and different voices.
Another scientist, Betty Wambui Kibaara is using the resources inside the Rockefeller Foundation to develop new, climate-resilient, insect-based techniques for growing food, cutting food loss, improving nutrition, and reducing hunger. In thanking the AAI, the honoree noted that she’s proof of “how a small scholarship can make a giant difference”.
The AAI also honored the people and government of Botswana, noting that the country has invested in the well-being of its people through policies supporting education, health, environmental stewardship, and entrepreneurship. The country has made radical improvements in its health and educational systems, which will allow Botswana’s citizens to transition to a knowledge-based economy.