Supporting African Progress for Social Justice
and Self-Determination

We Take Action

Africa Action is a national organization that works for political, economic and social justice in Africa. Through the provision of accessible information and analysis combined with the mobilization of public pressure we work to change the policies and policy-making processes of U.S. and multinational institutions toward Africa. 

United States Capitol Building
We believe that the U.S. has a special historic responsibility toward Africa
Africa
We believe that racism has been and is a major determinant of U.S. policies toward Africa, Africans, and U.S. citizens of African descent
Partnerships
We value Africa and the people of Africa and seek to work in partnership with Africans; We believe in the principles of consultation, openness, accountability, and consensus

Our Story

ACOA

The American Committee on Africa (ACOA) was founded  as a national organization to support the liberation struggles in Africa against colonialism and apartheid. It was created by a group of black and white civil rights activists who had organized support for the historic Defiance Campaign in South Africa the previous year. Based in New York, NY, ACOA was built as a national organization with a broad range of constituencies across the country including students, labor, civil rights, religious and community leaders and elected officials.

American Committee on Africa

ACOA - The Africa Fund

In 1966 ACOA founded The Africa Fund, which was also a not-for-profit organization, to provide public education, material support, and advocacy activities. Together the The Africa Fund with ACOA provided key support for independence movements throughout Africa. They built strong networks of U.S.- based activists that became crucial partners in the anti-apartheid struggle. ACOA's scope included anti-colonial struggles throughout the continent including Algeria, Angola, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Mozambique, Namibia, Tanzania, Western Sahara, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. ACOA staff traveled extensively in Africa, attending all the All African People's Conferences, visiting newly independent countries and the Frontline States to meet with African leaders, attend conferences and visit refugee camps.

American Committee on Africa Brochure 1966

APIC

The Africa Policy Information Center (APIC) was founded in Washington, DC in. It pioneered the use of new information and communication technology to support advocacy work on Africa. APIC continued to produce research, analysis and education materials designed to widen the debate in the United States around African issues and the U.S. role in Africa. APIC pioneered the use of new information and communication technology to support advocacy work on Africa in the United States including an electronic distribution service providing documentation and analysis on African affairs to a large subscriber list in the US, in Africa and internationally. APIC also published a considerable number of ground-breaking publications and other information resources on a wide range of key issues in US-Africa relations, and on developments among solidarity movements.

Africa Policy Information Center

Africa Action

Africa Action is the name that was adopted in 2001, when the three oldest Africa advocacy groups in the United States merged to become one new organization, continuing to work for political, economic and social justice throughout the African continent. The merger of the three organizations – with their complementary strengths – was intended to form a solid framework for organizing activism for Africa in the U.S. on a sustainable basis in the decades ahead. Africa Action maintained the work methodology of its predecessors that aimed to enable communities – grassroots, labor, faith, students, etc. – to understand and respond to U.S. policies in Africa. Africa Action also increased its efforts to build meaningful new partnerships with key African organizations representing civil society, activists, academics, and certain inter-governmental institutions.

Africa Action

Africa Action

Africa Action organized an annual Baraza (assembly) bringing together over 50 activists from the U.S. and Africa for 3 days of discussions, debates and strategizing for future action. The annual Baraza also included a multi-city tour for the Africa guests to cities and Universities where Africa Action was most engaged with local activists. The Baraza became Africa Action’s signal annual event and it successfully served multiple purposes for the organization as well as its partners around the U.S. and Africa by increasing exposure and dialogue, and providing platforms in the U.S. for brilliant African activists to tell their own stories and present their own analysis of events in their countries, regions and the continent overall.

Africa Action Partners

Relaunch of Africa Action to build on our rich legacy and past work. Africa Action continues to be committed to working for economic, political and social justice throughout the African continent.

Africa Action Children

Our Origins

The American Committee on Africa (ACOA) was founded  as a national organization to support the liberation struggles in Africa against colonialism and apartheid. It was created by a group of black and white civil rights activists who had organized support for the historic Defiance Campaign in South Africa the previous year. Based in New York, NY, ACOA was built as a national organization with a broad range of constituencies across the country including students, labor, civil rights, religious and community leaders and elected officials.

ACOA

In 1966 ACOA founded The Africa Fund, which was also a not-for-profit organization, to provide public education, material support, and advocacy activities. Together the The Africa Fund with ACOA provided key support for independence movements throughout Africa. They built strong networks of U.S.- based activists that became crucial partners in the anti-apartheid struggle. ACOA's scope included anti-colonial struggles throughout the continent including Algeria, Angola, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Mozambique, Namibia, Tanzania, Western Sahara, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. ACOA staff traveled extensively in Africa, attending all the All African People's Conferences, visiting newly independent countries and the Frontline States to meet with African leaders, attend conferences and visit refugee camps.

ACOA

The Africa Policy Information Center (APIC) was founded in Washington, DC in. It pioneered the use of new information and communication technology to support advocacy work on Africa. APIC continued to produce research, analysis and education materials designed to widen the debate in the United States around African issues and the U.S. role in Africa. APIC pioneered the use of new information and communication technology to support advocacy work on Africa in the United States including an electronic distribution service providing documentation and analysis on African affairs to a large subscriber list in the US, in Africa and internationally. APIC also published a considerable number of ground-breaking publications and other information resources on a wide range of key issues in US-Africa relations, and on developments among solidarity movements.

APIC

Africa Action is the name that was adopted in 2001, when the three oldest Africa advocacy groups in the United States merged to become one new organization, continuing to work for political, economic and social justice throughout the African continent. The merger of the three organizations – with their complementary strengths – was intended to form a solid framework for organizing activism for Africa in the U.S. on a sustainable basis in the decades ahead. The new organization continued the focus on US and international policies towards Africa that affect economic, political and social justice issues throughout the continent. It maintained the work methodology of its predecessors that aimed to enable communities – grassroots, labor, faith, students, etc. – to understand and respond to U.S. policies in Africa. It also continued to build the networks that it had inherited among African American state and local elected officials, and religious communities; and began new outreach efforts to a new generation of student activists. It joined strategic coalitions of organizations working on debt, HIV/AIDS, peace and other issues. Africa Action also increased its efforts to build meaningful new partnerships with key African organizations representing civil society, activists, academics, and certain inter-governmental institutions as well.

AFRICA ACTION

Africa Action organized an annual Baraza (assembly) bringing together over 50 activists from the U.S. and Africa for 3 days of discussions, debates and strategizing for future action. The annual Baraza also included a multi-city tour for the Africa guests to cities and Universities where Africa Action was most engaged with local activists. The Baraza became Africa Action’s signal annual event and it successfully served multiple purposes for the organization as well as its partners around the U.S. and Africa by increasing exposure and dialogue, and providing platforms in the U.S. for brilliant African activists to tell their own stories and present their own analysis of events in their countries, regions and the continent overall.

AFRICA ACTION

Relaunch of Africa Action to build on our rich legacy and past work. Africa Action continues to be committed to working for economic, political and social justice throughout the African continent.

Past Campaigns

Africa Action has continued to fight for African Social Justice. Below are three recent campaigns.

Illicit Financial Flows

The role of both African and Western governments in perpetuating illicit financial flows at the expense of the African people is at the heart of this fight. Put simply, the money that leaves Africa illicitly could be going to economic development, poverty alleviation, and provision of social services.
See More

Peace & Security: Anti-Militarism

We are strongly opposed to the Western focus on building larger, more politically powerful, technologically-equipped, and expensive militaries in African countries.
See More

Climate Justice

The impact of Climate Change is contributing to food insecurity, health issues, conflict, and undermining livelihoods for millions of Africans who are already dealing with severe hardship.
See More

Policy Advocacy

As our organization approaches the next phase we will focus on three key policy areas.

Illicit Financial Flows

Illicit Financial Flows

The role of both African and Western governments in perpetuating illicit financial flows at the expense of the African people is at the heart of this fight. Put simply, the money that leaves Africa illicitly could be going to economic development, poverty alleviation, and provision of social services.

Find Out More
Illicit Financial Flows
Illicit Financial Flows
Illicit Financial Flows

Illicit Financial Flows

The role of both African and Western governments in perpetuating illicit financial flows at the expense of the African people is at the heart of this fight. Put simply, the money that leaves Africa illicitly could be going to economic development, poverty alleviation, and provision of social services.

Find Out More
Peace & Security: Anti-Militarism

Peace & Security: Anti-Militarism

We are strongly opposed to the Western focus on building larger, more politically powerful, technologically-equipped, and expensive militaries in African countries.

Find Out More
Peace & Security: Anti-Militarism
Peace & Security: Anti-Militarism
Peace & Security: Anti-Militarism

Peace & Security: Anti-Militarism

We are strongly opposed to the Western focus on building larger, more politically powerful, technologically-equipped, and expensive militaries in African countries.

Find Out More
Climate Justice

Climate Justice

The impact of Climate Change is contributing to food insecurity, health issues, conflict, and undermining livelihoods for millions of Africans who are already dealing with severe hardship.

Find Out More
Climate Justice
Climate Justice
Climate Justice

Climate Justice

The impact of Climate Change is contributing to food insecurity, health issues, conflict, and undermining livelihoods for millions of Africans who are already dealing with severe hardship.

Find Out More

Board of Directors

Our Board of Directors reflect our continued fight for results in supporting African people progressively move forward.

Adotei Akwei

Board Chair, Africa Action
Managing Director, Government Relations for Amnesty International USA

Adotei Akwei is Managing Director, Government Relations for Amnesty International USA. He rejoined AIUSA in September 2010 after serving as the Senior Policy Advisor for CARE USA. In this capacity, Mr. Akwei helped develop and implement advocacy on CARE USA’s priority issues towards the US government.

Prior to joining the Government Relations team in Washington DC, he served as the Regional Advocacy Advisor for CARE’s Asia Regional Management Unit. As an RAA, He supported CARE Country Offices in Asia in the development and implementation of national level advocacy strategies as well as with regional advocacy priorities.

Before joining CARE, Mr. Akwei worked with Amnesty International USA for 11 years, first as the senior Advocacy Director for Africa and then later as Director of Campaigns. From 1992 to 1994, he served as Africa Director for the Lawyers Committee for Human Rights, now Human Rights First. Prior to that, he served as the Research and Human Rights Director for the American Committee on Africa and the Africa Fund.

Mr. Akwei received his Master’s degree in International Relations from the College of William and Mary and his Bachelor’s degree from the State University of New York College at Purchase. He was born in Ghana.

Tramaine Chelan'gat

Executive Director, Africa Action

As a social impact strategist and integrated media specialist, Tramaine Chelan’gat is focused on innovations that advance social justice, education, and economic progress. Prior to joining Africa Action, she spent five years with StoryCorps, a cultural and media nonprofit, where she served as Director of Community Engagement; lead the institutional diversity, equity, and inclusion strategy; activated community building and media initiatives; and facilitated an interview with First Lady Michelle Obama for broadcast on NPR.  She has designed and implemented creative programs for the Harlem Children’s Zone, including the organization’s first international youth media exchange. 

The National Endowment for the Arts awarded her an artist residency grant to lead a youth documentary expedition in Senegal and create a multimedia arts exhibition on cross-cultural building and conflict transformation. She has served as the Kenya field officer with Global Health Action, supporting community-led health programs and developing the training course “Leadership for Social Change & National HIV Strategy” for senior health practitioners. She also served as senior advisor for the MPULE Institute for Endogenous Development, an advocacy and public policy think tank dedicated to entrepreneurship, inclusive green growth, youth empowerment, and gender equity. She was selected as a 2015 Innovative Cultural Advocacy Fellow.

She received her B.A. in English- Creative Writing and Film and M.A. in Intercultural Management and International Development.

Sarah Pray

Program Officer, Open Society Foundation

Sarah Pray is a program officer with the Open Society Fiscal Governance Program, focusing on natural resource governance and trade. Prior to joining the Fiscal Governance Program, Pray was the Open Society Foundations’ senior policy analyst for Africa, advocating to the Washington, D.C., policymaker community on a diverse range of issues, including elections, human rights, rule of law, and corruption.  Since 2010, Sarah has been a lecturer at the George Washington University Elliott School of International Affairs teaching graduate skills courses on advocacy.

Prior to joining OSF, Sarah was the coordinator of the Publish What You Pay United States coalition, advocating for transparency and accountability in the oil, gas and mining industries. Sarah has also worked at the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Human Rights as a human rights attorney promoting corporate responsibility and government accountability around the extraction of oil in Chad.

Sarah serves on the Board of Directors of EG Justice, a human rights organization focusing on Equatorial Guinea. She received a B.A. from the University of Michigan and a J.D. from Boston College Law School.

Solome Lemma

Founder and Director, Africans in the Diaspora

Solome Lemma is a philanthropist. activist. and organizer. She cofounded and directs the innovative Africans in the Diaspora platform that aims to unleash the philanthropic and intellectual capital of the Diaspora to advance sustainable development in Africa. Currently, she is one of the leading forces behind Africa Responds, including #UnitedAgainstEbola.

Previously, she served as a Global Fund for Children’s Senior Program Officer for Africa for over five years, managing a large portfolio that included work with over 100 grassroots organizations in about 25 countries. Solome is also co-founder and coordinator of Hornlight, an online platform that promotes diverse, nuanced, and dignified narratives on the Horn of Africa.

Solome has also worked with the IIN Development Programme in Ethiopia, Human Rights Watch in New York City, and International Rescue Committee in Liberia. She received a master’s degree in public policy from the Harvard Kennedy School and an undergraduate degree in international relations from Stanford University. Solome was recently recognized as a White House Champion of Change for her work with Diaspora communities and featured in both Forbes and Washington Post. She was also named as one of Foreign Policy Magazine’s “100 women to follow on twitter” at @innovateafrica

Msia Kibona Clark

Assistant Professor of African Studies, Howard University

Msia Kibona Clark is an Assistant Professor of African Studies at Howard University, where she has created and taught courses on the African Diaspora and African Migration to the United States. Originally from Tanzania, she has a PhD in African Studies and her work focuses on cultural representations and African migration, including identity formation among African migrant populations and relationships between African migrant and African American communities. Her research on African migration has included publications on African migrant experiences and the impact of African migration on African identities in America.

A 2013/14 Fulbright Scholar to Tanzania, her recent publications have focused on hip hop and social commentary in Africa. Her advocacy work has centered on immigration reform, gender equity, and racial justice. Her community engagement includes work with organizations like Amnesty International USA, Community Initiatives for Visiting Immigrants in Confinement (CIVIC), and Black Lives Matter (BLM).

Our Board of Trustees

Msia Kibona Clark

Assistant Professor of African Studies

Howard University

Tramaine Chelan’gat

Executive Director

Africa Action

Adotei Akwei

Managing Director of Government Relations

Amnesty International

Sarah Pray

Program Officer

Open Society Foundations

Solome Lemma

Founder and Director

Africans in the Diaspora

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