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US Creates Advisory Council on African Diaspora Engagement

A man bypasses the logo of the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit in Washington D.C., Dec 13, 2022.
A man bypasses the logo of the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit in Washington D.C., Dec 13, 2022.

U.S. President Joe Biden has announced the establishment of an advisory council on African diaspora engagement in the United States by executive order.

The council will be comprised of 12 members who will "reflect the diversity of the African diaspora from African American and African immigrant communities," a White House statement issued Tuesday said.

Members will include distinguished individuals in government, sports, creative industries and business. The rest will of the council will be made up of individuals from academia, social work and faith-based organizations.

The statement said members of the advisory council will serve two-year terms without compensation or reimbursement.

Per the order, political affiliations will not be considered in appointing members to the council.

Among others priorities, the council will work to "advance equity and opportunity for African diaspora communities, strengthen cultural, social, political, and economies ties between African communities, the global African diaspora and the United States."

The council will be established within 180 days under the U.S. State Department.

Speaking at the African and Diaspora Young Leaders Forum on the sidelines of the second-ever U.S-Africa Leaders Summit early Tuesday, Secretary of State Anthony Blinken underscored the immense contribution of the African diaspora in the United States.

"The importance of the diaspora – to the past, to the present, to the future – of both African nations and the United States is why this is one of the very first events of the Africa Leaders’ Summit," he said.

"Earlier this year, in South Africa, I had an opportunity to set out the administration’s new strategy for sub-Saharan Africa. It’s a strategy rooted in one key word – partnership – and in recognition that we can’t solve any of our shared priorities unless we work together," he added.

Blinken also mentioned the impact notable African immigrants have had on American culture, including South African-born comedian Trevor Noah.

"The United States continues to be enriched immeasurably by the African diaspora: from the piercing comedy of Trevor Noah, who we will miss on "The Daily Show" – to the Alté of Tems, – to the speed-skating of Maame Biney."