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Six African presidents invited to the Schomburg

9/21/2011, 5:12 p.m.
Six African presidents invited to the Schomburg

Attendees of Senegal's 2010 World Festival of Black Arts and Culture will be among the specially invited guests participating at an event on Thursday, Sept. 22 at the Schomburg Center in Harlem.

Organizers say that the Senegal trip "helped to accelerate progress towards the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals by 2015, using the response to HIV/AIDS as an entry point."

State Sen. Bill Perkins sent an invitation letter to 200 elected Black, Hispanic and Asian elected officials as well as community and religious leaders. Likewise, Senegal's President Abdoulaye Wade has extended his invitation to the presidents of six African countries: Equatorial Guinea, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Botswana, Cote d'Ivoire and Liberia.

Djibril Diallo, one of the key organizers, said, "If the six leaders confirm attendance, history will be made because the meeting will be the largest concentration of African leaders in the recent history of Harlem."

The Rev. Jesse Jackson has also been invited, as have all the African ambassadors to the United Nations and the Caribbean Ambassadors.

The co-sponsors of the event are the National Conference of Black Mayors (NCBM), the National Association for Equal Opportunity in Education (NAFEO), the NAACP and the Senior Africans Group of the United Nations.

NCBM accounts for over 678 mayors representing at least 48 million Americans. NAFEO includes over 150 historically Black universities and institutions of higher learning.