The Sullivan Summit

I had it in mind to post this here a while ago but too many things to share. A website states "Before Angelina, Oprah and Bono: Leon H. Sullivan Summit Brought America to Africa". It goes on to say:

-- In 1991, Rev. Leon H. Sullivan, a U.S. civil rights activist and international humanitarian, who was the first African American to sit on the board of General Motors, created the African-African American Summit (now known as the Leon H. Sullivan Summit). --
The Leon H. Sullivan Summits bring together the world’s political and business leaders, delegates representing national and international civil and multinational organizations, and members of academic institutions in order to focus attention and resources on Africa’s economic and social development. Their mission was inspired by Rev. Leon H. Sullivan’s belief that the development of Africa is a matter of global partnerships.

Since its inception, the Summit has brought over 18,000 participants to Africa from all over the world. With the goal to build a bridge between Africa and the United States, The Summit worked quietly with U.S. government, corporate America, African, and African-American leadership to produce the following:

* The Debt Relief Program which resulted in $60 billion in debt being forgiven.
* The Best and Brightest Bankers Program which trained 250 African bankers.
* The Teachers for Africa Program which initiated the building of over 1,000 schools.
* The training of over one million farmers in the use of 20,000 wells for irrigation and farming.

Reverend Sullivan passed away in April 2001, but his works continue with this year's conference that will bring together world leaders, U.S. professionals and African entrepreneurs.

The 6th Sullivan Summit was held in Abuja in 2003 and currently the 7th Summit is being held in Abuja, Nigeria and started yesterday. The initiative behind this is - Africa needs partners who can bring skills, expertise and resources to the problems and challenges it faces and defines. It is through these partnerships that Africa can realize its full potential.

This may seem and sound boring but if you must know, it is also yesterday in Abuja (or should I say 'was') that Former President Clinton spoke at the Summit and signed a deal with Nigeria to make cheap AIDS drugs available to there you go, already we can see 'something' coming out of the summit.


Milklady Update:
I am an advocate of fairness, equality and most of all, providing accurate and sound information. As a result, upon reading Nigeria, what is new's comment on this post, I have to say I now look at the initiative behind this summit in a slightly different light. There is no doubt that helping hands are extended out to people in Africa but doesn't everything come with a price??? See his own article here


Beauty said...

"so there you go, already we can see a lot of good coming out of the summit." because Clinton spoke and signed a deal to make cheap drugs? Net result since 1991 included failure to meet targets on drug access and transparency, which translated as "FGN selling "FREE" drugs to patients. Here is a well worn story;

According to criminal court documents, from 1998 through this year, Jackson had been the Chairman and CEO of iGate, Inc., a Kentucky firm developing technology which is designed to transmit data, audio, and video communications over copper wire. In his plea, Jackson admits that in 2000, he was introduced to Rep. Jefferson, who was active in promoting US trade and business in Africa with other members of the Black Caucus.

Rep. Jefferson allegedly provided official assistance to Jackson in persuading the US Army to test iGate’s broadband two-way technology and other iGate products. Jefferson’s official assistance led to the placement of iGate on the US General Services Administration schedule, making iGate products eligible for use in various federal contracts. Ultimately, iGate’s products were used by the US Army at Fort Stewart, Georgia.

Jackson further admits that in early 2001, Rep. Jefferson told him that he would not continue to provide official assistance to Jackson’s company, iGate, unless Jackson agreed to pay a nominee company ostensibly maintained in the names of Rep. Jefferson’s spouse and children. Jackson agreed and signed a consulting services agreement committing iGate to pay Jefferson’s shadow company various things of value, thereby concealing Jackson’s payments in exchange for Jefferson’s performance of official acts in aiding iGate’s business in Africa and elsewhere.

According to the FBI, Jackson made monthly payments of $7,500 to Jefferson, as well as a percentage of Jackson’s gross sales. Rep. Jefferson also received a percentage of capital investments raised for iGate, and options for iGate stock.

In his plea, Jackson admitted to allowing over $400,000 to be paid to the Jefferson family company and that the consulting services agreement was designed to conceal the illegal nature of the payments demanded by Rep. Jefferson.

In return for the agreement by Jackson to pay “things of value,” Rep. Jefferson agreed to perform numerous official acts in furtherance of iGate’s business, including efforts to influence high-ranking officials in Nigeria, Ghana, Cameroon and elsewhere through official correspondence and in-person meetings; Jefferson’s travel to those countries to setup these meetings; and meetings with personnel of the Export-Import Bank of the United States, the official export credit agency of the United States, in order to help with potential financing for iGate business deals in those countries.

As part of the investigation, the US home of the Vice President of Nigeria was searched and during a raid on Rep. Jefferson’s home, FBI agents say that they found almost $100,000.00 in cash in Jefferson’s freezer.

That story is one of the ways these people make themselves rich. Your 10% is in somebody's freezer. Who are these people helping? Do we really need help? Our country will work when we close our doors to these helpers.

Aramide said...

Hmmm thanks for the insight. When I read your first line, I thought to myself - "well at least, something is better than nothing". But upon reading it, I can see how it would pay us much more if we did these things ourselves. But who are we to tell? Babangida? He does a lot but probably doesn't think as far as AIDS drugs therefore we outsource to americans who are making a fortune on each dying aids patient. Well...I am definitely going to change that phrase "a lot of good" to "something".

I think the good thing about the internet is even though we have news stations giving us false impressions, we are able to delve out information that they probably wouldn't talk about. Thanks again for the insight.

Anonymous said...

I must admit I'm a bit of a cynic when it comes to all this aid, debt relief and bla bla bla...... for Africa. The truth is in my opinion we are the cause of most of our problems albeit with a lot of help from the west. Until we sort out our issues of bad leadership and corruption; there's is no amount of external help that would move our so called "dark continent" foward substantially .

Beauty said...

Of course I could be wrong but I did not have a voice. Mainstream media had monopoly of news until the Web enabled total transparency and as such everyone gets to voice their concerns. People with access to relevant information now challenge the editors and every type of authority. The stupid, loyal and humble citizen has died with the advent of weblogs. Thank you for letting me publish on your blog.

Anonymous said...

Thank God i can leave a comment. I should have listed to mi parents when they tried so hard to send me to school.

Anonymous said...

sorry for the typo, english is not mi first lang. anyway, all this aid business is all a fraud in ma opinion ppl from nigeria know how much it is to dig a bore hole. Administration/wages takes the bulk of the donations.

NaijaBloke said...

I am with Sola on this issue,until we ourselves resolve our issues in Nigeria,there is no kind of summit that will ease any issues we have in Nigeria.

Talking abt Clinton signing a deal with Nigeria to make cheap AIDS drugs available to Nigerians,first who did he sign the deal with?before we know anything now,one fool will decide to colonize the selling of the drugs and the ppl won't even see any drugs.

Then again with the AIDS issue,I was having a discussion with my doctor the other day and we were just talking abt Africans and health.As long as u r an African and u have been out of the US at least once within the past 5yrs u can donate blood o and u need to even see the kind of stupid question they will be asking you as u r fool.The guy was teling me that Africans need to rise up and stand up to all the western world when it comes to the AIDS issue cos they r trying to put it on us that we have the highest AIDS infected population inte world which to his opinion is not true.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the info. Didnt know much about Leon H. Sullivan Summit. I will get myself clued up...

Anonymous said...

Hmmm... Black man in touch with an devil!