America’s great strength: The African diaspora

By Julian Pecquet
Posted on Friday, 9 September 2022 12:10, updated on Sunday, 11 September 2022 01:00

Members of the Ethiopian diaspora, the largest outside of Ethiopia, in Washington, U.S., July 28, 2018. REUTERS/Mike Theiler

More than 100 Nigerian-Americans and their supporters descended on Washington’s luxury Mandarin Oriental Hotel this April to celebrate the record number of diaspora Africans in the Joe Biden administration.

Hosted by the Nigerian Physicians Advocacy Group, the African Primary Healthcare Foundation and the Constituency for Africa, the first-of-its-kind gala honored top officials across the US government. Guests of honour included then-Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Akunna Cook; US Trade and Development Agency Director Enoh Ebong; and associate White House counsel (now head of compliance at Palantir Technologies) Funmi Olorunnipa Badejo.

Even World Trade Organization Director-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, herself a Nigerian-American, attended the event in a telling display of the African diaspora’s growing clout.