U.S. President Joe Biden has appointed Ham Serunjogi, CEO and co-founder of Pan-African fintech Chipper Cash, to be part of the Advisory Council on African Diaspora Engagement. Serunjogi and 11 other African Americans will serve on the Council until 2025.
According to a White House statement, the Council’s members are comprised of exceptional individuals who have worked in government, sports, creative industries, business, academia, social work, and faith-based activities. The 12-member advisory council will provide invaluable guidance to reinforce cultural, social, political, and economic ties between the U.S. and Africa, and promote trade, investment, and educational exchanges between the United States and Africa.
"African voices are essential to solving global problems. To elevate these voices, one of our primary focuses is to widen our circle of engagement to include African Diaspora communities," Dana Banks, special assistant to the president and special adviser for the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit, said last year ahead of Biden's plan to sign an executive order establishing the council.
The statement emphasizes the crucial role of the African Diaspora in the United States, which comprises both African Americans and African immigrants. This diverse group has played a vital part in shaping the partnership between the two regions in the 21st century. It acknowledges and appreciates the commitment of this community, which includes descendants of enslaved Black Americans, to the well-being of Africa and its people.
On his part, Serunjogi said; "I look forward to advising President Biden on a range of issues, including how to strengthen relations between Africa and the United States, promoting trade and investment and building educational exchanges, among other issues.”
Other members of the Council include Silvester Scott Beaman; who will serve as the Chair, Mimi E. Alemayehou, Rosalind Brewer, Viola Davis, Helene D. Gayle, Patrick Hubert Gaspard, C.D. Glin, Osagie Imasogie, Almaz Negash, Chinenye Joy Ogwumike, and Kevin Young.
The Council’s formation was initially introduced during the 2022 U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit.