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The Africa Center - Africa’s Embassy to the World

Once known as the Museum for African Art, The Africa Center has expanded its mission to become the world's leading civic African institution.

Africa, the world’s oldest continent with its youngest population, is rising. As this emerging market of one billion people, with extraordinary cultural richness and diversity, begins to play an increasingly significant role globally, The Africa Center will provide a gateway for engagement between Africa, New York City and the world.

Spanning culture, policy and business, The Africa Center aims to transform the international understanding of Africa and promote direct engagement between African artists, business leaders and civil society and their counterparts from the United States and beyond.

Positioned as the world’s leading civic Africa institution, less than 20 minutes from the United Nations and located at One Museum Mile on Fifth Avenue adjoining Harlem, The Africa Center will bridge these disparate local communities and connect them directly with the African continent and its diaspora using intellectual leadership, technology and culture to redefine their relationship. As we embark upon the creation of a uniquely 21st Century institution to reflect the rise of the continent of the 21st Century, we hope you will join us in this endeavor with the capacity to have transformational impact at the local, national and international level.

On behalf of the Board, welcome to The Africa Center.
Chelsea Clinton
Ian Bruce Eichner
Hadeel Ibrahim
Hosh Ibrahim
Ashish J Thakkar

Why Africa today?

“Africa is the new frontier for business. With unprecedented growth in the natural resources sector and the services industry, at last Africa is turning a corner. What underpins the growth story is the improvement in governance, transparency, gender and human rights over the last decade. By 2035, Africa’s labour force will be larger than China. 15 of the 20 fastest growing cities in the world between 2015 and 2020 will be African.

Today, Africa’s top trading partner is the EU followed closely by China. The US is a very distant third. That was not the case some years ago. The US needs to reconnect with Africa. That is why the Africa Center is relevant.”

Mo Ibrahim, Entrepreneur and Philanthropist

Why is a building necessary?

“New York’s Africa Center commands a powerful international presence, which will draw upon the rich cultural, social and political legacy and history of the diaspora together with the inimitable cultural beat of New York, itself. This pairing is immediately captivating and will resonate with the contemporary African community and beyond. New York is a global city, which has welcomed the diaspora – and the Center is a fantastic platform from which to deliver this message to the world.”

David Adjaye, Architect

Why New York?

“This is the African century. There’s a sort of static electricity around Africa at the moment that is exciting. I think, in a way, New York would be less relevant without a piece of that. New York has always been the global crossroads and now for the first time there is a clear sign post saying ‘Africa this way’ . . . fun, educational, imaginative.

The Africa Center is great for the continent but it’s even greater for New York.”

Bono, Musician, Activist and Philanthropist

Why is a center the answer?

“Africa’s role in global affairs is expanding and deepening. New York is a great city where much of the world’s politics and business is conducted. Africa needs a strong and vibrant presence in the city. . . the Africa Center, through dialogue and debate, will promote public understanding of African issues and present African perspectives on questions of world significance. The Africa Center, which reflects the ambition and vitality of a continent on the rise, will add a new and innovative dimension to New York’s long engagement with Africa.”

Kofi Annan, Former Secretary-General, United Nations