By Al McFarlane | News Insight
Minnesota Africans United (MAU), behalf of Minnesota’s Expo 2027 bid, last week lobbied African leaders who were in Washington, DC attending President Biden’s US Africa Leaders’ Summit.
The United States is seeking to host the 2027 World Expo in Minnesota with the theme “Healthy People, Healthy Planet – Wellness and Well Being for All.” If Minnesota is selected, this would be the first expo in the U.S. in nearly 40 years.
The Bureau of International Expositions (BIE) in October announced that Minnesota USA Expo 2027’s bid to host a Specialized Expo is advancing to the next step in the process. This is the first time the BIE Executive Committee has deemed a bid on behalf of the United States viable since 1980.
Biden hosted leaders from across the African continent in Washington, DC on December 13-15, 2022, for the U.S.- Africa Leaders’ Summit. The Summit sought to highlight the importance of U.S.-Africa relations and increased US-Africa cooperation on shared global priorities. Africa will shape the future – not just the future of the African people, but of the world. Africa will make the difference in tackling the most urgent challenges and seizing the opportunities we all face, Summit organizers said.
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Basil Ajuo, President and CEO of MAU said “In our conversations with Heads of State, Foreign Ministers, Ambassadors, and other high-ranking officials we found strong support for Minnesota’s bid. A number of these supporters are now lobbying other countries on our behalf.”
“Our lobby week began with a briefing for African Diaspora and Consular Corp leaders from Chicago, with a focus on ensuring Expo 2027 benefits the entire Midwest region. In Washington, we’ve met with leaders from Kenya, Democratic Republic of Congo, Cameroon, Liberia, Somalia, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Togo, Zambia, Guinea, Uganda, Sierra Leone, Rwanda, Chad, Tanzania, Nigeria, Senegal, Angola, Malawi, and the United Arab Emirates. Our goal is an Africa-wide consensus in support of Expo Minnesota’s bid to create a powerful engine for economic advancement for both the African Diaspora living in Minnesota and for the continent,” Ajuo said.
“MAU has been lobbying government and business leaders during UN sessions in New York, in Paris during the General Assembly gatherings of the Expo coordination body, and in national capitals including Ghana, Cameroon, Tanzania, and Kenya where MAU has organized “Expo and Trade Promotion” delegations. Until now, we have primarily been meeting with senior government officials in Paris, New York, Chicago, Minnesota, and in their embassies in Washington DC. Having nearly all African Heads of State in the United States at the same time has been an unprecedented opportunity to make our case for Expo 2027,” Ajuo said.
“The US Africa Summit has inspired African Diaspora leaders to become more united than ever before,” Ajuo said, “and we will build on this profound legacy by listening, learning and building new partnerships that would benefit the continent.”
“MAU will continue leading trade delegations to African countries to promote our vision of and commitment to two-way trade and investment between the US and Africa. We see the enormous opportunities that an Expo will create for small, medium, and large firms in Africa and in the United States,” Ajuo said.
Minnesota Africans United (MAU) is a coalition and statewide organization for all African immigrant communities in Minnesota. MAU supports Minnesota’s African Immigrant community with representation from 55 African countries. MAU acts as a connection for the network of African immigrants in Minnesota, and for local African immigrant community organizations, and small businesses.