United States President, Joe Biden on Tuesday announced the appointment of Ham Serunjogi, co-founder and CEO of Pan-African fintech Chipper Cash, as a member of the country’s advisory council on African diaspora engagement. Serunjogi and 11 other African Americans will serve on the Council until 2025.
According to the White House, 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.
On December 13, 2022, President Biden signed an executive order directing the Secretary of State to establish an advisory council on African diaspora engagement in the United States.
In a statement, the White House said that "the African Diaspora in the United States, a rich and diverse community of African Americans and African immigrants, is foundational to our 21st century partnership with Africa. This community, which includes descendants of enslaved Black Americans, has long advocated for the prosperity of the African continent and its people and strengthened the unique relationship between the United States and Africa".
"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," Serunjogi, who is a Ugandan native, said.
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.