No African delegates were allowed entry into the United States to attend the African Global Economic and Development Summit after their visa applications were denied by the U.S. State Department.
The goal of the summit, which is held annually on the University of Southern California campus, is to connect businesses with investment opportunities in Africa. The investments are particularly aimed to reduce the impact of climate change, provide clean energy, and alleviate poverty. The event brings together entrepreneurs, corporations, and political and civic leaders from all over Africa and the U.S. to showcase their ventures in need of support or investment.
The chair of the summit, Mary Flowers, told Voice of America, “The people being rejected are legitimate business people with ties to the continent." They include event speakers and even government officials from nations including Sierra Leone, Nigeria, Ethiopia, and South Africa. Flowers estimated that around 100 attendees were denied entry, and that the 100 percent denial rate was a sharp increase from the 40 percent rate African attendees had experienced in years past.
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