Washington, DC, June 14, 2012 – The mansion on the hill in Chevy Chase, home to Hope and Carlton Masters, was the venue for a big bash that the couple threw for two African Presidents, a former President John Kufuor of Ghana, and President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo of Equatorial Guinea, which saw assembled the cream de la creme of Washington, DC society. President Kufuor is the 2012 Summit Chairman of the Leon Sullivan Foundation Summit IX 2012 which will be held in President Nguema’s country, Equatorial Guinea.
Immediately you turned into the private driveway leading up to their home, you had all kinds of security directing you to the right house, where you were met with fawning and courteous valet parking attendants. Hosts and hostesses were positioned to welcome the high society guests, with glasses of champagne or wine (red or white) or just plain water to cool them out. Uniformed attendants moved around with hors d’oeuvres. It was cocktail, dinner and dancing where almost 100 people were entertained. Apart from Washington, DC society, there were individuals from all around the country. I spied Dick Gregory among the non-Washingtonians.
The two Presidents had a long private tete-a-tete before dinner was served.
The bash was not about having only fun, but to have the two leaders discuss the upcoming Leon Sullivan Foundation Summit IX 2012. In a press release about the day’s event, the Sullivan Foundation wrote, “Along with support from African, Caribbean and Latin and Asian American countries, the 9th Summit, in addition to food security, will address critical human rights issues. Masters’ is determined to revitalize the human rights legacy left by her father, the Reverend Leon H. Sullivan, creator of the Sullivan Principles and the Global Sullivan Principles. Aligned with the goals of the African Union, World Bank, United Nations, the Summit outcomes are focused on equity and access to the most basic human needs necessary to both survive and thrive in a continent flush with worlds most needed minerals and natural resources.”
In an earlier letter to Heads of States, government representatives, and CEOs of US and international corporations, former President John Kufuor extolled the Leone H. Sullivan Global Sullivan Principles. Although he wrote that his perspective on Africa was a bit jaded, he nevertheless was confident of the continent. “My wish is not to see Africans in such a peril. I am a strong proponent of foreign investment and bilateral trade, as I believe that foreign investment leads to the necessary technology transfer, cheaper production and access to new skills and finances necessary for emerging economies, especially those in Africa to grow,” wrote President Kufuor. He continued, “However, I am opposed to the dogma or rather “Canon of Profitability” and greed that is so entrenched among global corporations that a failure to understand the environment and lack of social responsibility of human rights of Africans is neglected.”
“I therefore implore those corporations working in Africa to take heed of their actions. My desire is by no means to draw on the negativity of corporations working in Africa, but more so to see corporations adopt the Global Sullivan Principles, and take part in the fruits of labor the Leon H. Sullivan Foundation has endured to ensure the Human Rights of Africans.”
Rev. Sullivan organized the first Summit in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire in 1991 as a result of a number of requests and conversations he had with African leaders seeking an honest dialogue among and between leaders of African countries and government officials and leaders from developed countries. Subsequent Summits were held Libreville (1993), Dakar (1995), Harare (1997), Accra (1999), Abuja (2003), Abuja (2006) and last one was held in Tanzania in 2008, and brought together the world’s political and business leaders, delegates representing national and international civil and multinational organizations, and members of academic institutions in order to focus attention and resources on Africa’s economic and social development, leading to more than $100 business activities being generated. Their mission was inspired by Rev. Leon H. Sullivan’s belief that the development of Africa is a matter of global partnerships. It was particularly important to Rev. Sullivan that Africa’s Diaspora and Friends of Africa are active participants in Africa’s development.
On his part, President Obiang Nguema implored the guests to join the Sullivan Foundation’s Summit in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea, and promised that it would be an experience they would forever cherish. Equatorial Guinea is the third largest oil producing country in Africa south of the Sahara. President Obiang Nguema served as Chair of the African Union for the 2011 year.
The Leon H Sullivan Summit IX 2012, will take place in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea, from August 20-24th, with a theme of “Africa Rising.” You can register by going to the Sullivan Foundation website www.sullivansummit.org.