About The African
Just as John H. Johnson in November 1942 founded Negro Digest (which later became Ebony) to fill the information vacuum about Afro-Americans in the United States, Soumanou Salifou, who came from Benin, West Africa to the United States in 1983 to pursue post-graduate studies at Johns Hopkins University, founded in November 1994 the first African magazine published in the United States to, in his own words, “tell the full story about Africa as objectively as humanly possible, and to fuel the laudable on-going efforts to reconnect Africans and African Americans.”
Just as Afro-Americans in the early forties cheered Negro Digest, The African was hailed by Africans and Americans cutting across socio-professional and racial backgrounds both in the United States and Africa, including heads of state, business and intellectual leaders, renowned artists and others. A heartwarming congratulatory letter from President George W. Bush in May 2002 and a laudable 1999 review in The Library Journal are just a few of the recognitions The African has earned over the years.
Every month since its inception, The African has published original news articles and features based on first-hand interviews with African and American newsmakers on both continents about African culture, politics, economy, relations between Africans and African Americans, women, the African Diaspora, and U.S.-Africa relations. Despite the recent advent of other African publications in the United States – one of which simply named itself The African – The African (the one and only such magazine registered at the Library of Congress under the number ISSN 1539-378X) has remained the best source of information and analyses on the afore-mentioned subjects, relying on the best minds in the journalism and publishing businesses.
A trend-setter, and owing to its commitment to promoting partnerships between African and American businesses, The African was the first publication (not just the first African publication) to build ties with the Washington-based Corporate Council on Africa, C.C.A., a non-profit organization of nearly 180 U.S. companies representing 85% of U.S. private investment in Africa. Before other publications crowded the field in recent years, and at the time African participation in C.C.A.’s high-profile biennial U.S.-Africa Business Summit was at its highest, The African was closely involved in the Summit dating back to 1999 when the second summit was held in Houston, Texas. As part of this partnership, The African has interviewed dozens of African and American business leaders, including American billionaire Maurice Tempelsman, CCA’s chairman in 1999-2000, and several CCA’s presidents.