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AU’s Ambassadors Ball Honors Leaders Working to Empower African Diaspora

Jan 22, 2024 02:00PM ● By Karen Warrington

The African Union’s (AU) annual Ambassadors Ball held as 2023 was ending, was a grand affair that celebrated leaders who have worked to advance Africa and the African Diaspora. Hosted by Hilda Suka-Mafudze, the African Union Permanent Representative to the United States, the event honored Ambassador Susan Rice, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, singer Angelique Kidjo and Randall Robinson, the founder of TransAfrica, posthumously.

Diplomats, dignitaries and business leaders across the world were in attendance at the Washington, DC event. Ambassador Suka-Mafudze underscored her appreciation to those being celebrated, “Thank you to the honorees for the contributions you’ve made to the total common good and to the values of international cooperation and between our nations.”

Ambassador Rice was presented the AU Kofi Annan Award and explained her commitment to support the African continent. Rice served as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations from 2009 to 2013 and was the U.S. National Security Advisor from 2013 to 2017. She said in addition to a variety of African centered initiatives she launched she was extremely proud to host the historic

U.S. - African Leaders Summit, and to support President Obama’s historic address to the AU in Addis Ababa in 2015.

“Thank you very much to the African Union Ambassadors for the decision to honor my beloved protector, husband and friend Randall Robinson,” said Hazel Ross Robinson, Randall Robinson’s widow as she accepted the AU Lifetime Achievement Tribute for her husband who died in July. “First, the Organization of African Unity and then the African Union were held in the highest regard by my husband. That’s because the guiding ethos of your organization fit so perfectly with the principles, beliefs and aspirations that guided my husband’s life.”

Receiving the the AU Global Citizen Award, a representative for singer and songwriter Kidjoe said, “We invite people to learn more about the work that we do and join us in this incredible work.”

The AU is made up of 55 member states which represent all the countries on the African continent and is dedicated to promoting unity and solidarity.

Dr. Teta Banks delivers AU Ball welcome

Hazel Ross-Robinson, wife of the late Randall Robinson and Her Excellency Hilda Suka-Mafudze, African Union Permanent Representative to the United States

Ambassador Susan Rice after receiving Kofi Annan Award at the African Union Ambassadors Ball

Karen Warrington and Ambassador Hilda Suka-Mafudze


 Karen Warrington has had a decades long career as a broadcast journalist, communications professional, performing artist, and documentary filmmaker. She has traveled extensively throughout Africa, the Caribbean, Europe, and Asia. She is committed to being a voice for the African Diaspora.

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