African Union Ambassador to Make Official Visit to Mercer

February 18, 2008

Media Contact:
Mark Vanderhoek
(478) 301-4037

MACON — Amina S. Ali, the African Union’s ambassador to the United States, will make an official visit to Mercer University, meeting with students, administrators and the community, and delivering a speech at an event on Thursday, Feb. 21.

Her speech, entitled “The African Union: Building A New Africa,” will take place at 7:30 p.m. in the Medical School Auditorium on Mercer’s Macon campus, followed by a question and answer session and a reception. The event is free and open to the public.

“To have the ambassador for the African Union on campus and working with the University to help us to establish new ties with Africa and the African Union is a tremendous honor for Mercer,” said Chester Fontenot, Ph.D., Baptist Professor of English and director of Mercer’s Africana Studies Program. “We anticipate that she will shed light on the most recent developments in Africa and within the African Union, as well as help us to forge new linkages between the Africa Union and Mercer University, to the benefit of both institutions.”

In addition to several private meetings with Mercer students and administrators, Ali will also attend a reception on Saturday, Feb. 23, meeting with members of Central Georgia’s African community. This event will be held at a location yet to be determined.  It is for invited guests, and members of the media.

Ali has served as the permanent representative of the African Union to the United States since 2006, prior to that, she held prominent positions in the government of her native Zanzibar including: minister of state, minister of finance and member of parliament.

The African Union was established in 2001 as an intergovernmental organization made up of 53 African countries. The union was created “to accelerate the process of integration in the continent and enable it to play its rightful role in the global economy while addressing multifaceted social, economic and political problems compounded as they are by certain negative aspects of globalization.”

About Mercer University:
Founded in 1833, Mercer University is a dynamic and comprehensive center of undergraduate, graduate and professional education. The University has 7,300 students; 11 schools and colleges – liberal arts, law, pharmacy, medicine, business, engineering, education, theology, music, nursing and continuing and professional studies; major campuses in Macon and Atlanta; four regional academic centers across the state; a university press; two teaching hospitals — Memorial Health University Medical Center and the Medical Center of Central Georgia; educational partnerships with Warner Robins Air Logistics Center in Warner Robins and Piedmont Healthcare in Atlanta; an engineering research center in Warner Robins; a performing arts center in Macon; and a NCAA Division I athletic program. For more information, visit
www.mercer.edu .
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