We are the oldest human rights organization focused exclusively on Africa. We are a national organization based in Washington, DC. Our work dates back to 1953, the year our oldest predecessor organization was founded in New York.
Today, in partnership with activists and civil society organizations throughout the United States and in Africa, Africa Action is working to change U.S. foreign policy and the policies of international institutions in order to support African struggles for peace and development.
By changing the policies of our own government, we have proven that we can make a real difference.
Africa Action is the name we adopted in 2001, when three of the oldest Africa advocacy groups in the United States merged to become one new organization, working for political, economic and social justice throughout the African continent.
Our predecessor organizations date back to 1953, when the American Committee on Africa (ACOA) was founded in New York. It was created by a group of black and white civil rights activists who had organized support for the historic Defiance Campaign in South Africa the previous year. ACOA, together with The Africa Fund, which was founded in 1966, provided key support for independence movements throughout Africa. They built strong networks of U.S.-based activists that became crucial partners in the anti-apartheid struggle. (To read George Houser's speech at our 50th Anniversary in 2003, click here)
The Africa Policy Information Center (APIC) was founded in Washington, DC in 1978. It pioneered the use of new information and communication technology to support advocacy work on Africa.
With the merger of these three organizations in 2001, their complementary strengths became a solid framework to organize activism for Africa in the decades ahead.
Africa Action is a national organization that works for political, economic and social justice in Africa. Through the provision of accessible information and analysis combined with the mobilization of public pressure we work to change the policies and policy-making processes of U.S. and multinational institutions toward Africa.
The work of Africa Action is grounded in the history and purpose of its predecessor organizations, the American Committee on Africa (ACOA), The Africa Fund, and the Africa Policy Information Center (APIC), which have fought for freedom and justice in Africa since 1953. Continuing this tradition, Africa Action seeks to re-shape U.S. policy toward African countries. Africa Action’s work is guided by a set of core beliefs:
We believe that the U.S. has a special historic responsibility toward Africa;
We believe that racism has been and is a major determinant of U.S. policies toward Africa, Africans and U.S. citizens of African descent;
We value Africa and the people of Africa and seek to work in partnership with Africans;
We believe in the principles of consultation, openness, accountability and consensus.
Just as our predecessor organizations took action to support African efforts to defeat apartheid, today Africa Action is engaged in the struggle against global apartheid – the international system of minority rule that keeps Africa poor and marginalized.
We provide information and analysis to change how people think about Africa.
We mobilize public pressure to change the policies of the U.S. and multilateral institutions toward Africa, so that they support the efforts of Africans themselves to promote human rights, democracy and development.