African Leadership Conference 2020

First Annual National African Immigrant Leadership Conference

African Economic Development Solutions (AEDS) is proud to host our first annual National African Immigrant Leadership Conference on December 10–11, 2020. During this time of uncertainty and trauma, African Immigrants are facing some of the biggest challenges to our economic future in modern history. COVID–19 is damaging our small business sector and the uprisings all across the country as a result of the murder of George Floyd and other innocent Black lives continues to be a catalyst for strife. 

It’s estimated that 26% of the Black population in Minnesota is African-born while African immigrants nationally make up 9% of the Black population on average. Here in Minnesota we contribute $281 billion to the retail economy, and $183 million in taxes annually to the state. We have stakes in this region and this economy and beyond. That’s why, as Minnesotans, we are uniquely positioned to host this national conference. We know that African immigrants can lead the way in healing and economic recovery. As a community, African immigrants know how to create innovative solutions to our country’s largest problems by tapping into the diversity of our community to address problems that we all face. We know what it takes to create community-based opportunities and use our resources to lift up those of us who are in need. 

That’s why this year, AEDS will convene the National African Leadership Conference that will bring together established and emerging leaders for a two-day virtual conference that can provide opportunities for growth, leadership, and cross-community ideation and that will provide the space and resources to inspire, equip, and connect leaders within the many diverse African immigrant communities that have built homes, businesses, and movements in the US. 

We hope you will join us in making the first African Leadership Conference a movement-building event. 

For information on how your organization can sponsor this event contact Gene Gelgelu, AEDS Founder, President and CEO at

Panels and Breakout Sessions for the National African Immigrant Leadership Conference