The Samuel DeWitt Proctor Pan African Institute

An Initiative of the Samuel DeWitt Proctor Conference, Inc.


The Mission, Vision, and Values


The purpose of the Samuel DeWitt Proctor Pan African Institute is to connect Africans in diaspora to African foreign policy, renaissance ideas, and fellow collaborators across the globe. Global interdependence and the shifting landscape of formal politics calls for a renewed transnational conversation on the relationship between foreign policy and people of African descent on the continent and in diaspora. The United Nations has resolved that 2013-2023 would be the international decade of Africa. Looking to the future, investment in Africa is key to the sustained growth, vitality, education, prosperity, and innovation of African people.


The Samuel DeWitt Proctor Pan African Institute is an ecumenical, multifaith, advocacy, and educational arm of the Samuel DeWitt Proctor Conference, Inc. 

Committed to the social, economic, and political liberation of the African diaspora, The Institute is informed and grounded in a theology of sufficiency – a theology that affirms that there is no lack in God’s economy for the most vulnerable children in the world. The institute is named after the Rev. Dr. Samuel DeWitt Proctor, Pastor Emeritus of the Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem and founding director of the Peace Corps mission in Nigeria.


The triple evils of racism, militarism, and capitalism, so clearly articulated by Rev. Dr. Martin L. King in the 19th century,  continue to constrain the 20th century moral imagination of the western world and threatens the possibilities of global  peace and democracy.  The increasing threat of white nationalism and Afrophobia calls us to build transnational coalitions and connect protest to foreign policy and human rights in order for people of African descent to build economic parity, political power, and social liberation from ideas and systems of white supremacy. White nationalism and racism, masqueraded as U.S. patriotism, not only threatens to deprioritize  valuable resources for the African continent but creates an environment of dehumanizing people of African descent the worldover. The Samuel DeWitt Proctor Pan African Institute will be a beacon for moral leadership development, a site of for the intergenerational transmission of knowledge, and catalyst for advocacy of human rights and just foreign policy.




Initiatives of the Institute include:


1) International Roundtables for Policy Development


2) Pan African Institute Fellows Program


3) Research Study Tours


4) Legislative Lobby Days


5) Truth Telling Summits for Racial Justice


6)  Educational materials development and distribution






NEEDS PREFACE THAT INCLUDES SDGs, rights and well being of women and role and partnerships with Africans of the Diaspora, including unique potential of those who hold U.S. citizenship to be an agent for transformation.



Focus Areas[1]



Economic Development, Trade and Investment, and Job Creation

  • The United States should take the lead in providing prompt and meaningful debt relief for Africa by forgiving all African public sector debt owed to the United States. The United States also should support and encourage the favorable renegotiation, restructuring or cancellation of African debt held by private and multilateral creditors, as well as that held by other creditor nations.


Democracy and Human Rights

  • The United States government, and public and private sectors should make the promotion of democracy and respect for human rights central to their policies towards Africa. The United States should increase support towards existing and emerging institutions that do not violate human rights. U.S. foreign assistance, including trade benefits, security assistance, finance, and logistics should be available on a preferential basis to those that respect human rights. This assistance must include human rights training. To this end, the United States should be committed to bringing all Americans, particularly African-Americans, to the forefront of discussions, planning, and implementation of all initiatives.

To promote African democracy and human rights in this era of globalization, the United States government should require U.S.-based corporations and international finance institutions, particularly the World Bank, International Monetary Fund, and World Trade Organization, to advance these goals in policy and practice. A corporate code of conduct must make democracy and human rights central to doing business in Africa. The charters of international institutions should be amended so that they can no longer offer support and legitimacy to illegitimate governments, and to democratize the institutions to allow for more African representation. The United States should support Africa’s quest for a permanent seat on the UN Security Council, triple the number of African refugees admitted to the United States, increase aid to 0.7% of Gross National Product, and ratify all pending human rights conventions.


Sustainable Development, Quality of Life, and the Environment

  • In the interest of sustainable development and the goals of self-sufficiency and economic independence in Africa, the United States should support and strengthen access to potable water and waste management, and support the prevention, control, and eradication of infections and diseases through the use of non-traditional, traditional, and herbal medicines. Prevention of all major diseases in Africa should be supported in partnership with African governments, civil society and non-governmental organizations, the private corporate sector and other multilateral and bilateral donor agencies. Moreover, the United States must champion debt cancellation so African governments can redirect those resources toward these efforts. The United States should work collaboratively with organizations in Africa to support efforts to provide disability, refugee, and mental health services. HIV/AIDS and other emergent health epidemics should be given special emphasis. These collective actions will also ensure the future of Africa’s children.

The United States should invest in and support African initiatives to provide basic necessities through the development of sustainable infrastructure. Addressing these issues requires commitment to human capital, gender issues (with emphasis on women), education, capacity building, participatory development involving the inclusion of non-governmental organizations, community-based organizations, reliance on expertise from Africa, as well as establishing linkages with African-Americans. All existing and future U.S. government projects, U.S. non-governmental organizations and businesses should adhere to the same environmental protection standards that they would need to meet in the United States and should be required to sign on to a list of principles that promote sustainable utilization of land, water, forest, wildlife, marine, biodiversity, and coastal resources. The United States should strictly enforce the prohibition of transporting, selling and dumping of toxic and hazardous substances. Therefore, the U.S., through its Department of State, agencies, and Congress can play key enhancing roles by: (i) increasing the foreign assistance budget; (ii) sustaining and expanding information technology infrastructure (iii) using its relational leverage with other donors to boost the livelihood of grassroots communities; and (iv) supporting efforts at land reform which sustains small holder agriculture and food security.


Peace and Security

  • The United States should support the United Nations and regional organizations’ peacekeeping and conflict prevention efforts in Africa, including timely financial and logistical support. The United States also should fully pay, without conditions, its current United Nations dues and arrears, as well as its assessments for peacekeeping operations.

The United States should increase financial, technical, and logistical support for African and multilateral initiatives and institutions (including civil society) aimed at crisis prevention, conflict resolution, peace enforcement, and humanitarian assistance. Any action should incorporate an intensive education program. The United States should increase efforts to enact the optional protocol on child soldiers; to protect African citizens against conscription, to inform American consumers of the origins of African products and resources in order to prevent the sale of those products from financing war, conflict, and corruption. The President should immediately sign, and the U.S. Senate should ratify, the Treaty to Ban Landmines, without reservation. The United States should expand financial support for mine clearance, victim assistance and rehabilitation, environmentally sensitive de-mining, and landmine awareness. The United States should end all production and sales of landmines and should support international initiatives to make producers of landmines financially accountable for property and human losses therefrom.



Education and Culture

  • The United States, including African-American educational institutions, should seek equitable partnerships with African professionals, institutions, and communities, to include opportunities for international exchange, training, research, technology, knowledge transfer, information sharing, and arts and culture. The United States should fund and support efforts of all countries to provide basic education, all types of literacy programs, and HIV/AIDS education for children (particularly girls), adults, and persons with disabilities.

It is imperative that action be taken consistently and accurately to educate the U.S. public on Africa through mass media, cultural institutions, and school curriculum. The United States must encourage African ownership while discouraging multinational institutions from destabilizing, displacing, or competing unfairly with indigenous media. Policymakers must (i) promote change in American knowledge and attitudes toward Africa; and (ii) emphasize Africa’s role in the history of global civilization.

[1] Taken from the National Policy Plan of Action for U.S.-Africa Relations in the 21st Century (2000)