African-American Institute

Until the RBF designated South Africa as an area of special interest in the 1980s, the African-American Institute (AAI) was the primary vehicle for the Fund’s giving to Africa, apart from the Fund’s own technical assistance program in West Africa. Founded in Washington, D.C. in 1953, AAI, which today is called the Africa America Institute, was formed to assist African students in pursuit of higher education in the United States. Beginning in 1961, the RBF made grants to support the African Scholarship Program of American Universities, which selected and placed African undergraduates in American universities, providing logistical help and financial support for their education. The Fund also supported AAI general expenses, a conference aimed at increasing U.S. and European private investment in West Africa, and the Institute’s Women’s Africa Committee, which supplied field workers to the Ethiopian Women’s Welfare Association to provide leadership training to local women.

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Browse the major events in the Rockefeller Brothers Fund's history