“General Powell was a gentleman and a soldier,” expressed Melvin Foote, president of the Constituency for Africa. Foote, based in Washington, DC, also reminisced about Powell and his relationship with Africa on Nigeria’s Channels TV.
Former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo described Powell in the (Nigerian) Daily Post as a “trusted colleague and comrade-in-arm, whose closeness as an African-American with the mother Africa assisted in the growth of the continent.”
Cameron Hudson, a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council's Africa Center, recalled to the Voice of America that Powell was the first U.S. official to declare genocide in the Sudanese region of Darfur and was deeply involved in the peace agreement ending Sudan's longest-running civil war, which paved the way for South Sudan independence.
The Africa Society, headed by Senegambian-American Pape Samb, released a statement upon his passing. “Secretary Powell was a friend of The Africa Society and the African continent,” it said.
The Africa Society also outlined his African achievements including:
- instrumental in the first-ever step taken by countries in Central Africa to preserve the rainforests
- championed health initiatives for African populations, especially to help eradicate polio
- supported conflict resolution in war-torn regions
- supported programs to strengthen economic development, food security, and educational opportunities.
The Washington, DC based group added, “Secretary Powell was an inspiring speaker at The Africa Society’s Teach Africa program held at the Department of State. He was respected around the world as a global change icon for positive change, reflective of the values and beliefs of The Africa Society. His passing is an immeasurable loss to our nation, the world, and to the African Diaspora.”