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Sunday, March 22, 2009

Atlanta Councilman Maddox Receives Africa Award

Atlanta Councilman Maddox Receives Africa Award
Phil Bolton
Atlanta - 03.19.09
Chief Tunde Adetunji and Atlanta City Councilman James Maddox

Atlanta City Councilman James Maddox received the Africa Heritage Evergreen Award at City Hall March 18 from Nigerian Chief Tunde Adetunji on behalf of his efforts to link African American communities with the African continent.

Mr. Maddox, who represents District 11, was first elected to the Atlanta City Council in 1977 and is referred to as "Dean of the Council."

As the chair of the council's Advisory Committee on International Relations, he is to lead a delegation from Atlanta to a major business conference in Abuja, the capital of Nigeria, July 29-Aug. 1.

Mr. Adetunji is the founder of Africa World Museum and Center on Peachtree Street downtown and the Africa Heritage Foundation, which gives the heritage award annually.

He moved to Atlanta in 1996 from Lagos, Nigeria, and has hosted many African delegations visiting Atlanta at the museum. During the 1996 Olympic Games, he showcased the "Celebrate Africa" exhibition and served locally as an unofficial ambassador for the African continent.

As the son of the king of a community in the Oyo State in southwest Nigeria, Mr. Adetunji proudly bears the title of chief. His foundation has honored an individual with the heritage award every year since 1990.

Recipients of the award have included many notable public figures such as Nobel Peace Prize winner from Kenya, Wangari Maathai; Andrew Young, former ambassador to the United Nations, U.S. congressman and mayor of Atlanta; Coretta Scott King, wife of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.;

Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin; Liberia's president, Ellen Johnson-Shirleaf and Dan Moore Sr., president and founder of the Apex Museum in Atlanta, which focuses on African American history.

Mr. Adetunji also said that Nelson Mandela, former president of South Africa, has received the African Heritage Lifetime Achievement Award.

The "Africa, the Continent of Possibilities, Is Open for Business," conference in Aubja will include representatives of the Organization of African Unity and businessmen from throughout the African continent.

Mr. Adetunji is organizing a trade mission to the conference in Abuja, which will be linked directly to Atlanta by a new Delta Air Lines Inc. flight that is to be inaugurated on June 10.

Mr. Maddox may be reached in his office at (404) 330-6054. Mr. Adetunji may be reached at (678) 508-5240.