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Congressman Donald Payne: In Memoriam

Mwangi S. Kimenyi and Witney Schneidman

The Africa Growth Initiative at Brookings is saddened to learn about the death of Congressman Donald Payne of New Jersey.

Congressman Payne’s life was filled with many extraordinary accomplishments but to many he will be remembered for his unwavering commitment to Africa. Whether it was working to end apartheid in South Africa, genocide in Rwanda and Sudan, achieve stability in Somalia or the passage of the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act, Congressman Payne pursued his work in Africa with an unceasing commitment, knowledge and skill. In his long membership on the House Sub-Committee on Africa and Global Health, including his tenure as chairman, Congressman Payne ensured that a broad array of African issues received full attention from his colleagues in Congress, senior administration officials, business leaders, journalists and individuals from every walk of life.

The Africa Growth Initiative worked closely with Congressman Payne. We testified at his committee and he participated in our meetings, most recently last year on the Capitol Hill on the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act. He was our friend and our partner, and we shared a common passion for progress and opportunity on the African continent.

Donald Payne will be dearly missed. His life and work are an inspiration for us all, especially those who care about the less fortunate among us.

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