According to the chairperson of the Summit, Mary Flowers, about 100 guests including speakers and government officials from Sierra Leone, Guinea, Ghana, Nigeria, Ethiopia and South Africa were all denied visas.
“I have to say that most of us feel it’s a discrimination issue with the African nations … We experience it over and over and over, and the people being rejected are legitimate business people with ties to the continent,” Mary Flowers added.
The Summit on Africa scheduled for March 16 was cancelled due to the lack of Africans, and the State Department was not available for comments.
Africans have been facing difficulties acquiring visas to the United States years before President Donald Trump’s executive order restricting people from six mainly Muslim countries including Somalia, Libya and Sudan from entering the country.
The order was blocked by a judge after it sparked protests in January; and later a revised order was also blocked hours before it was due to come into effect.