James L. Hope
ASI Representative for Washington, DC Metropolitan Area, USA and International Advisor
James L. Hope brings to the position of International Advisor many years of experience working in Africa and on Africa – related projects. He first set foot on the African Continent in 1951 when his ship stopped in Alexandria, Egypt on its way to Beirut, Lebanon where he took up residence and attended school. Over the years Mr. Hope assisted in the establishment of the National School of Law and Administration (ENDA) in what was then the newly independent Republic of Congo (Leopoldville). While there, he also provided materiel and logistical support for the Pan-Africanist Congress of South Africa – which was the only South African liberation movement operating outside of South Africa at the time – and the National Front for the Liberation of Angola (FNLA) which at the time was recognized by the OAU as the true and legitimate representative of the Angolan liberation effort.
Upon his return to his birthplace, Washington, D.C. he joined the African-American Institute (AAI) which had been established by his friends Dr. William Leo Hansberry, William Steen and Thurlow Tibbs. While at the AAI Mr. Hope ran a scholarship program for leaders from the unliberated territories of Africa, many of whom he had met earlier as they passed through the liberation exile center in Kinshasa that was financed by President Kwame Nkruma and hosted by the FNLA. When the AAI moved the scholarship program to its offices in New York Mr. Hope remained in Washington and spent a year as a Fellow of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting after which he established and ran the African-American Scholars Council (AASC). The “Scholars Council” was established to undertake development-related research to serve the immediate development needs of Africa but unfortunately certain actions by the Board of Directors caused the organization to be rather short lived without fulfilling the intended goals. Additionally, Mr. Hope created Bi-Continental Resources (BICORE) to handle the procurement and shipping of equipment and supplies for development projects in Africa and Asia. For a period extending from the 70’s through the 90’s he handled numerous visits of foreign dignitaries who had been invited to the United States by the Department of State.
Mr. Hope has known and worked with people from throughout the African Diaspora….. Nigerians who taught with his father on the faculty of engineering at Howard University, Balamu Mukassa who was raised with his father in Atlanta, attended Morehouse College and returned to Uganda as the first African faculty member of Makerere University where he taught an aspiring politician named Julius Nyerere, shared a beer with Jomo Kenyatta in Kinshasa, Hadjj Malik El Shabbaz (Malcolm X) who spent his first night after completing his Pilgrimage to Mecca not in a hotel in Cairo but rather at the Hope home in Beirut, Nana Mohomo, for many years head of external affairs for Pan-Africanist Congress of South Africa, Lubari Ramba and Franco Garang of South Sudan, Joseph Ki-Zerbo of Ougadougou, the representative of the Sarduna of Sokoto who visited his home in Beirut to discuss the possibility of their students to study engineering at the American University of Beirut… and others, lesser known and unknown. They all at one time or another expressed the desire to see how the skills and knowledge of the “Africains d’outre mer” can be used for the development of Africa and thus reduce their dependence on their former colonial powers.
In the mid 70s Mr. Hope was contacted by the African Scientific Institute and in March 1994 joined ASI as their International Advisor. Mr. Hope holds a BA from the American University of Beirut and an MA in African Studies from Howard University.