Founder, President and Chief Executive Officer of ADDI, Her Excellency Arikana Chihombori Quao MD is a medical doctor (having practised medicine for over 25 years), founder and owner of medical clinics, diplomat, public speaker, educator, and entrepreneur. Her recently published book Africa 101: The Wake-Up Call is a best seller on Amazon.
In her role as Permanent Representative to the African Union Mission in Washington DC (2016-2019), Her Excellency Arikana Chihombori Quao MD worked tirelessly towards fulfilling her mandate which was to undertake, develop, and maintain relationships between the African Union and the Executive and Legislative branches of the US Government, the African Diplomatic Corps, the Africans in the Diaspora and the Bretton Woods Institutions. This was specifically in relation to the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) and advancing the priority areas of Agenda 2063. Her efforts to mobilize the Diaspora as people of African descent and not as citizens of any single African country is unprecedented and exemplifies her ability to unify people around a common goal, speaking with one voice as one Africa and one Continent.
Before her appointment as AU Ambassador, H. E. Arikana Chihombori Quao MD's contributions to the cause of Africa earned her many prestigious honors and awards, including two that she cherishes the most: The Achievement Award, which she received in 1996 from the incumbent President at the time, H.E. the late President Nelson Mandela of the Republic of South Africa in the presence of both President Mandela and President Mugabe of the Republic of Zimbabwe; and the African Woman of Excellence Award, which she received in July 2015 during the AU Summit in Johannesburg, South Africa, alongside 15 other prominent African Women including the former President of The Republic of Liberia, Madam Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, the former President of The Republic of Malawi, Madam Joyce Banda, Mama Winnie Mandela (Republic of South Africa), Mama Ngina Kenyatta (Republic of Kenya), Mama Asigwe Anyiam (Federal Republic of Nigeria), and Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma (Republic of South Africa).
During her three-year tenure as AU Ambassador to the United States, H.E. Ambassador Arikana Chihombori Quao MD received more than 100 awards and attestations from many organizations, including from the African Diaspora within the Americas. She received the 2018 Ambassador of the Year Award from Howard University in Washington D.C., as well as numerous recognitions from Members of Congress, Governors, Mayors, and County Executives from across the United States, the Caribbean, and South America.
In January 2020, after being featured as “A Profile in Courage,” H.E. Ambassador Arikana Chihombori Quao MD was honored to be named 2019 Person of the Year by The Guardian Newspaper, the largest newspaper in the Federal Republic of Nigeria. In an article published on June 12, 2020 by Eye Gambia, a reputable Gambian newspaper, H.E. Ambassador Arikana Chihombori Quao MD was listed among the 10 Most Influential Africans for 2019. She was the only female to make this list. Reputation Poll, a leading global reputation management firm, featured H.E. Ambassador Arikana Chihombori Quao MD in its 2020 list of 100 Most Reputable Africans.
H.E. Ambassador Arikana Chihombori Quao MD is a Fellow of the American Academy of Family Physicians and a member of the American Association of Family Physicians and the Tennessee Association of Family Physicians.
Born and raised in Zimbabwe where she attained her primary and secondary education, Her Excellency Arikana Chihombori Quao MD left Zimbabwe to study in the United States, where she obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in General Chemistry, a Master’s Degree in Organic Chemistry, and a Doctor of Medicine Degree. She is married to a Ghanaian husband and is a proud mother of five children and a very happy grandmother of five grandchildren.