According to The Independent, every single African delegate seeking entry to the United States for an annual summit at the University of Southern California was denied a visa, the outlet reports.
The yearly trade meeting titled, the “African Global Economic and Development Summit,” seeks to bring together attendees to discuss initiatives pertaining to climate change, clean energy and poverty. The meeting was scheduled from March 16-18.
“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,” said summit chair Mary Flowers in an interview with Voice Of America.
Flowers said usually about 40 percent of the applications were denied in past. “This year it was 100 percent. Every delegation. And it was sad to see, because these people were so disheartened,” she said.
Among the barred nations were politicians and government officials from Sierra Leone, Guinea, Ghana, Nigeria, Ethiopia and South Africa.
Journalists from The Independent reached out to the State Department for comment, but have yet to receive a response, the outlet reports.