The Greater Philadelphia area is home to over a hundred thousand African and Caribbean Immigrants and Refugees, who have established organizations to maintain social and cultural ties, assist newcomers, and facilitate their absorption into the social fabric of their new homes.
According to US census data, a great majority of African immigrants landed in the United States by 2000. With the new influx of immigrants, most of whom arrived as refugees and asylees, persistent needs relating to language barriers, access to health care and health resources, education, legal matters, etc. were identified as well as the necessity to create an umbrella organization. Emboldened by the birth of the African Union and the renewed spirit of Africa’s integration and pan Africanism, and the Black Institute’s project Extended lives (http://hsp.org/history-online/exhibits/extended-lives-the-african-immigrant-experience-in-philadelphia), African community leaders: TsegayeArrefe (Ethiopia) Ali B. Ali-Dinar (Sudan) MamadyDoumbouya (Guinea) SiddiqHadi (Sudan) John Kidane (Erythrea) Jayne Musonye Ike Odenigbo (Nigeria), Mamadou Sow (Senegal), and Massa Washington (Liberia) to spearhead the idea of a pan-African organization.
In summer 2000, a town hall meeting took place at the Houston Hall, University of Pennsylvania. The attendees welcomed the idea of AFRICOM, set up working committees to draft the by-laws, the mission, and the vision of the organization and recruit more organizations. In May 2001, fifteen associations - representing groups and nationalities from, Eritrea, Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Ethiopia, Haiti, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Côte d'Ivoire, Sudan, and Zimbabwe - founded the Coalition of African Communities - Philadelphia (AFRICOM). The launching ceremony took place at the Balch Institute, which is now The Historical Society of Philadelphia. Since its creation, AFRICOM has inspired and collaborated with numerous organizations and services. AFRICOM’s presence and work was the bedrock of the creation of the Mayor’s Commission on African and Caribbean Immigrants’ Affairs.
AFRICOM has joined numerous networks which campaign for immigrants’ rights.  


AFRICOM’s vision is to build a strong and inclusive African and Caribbean immigrant and refugee community with all the nationalities. 
AFRICOM’s mission is to advocate and organize so that immigrants and refugees feel a sense of empowerment, belonging, and self-sufficiency.
AFRICOM seeks to achieve this mission by: 
  • facilitating family access to health and social services, with a focus on women,       children and the youth;
  • promoting economic development;
  • facilitating the resolution of inter and intra-group conflicts;
  • advocating on issues of concern to African communities; 
  • educating the media and the broader public on African cultures and experiences.