Richard C. Willis, CEO - Sankofa International, Inc.

As Sankofa International's founder, Mr. Willis envisions an Africa where rural villages are self-sustaining and have all the comforts offered in most communities in the United States.


A graduate of the University of the District of Columbia's graduate schools of counseling and psychology, Mr. Willis has held management positions in the Federal government with responsibility for a wide range of administrative activities.

Richard was born in Washington, D.C. From elementary through high school, he attended the DC public school system. As a child, his family attended an African Methodist Episcopal Church. When he was old enough to make some major decisions for himself, he decided to not attend church.

From childhood through his mid-thirties, Richard had no interest in Africa. Furthermore, he had no contact with Africans living in the United States. One day, while working at the Department of the Interior in DC, he suddenly began to think of Africa. At the time, he didn't know why this subject had come to his mind. Later, he came to realize that God had placed Africa on his heart.

One day, he was working late at Interior when Yaw Fobi walked into his office. Up to that point, they had a professional working relationship only. However, by the time the three-hour conversation ended, they had agreed to go to Ghana together. God's master plan was at work.

In 1993, Richard and Yaw Fobi, a Ghanaian and co-founder of Sankofa International, visited Ghana to look for money making opportunities. This was Richard's first time on African soil. When his feet first touched the soil, something went through his body like he had never experienced before. While he hadn't been to church in approximately twenty-five years, Richard was convinced that it was God Almighty who had touched him. Over a period of time, God gave him the vision to convert rural African villages into model villages.


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