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African leaders and VIPs arrive at the White House

Mompati Merafhe, minister for foreign affairs of Botswana is greeted by U.S. Chief of Protocol Peter A. Selfridge (left) at the White House upon arrival for a dinner hosted by President Barack Obama for the U.S. Africa Leaders Summit. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)


Tonight more than 50 African leaders (plus their spouses and other VIPs in their retinue) will be feted at the White House in a non-official state dinner that will be heavy on the protocol. Peter Selfridge, the chief of protocol, will great each and every guest as they arrive at the North Portico.

[Read the full guest list here.]

“We strive to throw out the red carpet, both literally and figuratively, from their arrival point at the airport to the end of the summit. Just multiply everything by 50,” Selfridge told the Washington Post.

Follow more of the big dinner’s news here from Lionel Richie’s pseudo-African song lyrics to what 1600 Penn. will have on the menu.

More from The Reliable Source:

Lionel Richie will perform at the Africa ‘state dinner’ at the White House

A playlist in honor of this week’s Africa summit in D.C.

The first lady of Cameroon and her hair have touched down in D.C.

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Helena Andrews-Dyer is the co-author of The Reliable Source. Follow her on Twitter @helena_andrews, and send your hot tips, sightings, and gossip to



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Veronica Toney · August 5, 2014

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