Africa’s kind gesture to the United States after 9/11 that will never be forgotten

It was a global cry on the morning of Tuesday, September 11, 2001, when two hijacked passenger airliners crashed into the North and South towers of the World Trade Center complex in Lower Manhattan.

In less than two hours, the 110-story towers collapsed with the people in them killing over 2,000 people while two other planes crashed into the Pentagon and a field in Pennsylvania respectively.

Orchestrated by the terrorist group Al Qaeda, the United States and the world at large was drenched in grief and has and will never forget that eventful day that occurred 17 years ago today.

Among the victims were nationals of almost every country in the world including Africans from Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa and many others.

There were quick expressions of shock and sympathy from nations worldwide and Face2Face Africa highlights the most prominent reactions from African countries that gained global attention.


After hearing of the attacks from Kimeli Naiyomah, a student at Stanford University and a native who had returned home months after 9/11, the Maasai people in the Kenyan village of Enoosaen in the Narok County gave the United States 14 cows as a form of condolence.

The cows were handed over to William Brancick, the deputy chief of mission of the United States Embassy in Nairobi at the time. It took the embassy three years to decide on what to do with the cows, the New York Times reported.

The embassy kept the cows in the village and further gave a thank you gift on the 5th anniversary of 9/11. The gift includes scholarships for 14 boys and girls to go to local schools every year.


Ethiopians were reported to have offered national prayers in solidarity with the United States and for the lives of the victims of the deadly terror attack. The attack coincided with their New Year and they used the opportunity to pray for the victims.

South Africa

South African president Thabo Mbeki is reported to have halted all broadcasts after the attack in solidarity with the U.S. and offered an undisclosed financial support.

In Pretoria, children and parents were seen holding mini American flags in solidarity while firefighters flew red, white and blue flags.

Sierra Leone

Sierra Leoneans marched in the streets in a show of solidarity with the United States.

Egypt, Libya, Sudan

Leaders of these North African countries – Hosni Mubarak, Muammar Gaddafi and Omar al-Bashir – condemned the attacks while clerics described the attacks as “cowardly” and “un-Islamic”.

Gaddafi described the attacks as “horrifying” and urged Muslim aid groups to join international assistance efforts to the US, “regardless of political considerations or differences between America and the peoples of the world”.

“We shouldn’t jump to conclusions. My advice to the US is not to attack a country because of some small organisation. You have to find out who did it, but not punish innocent people,” advised Hosni Mubarak.


King Mohammed VI of Morocco condemned the attacks and senior government officials attended an interdenominational ceremony at the cathedral of Rabat.

This article written by Ismail Akwei was first published on

Published by Ismail Akwei

Ismail Akwei is an international journalist, digital media and communications professional, editor, writer, arts, culture and tourism advocate, human rights activist, pan-Africanist, tech enthusiast and history buff. He has worked with multinational media companies across Africa and has over a decade’s experience in journalism.

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