Women Leadership and Hillary Clinton: Competence has no gender, no race and no religion

By | News | No Comments
SecStateClintonMeetsPresidentLiberiaruhWNBqCYL6l Last Friday, history was made. The first female nominee of a major party gracefully accepted her nomination. Hillary Clinton is a symbol of the progressive revolution taking place in America. Americans have finally begun to accept that women can lead this great nation just as well as men can. President Obama and Bill Clinton both asserted that she is more capable than them to take the presidential seat and her long list of accomplishments stand as testament. Her determination, wit, and willingness to compromise pushed her to excel in her many political positions and they will ensure her success as the next president of the United States. After all, what person can sit through an 11 hour long hearing, in which his/her character is torn apart, without flinching? Her competence and intelligence can be witnessed even before the presidential election. She graciously offered to work alongside Bernie Sanders to formulate the most progressive agenda that the United States has seen. This move is her way to bring the party together and that is true leadership. In a similar fashion, we can count on Hillary Clinton to reach across the aisle and bridge the gap between the country’s two political parties. Is cooperation foundational to womanhood? Her actions indicate that it is. Is cooperation an essential trait to leadership? It most definitely is, to ensure that the country progresses. Hillary Clinton stands as an example to the nation of the abilities and fresh perspective that female leadership can provide. By breaking the ultimate glass ceiling, she sets precedence for her fellow sisters throughout America.
EW4H State Co-chair, Angelle Kwemo, with Secretary of Commerce, Penny Pritzker. At the Democratic Convention
EW4H State Co-chair, Angelle Kwemo, with Secretary of Commerce, Penny Pritzker. At the Democratic Convention
Women should not be treated as a special interest group as they compromise 50% of the population. Women should have an equal say in how we are governed. The right to vote is not the end of the battle. Adequate representation in government is the pinnacle of equality and after 44 presidents it is time that we have someone to represent the other 50% of the population. Many nations that are often presented as “third-world” and lacking in gender equality have seen it fit to elect a female leader that fights for equal opportunity for all. The one continent which has faced extreme criticism from the Western world for its gender inequality has taught the West tremendously about female empowerment. Africa has chosen to elect four women presidents and appointed prime ministers to lead their respective nations to success. These “patriarchal” societies have had no qualms about taking that initiative and it has shown with the exponential growth of all socioeconomic aspects of African life. President Joyce Hilda Banda of Malawi, President Agnes Monique Ohsan Bellepeau of Mauritius, and President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia and Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, as chairperson of the African Union Commission, all represent the great strides that the continent has taken in recognizing the value and leadership skills of women. It is time that we learn something from Africa.
Nancy Pelosi, Minority Leader of the US House of Representatives and former Speaker of Congress with Angelle Kwemo at the Democratic Party Convention
Nancy Pelosi, Minority Leader of the US House of Representatives and former Speaker of Congress with Angelle Kwemo at the Democratic Party Convention
We need to stand beside, support, and inspire each other in the sisterhood.  As professional women, we can relate to her struggle to defy the odds. If women do not speak up for one another, then who will? Of course, Hillary Clinton’s status as a female is a major out of many reasons why women will vote for her because it is guaranteed that she will fight for women’s rights. Hillary Clinton is the only one in this presidential race that can ensure that women’s rights are human rights as she did relentlessly in the past. More importantly she is equipped, prepared and skilled to lead America to a yet greater future. Competence has no gender, no race and no religion my friends. Believe in Africa (BIA) is an African diaspora-led initiative founded by former U.S. congressional staffers and African leaders in the U.S., to empower young Africans, promote the role of the African private sector, harness the power of the African diaspora, educate policy makers and the public about African economic growth and highlight the continent’s gradual rise in the global community. *Angelle Kwemo is CEO of Believe in Africa Foundation,Co Chair of Executive Women for Hillary, DMV Chapter,and author of a new book Against All Odds

Are Africa’s Wealthiest Doing Enough To Help The Continent?

By | Blog, In The News, News | No Comments
Africa's richest give an estimated US$7bn every year to charity, says a 2014 report by the African Grantmakers Network; but the figures also hint that giving is unbalanced among those who can afford to make a difference.

Read the original article here : Are Africa's Wealthiest Doing Enough To Help The Continent?

Diaspora : Angelle Kwemo, ex-“Madame Afrique” du Congrès américain

By | News | No Comments
"J'ai plus appris sur l'Afrique durant mes années à Washington qu'à Douala", dit celle qui s'est donnée corps et âme pour rapprocher les États-Unis de l'Afrique. Angelle Kwemo lors d'une présentation aux États-Unis Femme d'affaires, stratège, activiste de la cause des jeunes et des femmes, mais surtout défenseur de la participation des Africains dans les plateformes de décisions internationales, Angelle Kwemo multiple les casquettes. À 48 ans, après avoir été la « Madame Afrique » de Capitol Hill pendant plus de sept ans, elle décide de mettre un terme à sa carrière dans le public et crée son entreprise : A StrategiK Group. Elle ne change pas pour autant et continue de poser des ponts entre l'Afrique et les États-Unis. De fait, elle conseille les entreprises américaines qui souhaiteraient s'installer sur le continent, ainsi que les décideurs africains intéressés par les États-Unis. Les premiers pas d'un parcours d'exception Angelle Kwemo commence sa carrière de façon plutôt classique, en allant étudier puis travailler en France. En 1996, elle rentre au pays et officie successivement pour les succursales camerounaises de deux groupes français spécialisés dans la logistique, Bolloré et Géodis. Mais cela ne lui suffit pas. En 2001, elle décide de reprendre ses études et s'envole pour les États-Unis. Onze ans plus tard, la voilà naturalisée américaine, une consécration méritée à la suite d'une carrière passée à rapprocher le continent africain de la première puissance mondiale. Une Camerounaise au Congrès « Quand je suis arrivée aux USA, les gens connaissaient mal l'Afrique. Ils ne la regardaient pas comme je la regardais, moi qui suis africaine. C'est normal, les politiques répondent à l'opinion publique, et, à l'époque, l'Américain moyen ne voyait pas encore l'intérêt que pouvait représenter le continent », explique celle qui a participé à changer cette perception. « J'ai donc dû faire un travail de fourmi. J'ai participé à tellement de réunions de mobilisation, à l'organisation de tellement de hearing au sein du Congrès ; j'ai poussé, répété l'intérêt de placer le continent dans l'agenda de la politique commerciale US… » se souvient-elle. Un travail pédagogique de longue haleine qui a fini par porter ses fruits. Conseillère législative du puissant Congressman Bobby Rush, à la tête du comité sur l'énergie et le commerce, elle a œuvré sans relâche à l'amélioration des relations économiques entre les USA et l'Afrique, et notamment sur la politique d'export américaine en direction du continent. Mais son vrai rôle s'est joué dans les coulisses. Un travail public, mais aussi en coulisses Cheville ouvrière de la loi sur le commerce US-Afrique, Angelle a multiplié les actions de sensibilisation au sein de l'organe législatif américain. Elle a coordonné l'« African Partnership for Economic Growth Caucus », un groupe parlementaire défendant le décollage économique africain, et créé le « Congressional African Staff Association » au sein de laquelle elle a sensibilisé ses collègues aux opportunités de l'Afrique. Une méthode qui a réussi puisque l'investissement en Afrique est devenu une pièce centrale de la politique américaine. « Depuis deux ans, je perçois un changement. Je peux dire avec fierté que j'ai participé à faire évoluer la vision des Américains sur l'Afrique », dit-elle, non sans fierté. « J'ai plus appris sur l'Afrique au Congrès, qu'en étant au Cameroun. À Washington, j'ai compris que l'Afrique était complexe et diversifiée. J'ai maintenant un regard beaucoup plus panafricain qu'avant. » Afrocapitalisme sans frontières Désormais, elle consacre son temps entre Washington, Douala et Lagos à développer son entreprise, même si elle n'oublie pas de continuer sa mission de sensibilisation à travers son organisation « Believe in Africa » qui vient d'ouvrir un bureau à Paris. Le Nigeria est son cœur de cible business parce que, comme elle aime à le décrire, ce pays a un secteur privé très vibrant et entre les mains des locaux. « Je suis une ardente partisane du secteur privé. Les échanges commerciaux ne sont désormais plus dirigés par les gouvernements mais par les entreprises. Les secteurs privés ont un énorme rôle à jouer dans le développement économique du continent ! » Un atout de taille : sa double culture africaine et américaine « Je peux vivre un mois sur le terrain africain, je suis chez moi, ce que ne pourrait pas faire quelqu'un qui ne connaît pas la culture locale. Inversement, je connais également les forces et les faiblesses des entrepreneurs africains par rapport aux normes américaines puisque je suis bien au fait des standards américains », détaille celle qui affiche ses deux appartenances avec fierté. Sa double culture lui permet d'être une observatrice aguerrie de la relation commerciale de deux rives de l'Atlantique. « Les gens n'avaient pas vu le potentiel du secteur privé africain. Il a fallu que deux géants comme l'Afrique du Sud et le Nigeria émergent pour qu'enfin l'on se rende compte du potentiel du continent et que l'on veuille bien y participer. » L'ancienne habituée des couloirs du Congrès regrette cependant que tout soit politisé dans le district de Columbia. « L'Afrique est utilisée à des fins de politique politicienne. Tout ce que fait Barack Obama, même son déplacement récent en Afrique de l'Est, a été critiqué. Alors que sur l'Afrique en général les deux partis [Républicains et Démocrates] sont d'accord, que l'on parle de paludisme ou de sida, ou de l'intérêt économique de l'Afrique. » De l'autre côté, elle regrette également de voir le climat des affaires des pays d'Afrique francophone ne pas prendre son envol faute de ne pas être assez libéralisé. Un success-story, oui, des leçons aussi De ses expériences extraordinaires, Angelle Kwemo a tiré un livre, à paraître fin 2015. De quoi parlera-t-il ? « De mes plus gros challenges et handicaps, du fait que je sois une femme de couleur, du fait que, sur le continent, on ne fasse pas encore confiance aux femmes comme on le fait aux hommes. Malgré mon parcours, j'ai parfois l'impression que l'on serait plus assuré si la même présentation était faite par un homme blanc », déclare-t-elle avec une pointe de tristesse dans la voix. Ce livre sera un peu sa façon à elle de partager son expérience avec des jeunes qui voient grand. Elle y parlera de la double discrimination de la femme noire, « plus violente en Afrique qu'aux États-Unis ». En somme, du parcours et de la success-story d'une Camerounaise devenue leader africaine-américaine avec comme dessein principal de rapprocher les États-Unis de l'Afrique. Read the original article here : Diaspora : Angelle Kwemo, ex-"Madame Afrique" du Congrès américain

U.S. Embassy Hosts Women’s Business Seminar

By | Blog, In The News, News | No Comments
On June 9, the U.S Embassy in Yaounde hosted a women’s entrepreneurship seminar led by U.S. Speaker Ms. Angelle Kwemo, who is a Cameroonian American entrepreneur. The program was attended by 50 women from microfinance institutions, faith-based associations, and U.S. government exchange program participants, including from the Africa Women’s Entrepreneurship Program (AWEP) and International Visitors Leadership Program (IVLP). Organized by Cultural Affairs Specialist Gladys Viban, the seminar welcomed the exchange of ideas between Cameroonian women entrepreneurs, and expanded their networks to promote partnerships for economic development. Welcoming the guests, Public Affairs Officer Roberto Quiroz II lauded their achievements and noted: “As Ambassador Michael S. Hoza has said, promoting the empowerment of women and girls, and welcoming their immense talents and contributions in all sectors, are essential to promote development in every nation. You exemplify that spirit by investing your energies and talents towards expanding private sector growth here in Cameroon, and greater job opportunities for your fellow citizens. Your work demonstrates that to promote the goals of ‘Vision 2035,’ citizens must contribute to Cameroon today. Angelle Kwemo’s story is similar to yours. As a native of Cameroon, she shares your passion to promote women’s entrepreneurship.” Ms. Viban introduced AWEP alumna Mrs. Josiane Mbakop, CEO of the microfinance MUDEF, who shared her experiences and lessons learned during the program in 2014. “Thanks to the economic principles we learned, we reduced the rate of credit default in our microfinance institute by 10%. African women now have tremendous opportunities to advance and we are fortunate to establish networks to mentor and help one another as well as young women interested in entrepreneurship as a career to contribute to their communities and to Cameroon,” she said. Ms. Angelle Kwemo lauded the group for their experience and openness to share their knowledge with Cameroonian women. Underscoring the immense opportunities for women to increase their leadership roles in enterprises, she urged them to overcome failures and face risks until they succeed: “Study after study has shown that the economic empowerment of women leads to poverty alleviation. Yet the business potential of women is far from being fully realized. Women entrepreneurs can improve their chances of success by networking, improving business skills, recruiting a mentor, and seeking greater access to capital.” Participants exchanged ideas on how to promote business growth and product exports from Cameroon to international markets. The event was closed by Cultural Affairs Specialist Gladys Viban, who encouraged each woman present to “light up the candles of the many women who were not present here at the seminar, and who will see in you an example to follow. Take advantage of all of the opportunities offered by the networks you have established, and from the U.S. Embassy through the programs we organize. Alone you can achieve something, but together we can achieve greater things.” Ms. Kwemo is the founder and chair of “Believe in Africa,” an African diaspora-led initiative founded by former U.S. congressional staffers and African-American leaders in the United States to empower young Africans, promote the role of the African private sector, harness the power of the African diaspora, educate policy makers and the public about African economic growth, and highlight the continent’s gradual rise in the global community. Ms. Kwemo is also the President & CEO of Astrategik Group, LLC. is a U.S./Africa based global consulting firm specializing in the provision of strategic advice to multi-dimensional entities, allowing them to effectively compete globally, and at the same time building in-roads into the US, Africa and other emerging markets. A native of Cameroon, Ms. Kwemo started her career in France at Bestaux Law firm. In Douala, Cameron, she served as the Chief of the Maritime Claims and Disputes Department, and later as the General Counsel for Bollore Technology Group and Geodis Overseas. Read the original article on Facebook : U.S. Embassy Hosts Women’s Business Seminar  

Elumelu Foundation selects inaugural 1,000 African entrepreneurs for $100m programme

By | Blog, In The News, News, Press Releases | No Comments
By Press Release The Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) is pleased to announce the selection of the first 1,000 African entrepreneurs for the Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Programme (TEEP). TEEP is a $100 million initiative to discover and support 10,000 African entrepreneurs over the next decade, with a target of creating one million new jobs and $10 billion in additional revenues in the process. Over 20,000 African entrepreneurs from 52 countries applied to the programme, representing the creativity and potential on display across the continent. The initial 1,000 selected for the 2015 class are a remarkable group of entrepreneurs who are a testament to the ability of Africa’s own entrepreneurs to drive Africa’s growth and development. Speaking on the desired impact of the programme, Founder, Mr. Tony O. Elumelu, CON, commented: “The selection of these 1000 entrepreneurs brings us closer to our ultimate goal - to drive Africa’s economic and social transformation from within and to radically intensify job creation in Africa. Though I have never met or spoken to any of the winners, I am confident that due to the rigorous criteria and selection process, these entrepreneurs are Africa’s hope for the future. I will continue to invest my experience, time, influence, and resources to see them succeed. I am embarking on this journey with these entrepreneurs hopeful and inspired.” The winners represent 52 African countries and territories, as well as a multitude of value adding sectors ranging from agriculture to education to fashion and ICT. The top five countries in terms of numbers of winners are Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda, South Africa and Ghana. All five African regions – North, East, Southern, Central and West Africa are represented, as well as all major language blocs – Anglophone, Francophone, Lusophone, and Arabic Africa. More than anything else, they epitomise the opportunity and promise of Africa. The Tony Elumelu Foundation appointed Accenture as an independent review consultant to thoroughly evaluate each application based on selection criteria approved by the TEEP Selection Committee. Following Accenture’s independent review, a meeting of the TEEP Selection Committee, made up of successful entrepreneurs and development experts from across Africa, was held today in Lagos to approve the final list of winners. The 1000 selected entrepreneurs will continue through the programme cycle over the next nine months. This cycle includes an intensive online training curriculum, mentoring, and participation in a two-day entrepreneurship boot-camp and the Elumelu Entrepreneurship Forum. The over 19,000 entrepreneurs who were not selected will be invited to join the Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Network where they will be able to further hone their entrepreneurial knowledge and skills. Parminder Vir OBE, Director of Entrepreneurship at the Tony Elumelu Foundation, said: “The high quantity and quality of applicants we have received is testament to the brilliant ideas and incredible talent that exists in abundance across Africa. The Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Programme will give structure and support to these African entrepreneurs to develop themselves and to grow their businesses. Through TEEP, the ripple effects of the long-term investments in a new generation of Africapitalists will be felt throughout the continent.” Read the original article here : Elumelu Foundation selects inaugural 1,000 African entrepreneurs for $100m programme

Angelle B. Kwemo Joins The Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Program (TEEP) Selection Committee

By | News, Press Releases | No Comments
Contact: Dorinda White Telephone: 202-403-2279 Cell: 202-491-3033 Email: Website: http/ BIA picture TEEP From L-R : Nimi Akinkugbe; Ambassador Jendayi Frazier ; Dr. Wiebe Boer, Parminder Vir OBE; Chairman Tony O. Elumelu, C.O.N ; Angelle Kwemo ; Mr. Ayodeji Adewunmi and Ambassador Josephina Washima. New Program Set To Empower the Next Generation of Africa’s Entrepreneurs: (Washington, D.C.)- Angelle B. Kwemo, Founder & Chair, Believe in Africa (BIA) and Managing Director & CEO, Rimsom Strategies, Ltd., has been appointed to serve as one of ten members of the Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Program (TEEP) Selection Committee. TEEP is a multi-year program of training, funding, and mentoring, designed to empower the next generation of African entrepreneurs. It is the first initiative of its kind to be launched by an African philanthropic organisation and the $100 million commitment by Founder, Tony O. Elumelu, C.O.N, makes it the largest African sourced philanthropic gift, targeting the entrepreneurial space. Program participants will learn to grow their businesses through skills training, mentoring, access to seed capital funding, information and membership in an Africa-wide alumni network. TEEP aims to create businesses that can generate at least 1,000,000 new jobs and contribute at least $10 billion in new annual revenue across Africa. “I applaud Tony O. Elumelu for his vision in creating this historical initiative. Like him, we believe in Africa, we believe in the potential of African entrepreneurs and we know the impact they can have on the long-term economic transformation of Africa’s economies,” said Angelle Kwemo, Founder & Chair, BIA. “By democratizing access to opportunity, with an emphasis on tapping into the talent of Africa’s young people, this program strives to ‘institutionalize luck,’ is a key factor in the success of any entrepreneur. This is in line with Believe in Africa’s fundamental principles— Believing, Inspiring and Acting,” added Kwemo. “Africa's biggest asset is not only its natural resources, but more importantly, its human potential. It is time to harvest it. It is going to be challenging to select program participants from a legion of bright, innovative and commercially viable projects. But I stand ready and committed to the task." "We are happy that Ms. Kwemo is now a member of the selection committee, as she is passionate about empowering the next generation of African leaders. Africa's future depends on Africans,” said Constant Nemale, co-founder of Believe in Africa and Chair of Africa24 TV. “Africa24 TV is committed to supporting African initiatives that will have an impact on Africa’s long-term economic growth. Our entrepreneurs are looking for investments and partnership opportunities, not just handouts and this is what the TEEP will provide.” “With the world fastest growing youth population, reaching nearly 200 million and expected to double by 2045, efforts to create jobs in the continent is a priority,” said Pape Samp, Chairman of the Global Youth Innovation Network (GYIN). “Africa needs an innovative entrepreneurship development program such as TEEP to address youth unemployment, provide start-up capital, and sustain businesses.” To learn more about the TEEP and to apply, please visit Believe in Africa (BIA) is an African diaspora-led initiative founded by former U.S. congressional staffers and African leaders in the U.S., to empower young Africans, promote the role of the African private sector, harness the power of the African diaspora, educate policy makers and the public about African economic growth and highlight the continent’s gradual rise in the global community. To learn more about BIA visit