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Award Winning Advocates and Authors Ignite a Call for Leadership

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Award Winning Advocates and Authors Ignite a Call for Leadership, Mentoring and Investment in Young People in a Dynamic Panel on Capitol Hill

  4(July 6, 2016, Washington, DC) -- The Honorable Bobby L. Rush served as the honorary host of an exemplary panel of women writers and advocates who had gathered to discuss mentoring, leadership, and the importance of investing in young people on Capitol Hill on Tuesday July 5, 2017.  The event titled “Unleashing Our Youth’s Potential” included Bershan Shaw, Author and Leadership and Business Coach from the Oprah Winfrey Network, Bishop Coletta Vaughn, Author from the Oxygen Network Preachers of Detroit and Fatherhood Initiative Advocate, Bishop Shirley Holloway, Author, and Anti-Poverty and Homelessness Advocate, Angelle Kwemo, Author, Managing Partner at Washington Media Group and of Believe In Africa, and the event was moderated by Mocha Ochoa Nana, Chief Strategist at the Oracle Group International.   Picture1Based on life lessons and proven strategies in mentoring and leadership, the panel served as the official launch of Ms. Kwemo’s debut book “Against All Odds: How to Stay on top of the Game”.  Foregoing a traditional book release, Angelle decided to instead convene a panel of accomplished mentors known for their exemplary work with young people to initiate a call to action and highlight the urgency of the need to invest and develop tomorrow’s leaders.  The panelists stressed the importance of encouraging millennials to be involved in the civic process and how they can affect change by engaging with policy makers who have the ability to create change. “The time is far spent and we are long overdue in mentoring tomorrows leaders on how to affect and create change”, says Ms. Kwemo “It is up to us to invest in the development of young people, and to be transparent with our successes and failures, so perhaps their journey to reaching their full potential will not take as much time as ours did.” 6The event, which was free and open to the public, took place at the Rayburn building in a packed room of government officials, community leaders, and students.  His Excellency Omar Arouna, Ambassador of the Republic of Benin, gave opening remarks, followed by Abiola Afolayan, Senior policy Advisor for the Congressional African staff Association, and then Luis Clavell, Program Manager and Immediate Past President of Blacks in Government, welcomed the audience to the session.  16 year old Fatima Shahbaz, Vice President of the “Speak Up” initiative quoted Kwemo in her speech, saying “competence has no race, no gender and no age”, and expressed her gratitude for the invitation to attend the event. The youngest speaker, 9 year old Leylah Simone Grimes from the Stop Bullying Club, closed the program by sharing her own personal story of how having a mentor inspired her to start the Anti-Bullying campaign that through a partnership with her Mayor will be replicated throughout her community. Omar Chinmoun (Embassy of Cameroon), Karim Soumana (Embassy of Niger), Steve Richer (Primapact), Bah-Pna Dahane Ndaba (Mandela representative), and many other leaders were in attendance. “Renew Inspire Serve and Empower (RISE)” Leadership initiative plans to create town halls across the country to encourage youth development.  For additional information, please contact Angelle Kwemo at                          

Angelle Kwemo Hails Africa 24 TV and Sekunjalo Investment Holdings’ Partnership

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Contact: Dorinda White Telephone: 202-403-2279 Cell: 202-491-3033 Email: Website: http/ Angelle Kwemo Hails Africa 24 TV and Sekunjalo Investment Holdings’ Partnership An Historic Deal Between Two Major English And French Language Media Enterprises on the African Continent. Washington DC- Angelle Kwemo, Co-Founder and Chair of Believe in Africa applauds Co-Founder of Believe in Africa, Constant Nemale, Founder of AFRICA24 Group, for signing an agreement with Sekunjalo Investment Holdings (SIH) one of the African continent’s major English-language media houses. Kwemo said “I commend both Africa 24 TV and Sekunjalo Investment Holdings for this partnership. This shows the power of vision and unity. Africa 24 TV was founded just 6 years ago and has grown to become the leading pan African French speaker media. This partnership has the capacity to close the language barriers between African viewers, showcasing Africa’s potential across countries and sectors. This is the model of pan African integration that Believe in Africa stands for.” “This is major step forward for two important media brands. AFRICA24 and Sekunjalo share a common vision and passion for the African continent,” said AFRICA 24 President and founder Constant Nemale. “This partnership will bridge the impasse that exists between English-speaking and French-speaking Africans. Each has a different story to share coming from different points of view. This partnership will give both English-speaking and Francophone Africans access to premium news.” The memorandum of understanding which was signed in Cape Town earlier this week will see the two companies strategically work together on a number of key projects, including: Sekunjalo supporting the growth, expansion and commercial development of the French-language AFRICA24 television channel and play a leading role in the establishment of an AFRICA24 English-language channel. The AFRICA24 group supporting the African News Agency (ANA), in which Sekunjalo is an initial investor, to secure multi-platform content syndication partners and subscribers on the African content and with its global networks. The AFRICA24 group partnering with the African News Agency (ANA) in recruiting, training and managing a network of correspondents on the continent. Sekunjalo and AFRICA24 co-operating on identifying and hosting events on the African continent. Sekunjalo and AFRICA24 providing content, distribution, marketing and sales support for its respective print publications and digital platforms and products. Sekunjalo’s Independent Media group has 19 quality newspapers across South Africa, the IOL online news platform and a magazine division. AFRICA24 started broadcasting exclusively in French in 2009 on the Canal Satellites Horizons network and the channel is also available in Africa on the StarSat bouquet, in France on networks such as SFR, Orange, Free, Bouygues, in French-speaking countries such as Belgium, Switzerland and Canada, as well as in the Middle East and North Africa on the Arabsat network. Dedicated to providing a high-quality 24-hour television channel for Africans by Africans, AFRICA24, based in Paris, is the world’s most-watched French-language African television news channel. It has offices in Senegal and in Equatorial Guinea, with correspondents in 15 African countries. It is Africa’s leading pan-African television news channel available in 33 predominantly Francophone African countries and is the world’s most-watched French-language African television news channel. It also produces the quarterly AFRICA24 Magazine, which caters to an upwardly mobile business audience, and is available 24/7 on live streaming at Watch the video: 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

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

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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

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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

African Diaspora And Civil Society Leaders Call For More Robust U.S. And Global Coordination On Ebola

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For Immediate Release: Tuesday, September 16, 2014 Contact: Dorinda White, 202.495.1054; African Diaspora And Civil Society Leaders Call For More Robust U.S. And Global Coordination On Ebola Washington, DC--Believe in Africa (BIA), an association of former U.S. government and African affairs staffers, convened a press conference on Thursday, September 11, 2014 on the Senate Lawn of the U.S. Capitol, with the Congressional African Staff Association, members of the diplomatic corps, and other signatories to a joint declaration that urges the United States and international community to meaningfully commit to a coordinated global Ebola response. Senate Chaplain Black began the press conference by offering a prayer for the West African nations and all the workers, volunteers and experts seeking to “to turn tragedy into triumph." Bishop Darlington Johnson, chair of the African Immigrant Caucus, a native of Liberia, who has lost several church members to the virus, stated "It is very important to us that whatever resources are available be mobilized to fight this thing quickly.” Angelle Kwemo, Founder of Believe in Africa, stated “Today the African continent is emerging, but the Ebola outbreak represents one of the biggest tests of our generation. It will take global solidarity, compassion, sacrifice, hard work, commitment and resiliency for Ebola to be defeated and Africa will move forward.” H.E. Omar Arouna, Ambassador of the Republic of Benin stated, “Benin is a transitive country, bordering Nigeria. It is therefore imperative that the spread be controlled before it become too late.” Believe In Africa (BIA) is an African diaspora-led non-profit organization founded by former U.S. congressional staffers, African diaspora leaders and friends of Africa in the U.S., to empower young Africans, harness the power of the African diaspora, educate policymakers and the public about African economic growth, and highlight the continent’s gradual rise in the global community. JOINT DECLARATION The West African Ebola epidemic began with an infant in Meliandou, Guinea in December 2013, but remained largely undetected until March 2014 when it began to spread across the region. As of September 2014, the virus has spread to Liberia, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, and Senegal, and the region has suffered from a lack of a coordinated response to end this global health emergency. The West African epidemic is the deadliest Ebola outbreak since the discovery of the virus in 1976 in two simultaneous outbreaks in Sudan and Zaire (now Democratic Republic of Congo). The strain active in this epidemic, the Zaire Ebola virus, has the highest mortality rate of 50-90 percent. As of August 26, 2014, the World Health Organization reported a total of 3,069 cases and 1552 deaths (1752 cases and 897 deaths being laboratory confirmed). The World Health Organization warns that 20,000 people could be infected before it is brought under control. The West African Ebola epidemic is a serious global security issue and requires a strengthened, more coordinated global response. The World Health Organization estimates more than $600 million will be needed to contain the epidemic and much more will be required to bring lasting recovery to the region. In recognition of the severe impact this virus has had on West Africa, members of the international community have escalated their commitments to and shown solidarity with affected communities. We stand in solidarity with African leaders, governments and citizenries that are fighting hard against Ebola and assure them that we are working diligently to mobilize support from all stakeholders to swiftly end the threat of Ebola. We applaud those local first responders, medical personnel, and international health workers who have selflessly risked their lives and committed their time, hearts, and resources to aid their neighbors during this global health emergency. We applaud the Obama Administration for appointing a senior level government official to oversee, manage and coordinate the United States' whole-of-government response to this Ebola outbreak. We applaud the House Appropriations Committee for including $58 million and $30 million for Ebola research and response through the United States Department of Health and Human Services and Centers for Disease Control, respectively, within H.J. Res. 124, the 2015 Continuing Appropriations Resolution. We applaud the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on African Affairs Chairman and Ranking Member Chris Coons and Jeff Flake, Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman and Ranking Member Robert Menendez and Bob Corker, and Senator Richard Durbin for introducing a bipartisan resolution to recognize the severe threat posed by the Ebola outbreak in West Africa to populations, governments, and economies across Africa and, if not properly contained, to regions across Africa. We applaud the House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations Chairman Christopher Smith for introducing a HR 4847, legislation to facilitate effective research on and treatment of Neglected Tropical Diseases through coordinated domestic and international efforts. We applaud the House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations Ranking Member Karen Bass and other members of Congress for introducing a bipartisan resolution in the United States Congress declaring the outbreak of Ebola in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia the largest recorded outbreak of the disease and calling on the U.S. to work with international health organizations to stem the tide of the epidemic. We applaud the United States Agency for International Development for committing nearly $100 million in aid to help West Africa treat and stem the tide of Ebola. We applaud the United States Department of Defense for the logistical and medical support it has provided and will increase providing in West Africa to aid international health workers. We applaud the World Bank for its commitment of $230 million to help Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone to contain the proliferation of the virus, mitigate the economic impact of the epidemic, and improve public health systems throughout West Africa. We applaud the other multilateral commitments of the responsible community of nations, including the World Health Organization for creating a $100 million Ebola response plan and devising a workable roadmap to coordinate global efforts, the African Development Bank for committing $210 million and providing $50 million in grants, and the European Union for committing €140.9 million. We applaud the government of Ghana for allowing Kotoka International Airport in Accra to serve as an air bridge for medical response, allowing large aircraft from all over the world to land and smaller planes to shuttle personnel and supplies in and out of areas of need in the region. We applaud private donors like the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, 3M, Ecolab, Ecobank, Coca-Cola, UPS, the Dangote Foundation, the Tony Elumelu Foundation, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for committing resources to affected countries, conducting research for a cure, and calling upon other private sectors leaders to do the same. We applaud and support repeated calls for solidarity made by African leaders like former President Olusegun Obasanjo, former First Lady Graca Machel, Bineta Diop, and others to lift the flight embargo on affected countries, for African civil society to appoint an ECOWAS special envoy on Ebola, and for neighboring countries to commit to a robust regional response. We believe Africa’s economies are on the rise and can capably and committedly shoulder this challenge. We believe Africa’s future depends on the commitment of its people and their ability to sustain the social and economic progress registered in recent years. We believe the public and private sector, African civil society, and the United States together with the international community should prioritize assistance in maintaining Africa’s economic growth as a global security imperative. We believe a more aggressive and coordinated effort must to be undertaken by all international stakeholders to combat, eradicate, treat and prevent this deadly disease wherever it occurs. Therefore, be it resolved that: We urge the United States Congress to urgently pass pending legislation to combat Ebola. We urge the African diaspora in the United States, friends of Africa, the United Nations and other multilateral agencies missing in the response, United States government officials and Members of Congress, the private sector, the media, all civil society, and prominent figures, artists, athletes, and entertainers to join forces and:  actively take part in public information and education campaigns on prevention and transmission of the Ebola virus;  help provide humanitarian relief to the affected countries, including funding, food, nutrition, medical supplies, and medical workers;  ensure the immediate and unfettered flow of humanitarian assistance into West Africa;  fund, facilitate and make immediately available access to all known methods of prevention and treatment of this serious threat to our global security. Signatures Ambassador Diane Watson Former Member of Congress Ambassador Robin R. Sanders, FEEEDS Angelle Kwemo Founder & Chair, Believe in Africa Bishop Darlington Johnson Nii Akuetteh African Immigrant Caucus Darius Mans President & CEO, Africare Melvin Foote President & CEO Constituency For Africa Bernadette Paolo President & CEO The Africa Society Summit on Africa Serge Yondou, PhD, MBA Report Writer Africa Center for Strategic Studies Paula Federici President, IDGE Global LLC Jeannette Kah Le Guil Maison d’Oeuvres pour le Développement Economique et du Leadership pour la Côte d’Ivoire MODELCI Marcia L Dyson CEO and Founder Women's Global Initiative Pius Kamau MD President, AAHEP and CADUS James C. Deutsch, PhD Vice President, Conservation Strategy Director of the Wildlife Conservation Society's Africa Program Wildlife Conservation Society Serge Doh Humani Coeur Bradford E. Brown Ph.D. First Vice President Miami Dade NAACP-consultant Steve B. Richer Richer Advisors Patricia F. Ware President & CEO The Ware Development Group, Inc. Jacob Foko Executive Director Global Humanitarian Photojournalists