Topic

Events

Tags

Sorry there are no tags yet

2015 Young African Leadership Symposium

2015 Young African Leadership Symposium
Transforming Africa Through Partnerships:

Public-Private Partnerships, African-African Diaspora Partnerships

November 6-7, 2015 CUNY John Jay, 524 W. 59th St., NY, NY 10019


Speakers’ Profile


Host/MC:

speaker 1

Omon Okor is a Nigerian born entrepreneur and founder of Africa Connect, an online media publication enterprise based in New York City. Omon was born in the village of Uromi, Edo State, Nigeria and educated in Nigeria. Arriving in the United States with nothing, she has made it her mission to heighten awareness of cruel and devastating conditions with poverty, lack of education, discrimination and FGM (Female Genital Mutilation) for women and children in Africa. Omon’s survival can only be attributed to her deep religious faith and an incredible strength to rebound from utter despair. She draws on her personal life experiences to spread a message of Hope and Inspiration to Empower and Connect with women and young girls around the world.

Africa Connect provides a “Voice” while uniting the two continents America /Africa (the Black world) for those living in the shadows and ensuring that their “Voice” are not lost or extinguished also by celebrating the black Culture, Empowering Women, Young Girls, and Inspiring Change.

Africa Connect was the media brand behind the Barber Shop Conference at the United Nations a platform that bridges men together for the cause of Violence against women and 50/50 year 2030. Africa Connect is an online platform that provide on camera interviews and exclusive coverage regarding Africans in the Diaspora and home, on news, politics, social issues, fashion and entertainment which provides a message of hope to motivate and encourage young viewers.

Omon has interviewed; Florence Dennis advocate for the Hope Mission School in Liberia, Sylvester Diggs internationally acclaimed Child and Youth Activist and Human Rights Defender, Alfre Woodard actress and activist, Phumzile Mlambo Ngcuka Executive Director of UN Women, Michael Blake former aide to President Obama, Ambassador of Nigeria to the UN Joy Ogwu, First lady of Guinea Diene Conde, First Lady of Burkina Faso Chantal Compare, Actor and Activist Jeffrey Wright. She has also attended ground-breaking events in Washington including Obama’s US-African Summit, and many others. Omon hosted the 2014 Seminar Press Conference on Rwandan Genocide Survivor, United Nations General Assembly.

Africa Connect Online mission is to Raise Awareness to the global oppression against women and children in Africa.


Keynote Speakers:

speaker 2

MacDella Cooper: Born in Monrovia, Liberia in the late 1970s, MacDella Cooper was one of the thousands of refugees who fled Liberia after the eruption of a civil war in 1990. After leaving the war-torn Liberia and residing in Ivory Coast, at the age of 16, Ms. Cooper and her two older brothers landed in the embattled streets of Newark, New Jersey where Cooper attended Barringer High School. Graduating 3rd in a class of 1,200 students, Ms. Cooper received a full academic scholarship to The College of New Jersey, despite her rough past and hard road.

Prior to founding MCF in 2004, Ms. Cooper was the Marketing and Events Coordinator for Jones Apparel Group, where she alongside the Creative Services team developed comprehensive marketing strategies for the Ralph Lauren, Anne Klein, Jones New York and several other fashion brands including Eredi Pisano and Duca Sartoria. She also directed the marketing and event planning initiatives for the New York Independent Film and Music Festival.

Today MacDella Cooper is known as “Liberia’s Angel” for starting the MacDella Cooper Foundation, a non-for-profit charity that provides educational opportunities and basic necessities for abandoned children in Liberia. In 2010, Cooper opened the MCF Academy, a boarding school for orphans in Liberia. The MCF Academy is the first tuition-free boarding school that houses up to 200 students. The Academy provides a better quality of living in an environment that is safe, secure and conductive for learning. Ms. Cooper hopes the Academy will raise future leaders who take pride in their nation and themselves.

Thanks to her extensive business, political and diplomatic relationships all over the world, Ms. Cooper sits on the Board of Directors for several charities including the Segal Family Foundation and Red Cross Tiffany Circle. She has received several awards for her philanthropic efforts including The College of New Jersey Humanitarian Award, The Victor E. Ward Community Service Award, The Momentum Women’s Award, The Spirit of Friskies Award, and The Archbishop of Michael K. Francis Achievement Awards.

Ms. Cooper currently lives in Manhattan with her partner, Thomas, and two children, Ella and Mateo. In addition to founding the MCF Academy, Ms. Cooper is partaking in multiple motivational speaking appearances to share her story and influence people who are going through a hard time in life to turn around and shape it into something meaningful.


speaker 3

Bisila Bokoko is an award-winning businesswoman, speaker and philanthropist based in NYC. For 7 years, Bokoko held the position of Executive Director of the Spain-US Chamber of Commerce. There, she worked closely with leading Spanish brands including ZARA before launching her consulting firm, BBES in 2012.

Bokoko's efforts have won her widespread recognition and led to dynamic involvement in EMPRETEC, a United Nations programme that supports up and coming entrepreneurs. Ms Bokoko fronted the women’s scheme and actively worked with female entrepreneurs in their efforts to launch hard hitting businesses. Through BBALP, her non-profit organization, Bisila is committed to building libraries across Africa - with current presence in Ghana, Kenya, Zimbabwe and Uganda. Bisila Bokoko has been featured in Forbes, Entrepreneur magazine, Harper's Bazaar and Bloomberg TV.

Town Hall: An Inter-generational Conversation on Assimilation vs. Acculturation

According to the United States Census Bureau, the population of African immigrants in the United States doubled in every decade from approximately 80,000 in 1970 to approximately 1.6 million from 2008 to 2012. Consisting of only 4 percent of the foreign-born population, African immigrants tend to have higher levels of educational achievement than the overall immigrant population. Currently, 41 percent of African immigrants have a bachelor’s degree or higher compared with 28 percent of other immigrant groups. However, regardless of their educational achievement, immigrants often have to confront questions regarding their identity. At the heart of this question lies the assimilation versus acculturation debate. Social scientists define assimilation as allowing one's original culture to be overridden by the dominant culture whereas acculturation is acquiring the capability to function within a dominant culture while retaining one's original culture. In this panel, the elders and youth will address questions of whether the African community in the U.S. must choose between assimilation or acculturation and what are the consequences of choosing one or the other.


Moderators:

speaker 4

Bobby Digi, social entrepreneur, founder, community organizer, educator, and lecturer has devoted his life to strengthening and building community on a local and global scale. Born in Brooklyn, New York to parents of Nigerian descent and raised in the multi-ethnic Clifton section of Staten Island, Bobby has always been inspired by the desire to bring people of diverse backgrounds together to discover solutions to the most challenging issues of our time. Bobby leads by example and utilizes his educational and professional opportunities to give back to the community and to inspire the next generation of leaders.


Panelist:

speaker 5

Felix Quayson is a healthcare professional, researcher, Scholar-Practitioner, Professor, and the nominee for the Nassau County Legislator, 3rd Legislative District, NY. Felix teach at the School of Graduate & Professional Studies, Master of Healthcare Administration Program at Washington Adventist University, Takoma Park, MD. Felix is an executive board member at Kingdom Goals, Inc in Florida and Timoun Gwa Foundation in Brooklyn, NY".


Hajia Ramatu Ahmed is a trusted leader. A highly motivated community leader with a clear vision for Africa and the African community in New York. She has been active since the beginning of her days in Africa. She continued her community work in America, starting from Santa Barbara California to New York City. Advocating for improve social and health services, on immigration issues, housing, school education and refers community members for services.

Ramatu participated in the New York City Mayor’s Fellowship for Immigrant Women Leaders, 2015. She is now a member of the Women's Cabinet, serving as an Advisory Board Member to the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs (MOIA) to ensure that policies, programs, and initiatives benefit the community.

She devotes much attention on youth to guide them access social services they might need. Ramatu has an amazing ability working comfortably with Africans from all backgrounds. Moreover, her rich cross-cultural approach has enable her to constructively work with diverse communities of New York City. She holds a diploma from the Pan African Institute for Development in Cameroon and a certificate program in Entrepreneurship from Ahmadabad, India.

Her years of experience in community development prompted her to create the African Life Center in the Bronx, seeking to serve the African community. She hopes one day the African community will have a center to call home and take advantage of the opportunities available to the people of New York.

She is known for her activism fighting for social justice. She has received several recognitions for her community engagements and public service from elected officials and others. She strongly believes that the younger generations deserve better future, willing to use her rich experience and skills to help the youth reach their full potentials. And more importantly, she believes the youth should be in control of their lives and be actively engage in the struggle for social change. She is passionate in promoting human dignity, particularly for women and children.

She played a key role in the establishment of the Medina clinic within Harlem hospital for the underserved Muslim/African communitee. She was actively involve with the intervention process of the Ebola outbreak with the Department of Health.

She is on the New York University- School of Medicine-Men’s Initiative Health Advisory Committee. Ramatu consults with the New York University School of Medicine -MARHABA, Project- A medical Research on Moslem Americans Reaching for Health and Building Alliance”, Research work studying Moslem women on breast and cervical cancer.

She is a co- author of: Publications: Kaplan SA, Ahmed R, Musah A. “When you walk in the rain, you get wet”: A Qualitative Study of Ghanaian Immigrants’ Perspective on the Epidemiological Paradox. J Immigrant Minority Health. 2013 July 24. PMID: 23881531.

Ramatu was invited to join the Community Learning Schools Advisory Board in the Bronx. She is the past Deputy Executive Secretary General of the Ghanaian  Associations in New York- A past secretary to the board of the National Council of Women of the United States, with ECOSOC status,at the United Nations. She is a member of community board four, currently, the chair of the African Leadership Council, of the Bronx Council Woman Vanessa Gibson.

Ramatu is leading this initiative with the Department of Minority Health Resource Center in Washington, in collaboration with African Life Center are organizing the third US. African Health Conference 2016 in New York City. In Ghana she was involved in the preparatory and post stages of the Fourth World Conference on Women, held in Beijing. She was amongst the women identified to speak about Beijing conference on the National TV. This year 2015 as a follow up on Beijing Plus 20, Ramatu organized the African Women’s Day Celebration to honor women.

While in Ghana Ramatu was selected to participate in the United States Visitors Program to understudy American women's involvement in politics. During the program she was made an honorary citizen of Kentucky.


speaker 7

Nayaba Arinde was a reporter, editor and radio host and producer in England before she came to America; and pursued her career as a journalist based in New York. Nayaba has won multiple professional national and community awards; and she has also worked as a radio host and producer in both parts of the world from the BBC in England to WBAI and WLIB/WBLS in New York.

After over twenty years of writing and reporting, hosting shows and panels and political debates, Nayaba has interviewed people across the political, social and cultural spectrum; in England; the U.S. and in Africa.

For the last ten wonderful years she has been the editor of the New York Amsterdam News. She has reported on some of the biggest social justice, political, international stories of that period.  Her interviews have ranged from; Pres. Barack Obama, then-Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice; Min. Louis Farrakhan, Hillary Clinton; to the families of Sean Bell, Eric Garner and Amadou Diallo; and in the world of entertainment she has interviewed celebrities such as; Michael Jackson, Fela Kuti, Muhammad Ali, Roy Ayers, Victor Uwaifo, P. Diddy, Ice Cube, and LL Cool J.

She is a frequent guest on several different local, national and international radio and TV stations from; WBLS, to Arise TV and Peace/Legacy FM in the UK.

Having undergone a battle with breast cancer, Nayaba is getting back to a regular schedule; appearing on T.V. and radio shows; and guesting on panels and at community forums and events.

From organizing behind the scenes to marching on the frontlines, as an activist, Nayaba has been involved in a variety of issues focusing on social justice, education inequality, and the criminal justice system.

This single mother of two does this, as she navigates living with multiple sclerosis.

She is the founder of Square Circles (Squarecircles.org, WWW.FACEBOOK.COM/SQUARECIRCLES1), a breast cancer survivor support group.

Panel Discussion: Social Enterprise in Africa

According to the United States Census Bureau, the population of African immigrants in the United States doubled in every decade from approximately 80,000 in 1970 to approximately 1.6 million from 2008 to 2012. Consisting of only 4 percent of the foreign-born population, African immigrants tend to have higher levels of educational achievement than the overall immigrant population. Currently, 41 percent of African immigrants have a bachelor’s degree or higher compared with 28 percent of other immigrant groups. However, regardless of their educational achievement, immigrants often have to confront questions regarding their identity. At the heart of this question lies the assimilation versus acculturation debate. Social scientists define assimilation as allowing one's original culture to be overridden by the dominant culture whereas acculturation is acquiring the capability to function within a dominant culture while retaining one's original culture. In this panel, the elders and youth will address questions of whether the African community in the U.S. must choose between assimilation or acculturation and what are the consequences of choosing one or the other.


Moderators:

speaker 8

Okenfe Lebarty was born and raised in Benin City, Nigeria, a graduate of CUNY Brooklyn College. He was formerly a candidate for the New York State Assembly in Queens Assembly District 31. He is the co-founder & VP of Council of Young African Leaders and president of Afrimetro Inc.

Okenfe has worked as a New York State Senate session assistant, lobbyist and government relations manager and has worked to get some local democratic candidates elected to office in New York City. He was instrumental in getting Obama elected to office as he was one of his very first supporters beginning in 2007 as a volunteer coordinator in Queens. Okenfe worked on the Obama campaign as a regional field organizer, ran and was elected an Obama delegate to the 2008 Democratic National Convention with over 23,000 votes in his congressional district. He was previously a VP of diversity and outreach for the Queens County Young Democrats.


Panelist:

speaker 9

Kwame L. Dougan volunteers as an attorney for the Community Development Venture Capital Alliance, which provides equity capital to businesses in underinvested markets and facilitates investments low-income communities around the world. He is currently an adviser at Princeton University’s Keller Center for Entrepreneurship, and sits on the advisory boards of numerous early-stage technology companies.

Kwame earned his law degree from Columbia University and received graduate degrees from the London School of Economics, attending as a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar, and from the University of Amsterdam. He also has degrees from York University and Tsinghua University, where he studied Mandarin Chinese. Previously, Kwame practiced securities litigation with Shearman & Sterling LLP.

Kwame L. Dougan connects North American investors with startups operating in Sub-Saharan Africa through his company iYa Ventures. He is drawn to technology-based solutions that create positive, practical, and profitable outcomes for communities and investors.


speaker 10

Tope Ganiyah Fajingbesi is a social entrepreneur, author and speaker. She hosts Impact Africa (www.impactafrica.co), a podcast that inspires listeners to participate actively in African development through entrepreneurship and job creation particularly for Africa’s growing youth population. She also invests considerable time and energy into creating a better world for children from low-income families through United for Kids Foundation (www.unitedforkidsfoundation.org), an organization she co-founded in 2002 and which she continues to serve as its Executive Director/Coordinating Trustee.  Tope, a U.S. Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and a Nigerian Chartered Accountant (1999 ICAN prize winner) is the author of “What Color Is Your Money?” She obtained a Bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University of Lagos Nigeria, a Master’s in Business Administration from the Goizueta Business School of Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, and attended the University of Oxford’s Women Transforming Leadership Program in October 2014. Tope is also a fellow of the Salzburg Global Seminar Session 530 – “Value(s) for Money? Philanthropy as a Catalyst for Social and Financial Transformation.” She was one of 30 African leaders invited to the U.S. White House briefing and dialogue session in preparation for the 2014 U.S.-Africa leaders summit in May 2014.


speaker 11

Bobby Digi, social entrepreneur, founder, community organizer, educator, and lecturer has devoted his life to strengthening and building community on a local and global scale. Born in Brooklyn, New York to parents of Nigerian descent and raised in the multi-ethnic Clifton section of Staten Island, Bobby has always been inspired by the desire to bring people of diverse backgrounds together to discover solutions to the most challenging issues of our time. Bobby leads by example and utilizes his educational and professional opportunities to give back to the community and to inspire the next generation of leaders.


speaker 12

Dosso Kassimou, M.P.A./M.A.D.I.R, a long time Newark resident and a community organizer is an amazing individual with a very unique story.

Dosso Kassimou’s humble beginnings started in the Ivory Coast, West Africa. A Son of cocoa farmer and a business woman, Dosso was fortunate enough to come from a home that gave him the opportunity to embody some of the most basic values of human life; such as humility, hard work, respect and dignity.  At a very young age, Dosso was already exposed to the international world, while travelling to various countries with his mother doing trade. These moments opened his eyes to the pain and suffering that many people around the world have in common. All these experiences nurtured his desire to strive for a better life while fighting for basic human rights for others.

Dosso is a visionary, intelligent and a forward thinker who has worked very hard to become a reputable community leader in Newark because of his passion to bridge the gap among cultures and to bring people together. While attending the University of Cocody in the Ivory Coast, Dosso was already a very active individual. He was organizing and advocating for change in the lives of students on Campus.


Featured Presentation: Lessons Learned and Challenges ahead for Ebola and other Infectious Diseases in Africa

Presenter:

speaker 13

WALE IDRIS AJIBADE (Wale Idris) is the founder and Executive Director of African Views, (AV), a research, media, and development non-profit organization, with the mission to provide, communicate, and implement information for social development, cultural advancement and parity. He founded the Foundation for Cultural Diversity. He is the architect of the AV framework, which includes African cultural exchange program for school children, a program that connects children in Africa by age groups to school children in America through Skype. He is the chairman of the proposed African Diaspora Federal Credit Union, as well as the proposed African development Funds. He proposed the Institutes of African Cultures and Traditions as a trigger for sustainable economic development. He is the director and executive producer of the following AV radio social media programs which brings local social issues discussion to a global audience: African Health Dialogues, Youth Initiatives, Millennium Development Goals, Green Africa, Culture Diplomats, New Deals, and The Future of Women. Prior to joining the non-profit sector, he worked as the Director of Research and Marketing for International Investment Advisers (IIA), manager of the Korea International Investment Funds (KIIF) - one of the earliest promoters of the Korean Economy. Wale has fifteen years tenure in the financial market industry, and has a scholastic background in Investment Finance, Philosophy, and Economics.


Featured Presentation: Depression: Myth vs Truths

Presenter:

speaker 14

Dr. Akua G. Asare: A graduate of Case Western Reserve University with her Bachelors of Arts in International Studies, Akua G. Asare M.D went on to receive her Medical Doctorate from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. After her Psychiatric Residency at The University of Miami/Jackson Memorial Hospital where she was awarded the 2010 University of Miami / Jackson Memorial Hospital Psychiatry Residency Senior Research Award and the 2010 Bernard Goodman Award, she was chosen as the 2011 American Psychiatric Association’s Jeanne Spurlock Congressional Fellow. In this capacity she worked as the Health Legislative Fellow for senior Senator from Ohio, Sherrod Brown (D-OH), addressing a diverse array of domestic and global health care issues.

Currently, Dr. Asare works at the American College of Cardiology in product development of Toolkits and mobile applications to address high priority clinical areas and integration of the ACC’s institutional offerings in the Quality Improvement for Institutions program. Her personal focuses are on the linkages between health disparities and psychological/emotional and social challenges of African immigrants and on cultural/career/personal development and advancement among those in the African Diaspora. She serves in a diversity of roles and on a variety of civic and community boards focusing on the development of the African community including as the Chair for the D.C Commission on African Affairs, a board member of National USA-Africa Chamber of Commerce, an executive member of the Afropolitan Youth Association of Maryland as well as her church Nursing Ministry.


Panel Discussion: Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) and Development

While certain African countries continue to grow at a rate of 6 percent and higher, critical to Africa’s collective growth will be infrastructure development, especially in the technology sector. For example, Africa is one of the fastest growing continents with mobile penetration and countries like Kenya have already made it possible to use mobile banking through MPESA. However, Africa still lags behind in internet capability where fiber-optic lines have yet to penetrate certain cities and the rural areas. Part of the problem is that the governments are responsible for construction of fiber-optic cables and have not been able to keep up with the demand. This has led to selective installment and efficiency problems as opposed to ensuring access for every home and business. Another option to be considered is satellite connectivity which is used in certain parts of the continent. The panel will seek to explore ways that Africa can improve internet access, from its cities to the rural areas.


Moderators:

speaker 15

Tony Poenou is the Founder of AfriStack, a movement committed to building a network of computer scientists, computer engineers and ICT professionals in the African Diaspora and African continent. He has more than a decade of experience in Enterprise Architecture for leading institutions in the US, including JPMorgan Chase and IBM. Tony believes Africa's path to economic development is tightly coupled with its youth-powered technology innovation. As a result, he is involved in various initiatives to support the startup movement on the continent. Tony also holds a Masters from New Jersey Institute of Technology.


Panelist:

speaker 16

Stephen Chukumba is a seasoned mobile executive with hands-on experience in the media, content, interactive and gaming spaces.  In addition to his work in the technology space, Stephen has a wealth of experience working with not-for-profits, philanthropic and charitable organizations, helping them to leverage technology and new media to build awareness, engagement and increase loyalty and retention.

Currently, Stephen is an Associate Team Lead and Senior Project Manager, for Usablenet, Inc., an technology agency, with offices in the UK, New York and California that provides mobile web, mobile and tablet application, and assistive technology development for Fortune 500 companies.  Prior to Usablenet, Stephen was the Director, Strategic Partnerships, for KiwiTech, a DC based mobile application development company.


speaker 17

Cosmas Collins, known as Cos Canino, is a strong believer in and very passionate about the African Entertainment Industry and has over 15 years experience in the music industry. He sees himself as a “STUDENT”, student of nature, student of music, and student of LIFE.

He is the founder of UnderDaRock Entertainment, underdarock.com, UDR Radio and , Co-Founder and Executive producer of the Annual Nigeria Entertainment Awards.

UnderDaRock Entertainment is one of the leading promotional companies in the United States and has produced and coordinated shows in Nigeria and Europe.

He is also a scientist specializing in Clinical Data Management and has worked for some of the world’s largest Pharmaceuticals including Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson, Schering Plough and Novartis. A strong believer in the unification of Africa, he is a member of Organization for the Advancement of Nigerians (OAN) and he is an active member of the Annual Nigeria Independence Day Parade planning committee in New York.


Princessa Washington™ is a born Native of New York City, a Natural Creative Creator. Washington holds the position of Co-Founder, Fashion Director and Managing Editor of Vivrant’s “Vivacious Rant” Magazine, where she worked alongside the extremely talented Editor-In-Chief and Co-Founder Dorelle McPherson.  Washington was also the Senior Style Editor for www.nystyletimes.com.

Washingtons work as a fashion stylist has been published on several covers of NV Magazine (New Vision In Business), on the pages of New York Moves, Luire, Today’s Black Woman/Black Man magazine and was the Market and Accessories Editor for the publication “Rock Star Ballroom. Princessa™ worked alongside Celebrity Stylist, Debra Ginyard, styling the likes of T.V. host April Woodard, and Actress Robin Givens. She worked on a team with the wardrobe assistant for the movie “Getting Played”, starring Vivica A. Fox, Stacy Dash and Bill Bellamy.

Washington was a model booker for Ibadan Management, handling photo shoots; preparations of portfolios and bookings for cover features for Runway News Magazine.


speaker 18

Gbenga Omotayo: An alumni of the prestigious Chartered Institute of Marketing, UK., Gbenga Omotayo is a nationally-known business startup coach, workshop presenter and professional speaker offering talks on all aspects of starting and running a business. He is the author of the Best Selling Book, How to Start Your Own Business While Employed.

Gbenga Omotayo is the CEO of Global Christian Event Network, a leading producer of ethical and community focused events. He is the executive producer of the hit standup comedy show Night of Gospel Laughs® , Christian Resources Expo™  and Platform for Success™.

With the mission to help motivated but overwhelmed individuals succeed in the life and business they really want. Gbenga is passionate about helping people discover, develop and deploy their God-inspired ideas into profitable ventures.

Gbenga has successfully managed major campaigns and projects for many faith based organizations. He has also spoken on various topics with special emphasis in the areas of events marketing, marketing communications and business networking.

As the lead consultant and brands architect at Pacetas, a full service Digital Marketing Agency, his work is helping to transform countless ministries and small businesses in their approach to integrated marketing communications.

Outside of work, Gbenga is the youth and marketing director at Abundant Life Christian Center and happily married with four great kids!


Closing Keynote Roundtable: Public-Private Partnerships that work for the People: How to successfully implement PPPs in Africa and the Role of the Youth and Women

In their leading article “Collective Impact,” published in the Stanford Social Innovation Review, John Kania and Mark Framer argue that “large-scale social change comes from better cross-sector coordination rather than isolated intervention of individual organizations.” Applied to the African context, the African Development Bank Group reiterated that Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) have emerged over the last decade as one of the best ways to foster development. But how do we successfully implement such cross-sector coordination? How do we engage African governments to work hand to hand with the private sector, businesses, nonprofits, and the public at large, including the youth and women to create collective impact?


Moderators:

speaker 19

Mary Olushoga is a small business development expert and founder of awpnetwork.com, an online platform powering small business success for African entrepreneurs.

She is a 2014 IndiAfrica Young Visionary Fellow, a 2014 Women4Africa International Media Woman of the Year, a 2014 Crans Montana 'New Leader,' the first-ever GOOD Maker/Oxfam America International Women's Day Challenge Winner, a Nigeria Leadership Initiative (NLI) Associate, and an Oxfam America Sisters on the Planet Ambassador.

Olushoga received a bachelor’s degree from Union College in Schenectady, New York and a Master of Science degree from Baruch College. She has served as a Public Policy Fellow at the University at Albany, Center for Women in Government and Civil Society and most recently participated in the Sub-Saharan African Women In Public Service Fall Institute.

Olushoga has featured on BBC World News, Black Enterprise, iwantherjob.com, AFK Insider, Applause Africa, BET Networks, and has presented her work on women entrepreneurs at the Columbia University Africa Economic Forum, the United States Department of Labor Strategy Meeting on Inclusion, Entrepreneurship, and Disability, W!se Institute, the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women, the United Nations ECOSOC Youth Employment Forum, and the Rockefeller Foundation Tech Salon. She also writes for GE Ideas Lab and the Huffington Post.

The AWP Network is recognized by the World Summit Youth Awards (WSYA) as a leading internet and mobile innovative tool set to put the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) into action. The AWP Network is also listed as an Apps4Africa Innovation and recognized as one of the leading organizations supporting African Women in Technology.


Panelist:

speaker 20

MacDella Cooper: Born in Monrovia, Liberia in the late 1970s, MacDella Cooper was one of the thousands of refugees who fled Liberia after the eruption of a civil war in 1990. After leaving the war-torn Liberia and residing in Ivory Coast, at the age of 16, Ms. Cooper and her two older brothers landed in the embattled streets of Newark, New Jersey where Cooper attended Barringer High School. Graduating 3rd in a class of 1,200 students, Ms. Cooper received a full academic scholarship to The College of New Jersey, despite her rough past and hard road.

Prior to founding MCF in 2004, Ms. Cooper was the Marketing and Events Coordinator for Jones Apparel Group, where she alongside the Creative Services team developed comprehensive marketing strategies for the Ralph Lauren, Anne Klein, Jones New York and several other fashion brands including Eredi Pisano and Duca Sartoria. She also directed the marketing and event planning initiatives for the New York Independent Film and Music Festival.

Today MacDella Cooper is known as “Liberia’s Angel” for starting the MacDella Cooper Foundation, a non-for-profit charity that provides educational opportunities and basic necessities for abandoned children in Liberia. In 2010, Cooper opened the MCF Academy, a boarding school for orphans in Liberia. The MCF Academy is the first tuition-free boarding school that houses up to 200 students. The Academy provides a better quality of living in an environment that is safe, secure and conductive for learning. Ms. Cooper hopes the Academy will raise future leaders who take pride in their nation and themselves.

Thanks to her extensive business, political and diplomatic relationships all over the world, Ms. Cooper sits on the Board of Directors for several charities including the Segal Family Foundation and Red Cross Tiffany Circle. She has received several awards for her philanthropic efforts including The College of New Jersey Humanitarian Award, The Victor E. Ward Community Service Award, The Momentum Women’s Award, The Spirit of Friskies Award, and The Archbishop of Michael K. Francis Achievement Awards.

Ms. Cooper currently lives in Manhattan with her partner, Thomas, and two children, Ella and Mateo. In addition to founding the MCF Academy, Ms. Cooper is partaking in multiple motivational speaking appearances to share her story and influence people who are going through a hard time in life to turn around and shape it into something meaningful.


speaker 21

Bisila Bokoko is an award-winning businesswoman, speaker and philanthropist based in NYC. For 7 years, Bokoko held the position of Executive Director of the Spain-US Chamber of Commerce. There, she worked closely with leading Spanish brands including ZARA before launching her consulting firm, BBES in 2012.

Bokoko's efforts have won her widespread recognition and led to dynamic involvement in EMPRETEC, a United Nations programme that supports up and coming entrepreneurs. Ms Bokoko fronted the women’s scheme and actively worked with female entrepreneurs in their efforts to launch hard hitting businesses. Through BBALP, her non-profit organization, Bisila is committed to building libraries across Africa - with current presence in Ghana, Kenya, Zimbabwe and Uganda. Bisila Bokoko has been featured in Forbes, Entrepreneur magazine, Harper's Bazaar and Bloomberg TV.


speaker 22

WALE IDRIS AJIBADE (Wale Idris) is the founder and Executive Director of African Views, (AV), a research, media, and development non-profit organization, with the mission to provide, communicate, and implement information for social development, cultural advancement and parity. He founded the Foundation for Cultural Diversity. He is the architect of the AV framework, which includes African cultural exchange program for school children, a program that connects children in Africa by age groups to school children in America through Skype. He is the chairman of the proposed African Diaspora Federal Credit Union, as well as the proposed African development Funds. He proposed the Institutes of African Cultures and Traditions as a trigger for sustainable economic development. He is the director and executive producer of the following AV radio social media programs which brings local social issues discussion to a global audience: African Health Dialogues, Youth Initiatives, Millennium Development Goals, Green Africa, Culture Diplomats, New Deals, and The Future of Women. Prior to joining the non-profit sector, he worked as the Director of Research and Marketing for International Investment Advisers (IIA), manager of the Korea International Investment Funds (KIIF) - one of the earliest promoters of the Korean Economy. Wale has fifteen years tenure in the financial market industry, and has a scholastic background in Investment Finance, Philosophy, and Economics.


speaker 23

Aissatou Diallo is a Senior Associate at BRAC USA and a financial inclusion and girls empowerment specialist. A native of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, she earned her academic stripes at the University of Ghana Business School, UCLA School of Law and New York University where she was part of the inaugural class of Reynolds Fellows. Prior to joining BRAC USA, Aissatou worked in the private and public sectors in Liberia, Ghana, Los Angeles and Washington DC before settling down in New York to qualify as a lawyer and briefly practice securities litigation.


Featured Presentation: 9on9: New Faces of Africa

Building on the success of last year’s panels, “African Entrepreneurs on the Move: Reshaping the Economy, Changing Societies,” and “The Stories from an Inspired Generation,” 9on9 brings you 9 African innovators, social entrepreneurs, and other Africans doing extraordinary work. Because their work may not make it into the mainstream media, we will provide a platform for them to be recognized and encouraged as the new faces of Africa. Each will share his or her story under 9 minutes.


speaker 24

Elizabeth Akua-Nyarko Patterson is the founder and executive director of the Girls education initiative of Ghana, GEIG. GEIG's mission is to provide academic and financial support for girls including applicants with special needs, so they may access secondary, higher education, and professional opportunities.

Ms. Patterson holds an MPA, masters in public administration from NYU Wagner School of Public Service where she specialized in non- profit management. Ms. Patterson's research includes but not limited to Education of Marginalized People: access to education for disabled/differently abled students in K-12 institutions in South Africa, A comparative qualitative study on single sex and co-Ed schools in New York City, Strategic Planning: City Year New York, and Performance Measurement and Management: Junior Achievement of New York, JA-New York, A more diverse Workforce: the fire department of New York City.

Prior to her work with GEIG Ms. Patterson served as the Director of Communications and Marketing for The Council of Young African Leaders, CYAL and communications and marketing associate at Junior Achievement of New York, JA- New York. Ms. Patterson holds a BA in Political Science and Business Management where she graduated cum laude in 2009.

Ms. Patterson is the 2014 ReconnectGH-Education Entrepreneur, presented in 2015 at Tedex Accra, is a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Shapers Community- Kumasi Hub and the 2015 Vlisco Brand Ambassador for Ghana.


speaker 25

Sarran Lan Jabbie is the CEO and founder of BrandKultured. A boutique branding and marketing firm focusing on helping international brands tell their stories through the power of storytelling and culture/lifestyle driven marketing. Born and raised in New Jersey, Sarran attended William Paterson University of New Jersey studying political science and is currently pursuing a specialized certification in Business Foundation from The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. Sarran's philanthropic work includes working with non-profits such as EduShare, Fashion Empowering Women and most recently, Africa Responds, an initiative that mobilized the African diaspora pooling their resources, networks, and collective voices to respond to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.  As a budding entrepreneur herself, Sarran hopes to assist other African entrepreneurs in becoming tangible competitors in the global market. In her spare time Sarran enjoys modeling, spending time with her family and continuing her education in marketing.


speaker 26

W.E. Da'Cruz completed her undergraduate collegiate education at Seton Hall University, where she obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Creative Writing and a minor in Business Administration as a Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. full-tuition scholarship recipient. Recently, she completed a dual master’s degree in Public Administration, Diplomacy and International Relations program at the university on a second full-tuition scholarship.

W.E. Da'Cruz has more than five years of experience working with nonprofit organizations, specifically in underserved communities in the U.S. and Africa. Her passion to fundraise developed after successfully securing more than a quarter million dollars in scholarship money to pay for her undergraduate and dual master's degrees. In addition to serving as a diplomat on global youth issues, her goal is to help nonprofit organizations beat donor fatigue and raise funds online to positively impact the global community.

She also has more than six years of experience in the communications industry writing, interviewing, hosting, and developing content for media outlets including WABC-TV Channel 7, WBGO Jazz 88.3FM and Newark Television.

W.E. Da’Cruz has a deep passion for nonprofit management, youth development, education reform, international collaboration, and gender studies.

She currently serves as the Executive Director and Head of Global Projects at Strategically Positioning Lives in Technology (SPLiT), an organization founded by her husband Dominique Da’Cruz, and consults for nonprofit organizations.


speaker 27

Yomna Sarhan, Founder and President of the Society of Egyptian American Professionals (SEAP)

Originally from Cairo, Egypt, Yomna has lived in the Washington, DC area since 2002. She graduated cum laude in 2014 from the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service, where she holds a Bachelor’s Degree in International Politics and a certificate in African Studies. Yomna has worked for a number of organizations and initiatives both in the US and in Egypt. In 2011, Yomna was a coordinator for the Leadership in Education and Development (LEAD) program at the American University in Cairo, which sparked her interest in education, youth leadership, and international development. In 2014, Yomna interned with the United Nations Non-Governmental Liaison Service (UN-NGLS) in New York, which furthered her passion for civic participation. Yomna is the Founder and President of the Society of Egyptian American Professionals (SEAP), an organization dedicated to the professional development of Egyptian Americans. She is currently pursuing a Master of Public Policy at the George Washington University and is a Project Coordinator at the International Road Federation.


speaker 28

China Muoka is a serial entrepreneur. He is the President/CEO of Afrofinancial.com. A financial company he launched that gives loans to small business owners in Nigeria and Africa. In New York, He builds the technical team of Media platforms through his job platform - www.workistry.com. At the moment he is building out the technical team of Mic.com - A millenial news publishing company with 30 million readers a month. He sits on the board of a few companies, Jobclickr.com, Khedoo.com and Zyple Inc. He is a graduate of Electronic Physics.


speaker 29

Jesse Carlton: Inspired by the statement "We are blessed to be a blessing", in March 2013 Jesse started the CarltonSmile Charity while he was still a student at MIDRAND GRADUATE INSTITUTE in Johannesburg, South Africa.
He explains that the purpose of the movement is to bridge the gap between people in need and those that are willing to help. The idea is not just to spread a mindset of giving, but sharing.
The organisation has now executed over 30 projects in Cameroon, Zimbabwe, Gabon and South Africa having an impact on close to 1000 lives. That experience inspired him to publish a book in February 2015 entitled " The WHAT, WHY and HOW of CHARITY" in which he explains the importance of loving, caring and sharing.
Jesse Carlton Happy also known as Mr. Africa is not just a philanthropist and author but an entrepreneur. After obtaining a bachelor in business administration and honors in business management, he returned to his home country Cameroon and started a company called CT consulting that provides Marketing and Motivation services.
On one end enabling companies get the right message, to the right people at the right time while on the other hand he empowers every team to work by a sense of mission, vision and passion.
Beyond companies, Jesse has given motivational talks at numerous events and schools throughout his country Cameroon, France and South Africa. All that work as a Speaker has landed him in several local and international media. The French Journal LeMonde actually called him "The African Dale Carnegie".
As his twitter BIO indicates the best words that could summarize all of the above is; Your humble servant.



Things That May Interest You

Similar Stories
Events

World Environment Day

World Environment Day (WED) is held each year on June 5.

Events

A Final Farewell to 2016

- From the Africa Connect Staff    We, at Africa Connect Online, would like to bide a final farewell to 2016, a turbulent, tough year...

Events

Giving Back Internationally

How Can You Help This Year? Donate to a Great Cause!

Events

6th Annual African Diaspora Awards

In NYC on December 3rd, Applause Africa will Honor Luvvie Ajayi, Mamadou Samba, Jessica Matthews, and George Badiel

Events

Talent Africa Series

WASHINGTON, DC – Africa is home to 6 of the top 10 fastest growing economies in the world. According to the U.S. International Trade...

Events

A Day to Stop Violence Against Women - Nov 25

November 25th is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women by the United Nations General Assembly

Events

Africa-America Institute 30th Annual Awards Gala

“Powering Africa’s Future through Regional and Global Partnerships”
September 22, 2016, Gotham Hall, NYC at 7:30pm
The...

Events

High Level Launch Event for Sustainable Development

PEACEFUL, JUST, AND INCLUSIVE SOCIETIES FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENTHIGH LEVEL EVENT LAUNCH EVENT BY THE PERMANENT MISSIONS OF: CABO...

Events

Museum of African American History to Open on September 24th

The National Museum of African American History and Culture will open on September 24th in Washington, DC.  The museum is hosting a...

Events

2nd Annual Africa Gives Back International Gala

Your are Cordially Invited to the 2nd Annual Africa Gives Back International Gala

Things That May Interest You