Janet C. Salazar, Permanent Representative, United Nations. Bob Ingram (R), Publisher of NY-based Uptown Professional Magazine, looks on.
(NEW YORK, NY - December 22, 2011 - www.JanetCSalazar.com
) - It was early in October this year when my dear friend Bob Ingram, Publisher of Uptown Professional Magazine
first told me about his dream of launching a forum where the most influential media executives in the world will focus upon the issues and support of African nations and their indigenous challenges. His mission for the forum is to inform, brief and make aware, media professionals of color of the myriad of issues and challenges in Africa directly from Africans themselves in their own words. ”It will really be great and historic if we can hold it at the United Nations Janet, so I will be needing your help and connections here”, I remember him saying over dinner together at one of my favorite places, Smorgas Chef at the Scandinavia House in Park Avenue.
Fast forward to November 22, 2011 — the launching of the “Black Publishers and Media Executives Forum on Africa” was a tremendous success at the Delegates’ Dining Room of the United Nations.
The breakfast forum attendees were formally welcomed by Roland Rich, Head of the UN Office for Partnerships as well as Chief of the UN Democracy Fund. The eloquent and very gracious Dr. Josephine Ojiambo, Ambassador and Deputy Permanent Representative of the Mission of Kenya to the United Nations gave the most unique and most beautiful keynote address I have ever heard! She spoke of Africa like the sweetest love song in the world, to me it was almost intoxicating.
MacDella Cooper, CEO of MacDella Cooper Foundation spoke about her tragedy and triumph as a young girl whose courage and determination helped her escape the brutal civil war that started in Liberia during the early 1990s. Another inspiring young lady whose roots are from Ghana, Nana Eyeson Akiwowo , Founder & President of African Health Now spoke about what her organization is doing to promote the health and healthcare of people of Pan-African descent in the under-served communities in the US and abroad.
George Monyemangene, Consul General of the South African Consulate in New York and the Forum’s Guest of Honor, spoke about the economic realities, development and opportunities in South Africa. His updates on the current business environment of Africa’s largest economy were very impressive and for a business person like myself, very attractive. I have not been to South Africa, but this country, whose national motto is ” Unity in Diversity”, is definitely on my list of top countries to visit this 2012!
Bob is one of the best emcees I’ve known - very passionate and efficient. I was also honored to co-host the event with Aziz Gueye Adetimirin, Publisher of The Network Journal and who has now become a very good friend.
I was delighted and honored to meet great people who graced the launching — South Africa’s Political Consul, Gugulethru Gingqi, Debert Cook, Publisher of the African-American Golfer’s Digest, Marsha Jews, Host and Executive Producer of “Keep it Moving with Marsha Jews”, and another new friend, Doni Glover, Founder of Bmorenews.com and host of the “Doni Glover Show”. I’ve met so many others who were all passionate about creating a dialogue highlighting common issues around all of the African nations, and a platform where issues, challenges and concerns could safely and openly be discussed.
It was a week ago when I met with Bob and Aziz to talk about the launching — and started to make plans for the 2012 Black Publishers and Media Executive Forum on Africa”. For now, congratulations, Bob and Aziz for the successful launching of yet another vision that will transform millions of lives!