Afro-Optimism: A Positive Outlook on Africa
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June 27, 2012 @ 6:00 PM - 8:30 PM
||UW Paccar Hall (Reception: Deloitte Commons on 2nd Floor; Panel: Room 394)
185 NE Stevens Way
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||Members/Students: $10, Non-members: $20 - Cost includes reception.
Speakers: Uwa Agbonile, CEO and Founder, Infoware
Valerie Nkamgang Bemo, Senior Program Officer, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Dr. W. Joye Hardiman, Vice President, Association for the Study of Classical African Civilizations
Makani Limbikani, Founder and Managing Editor, Technology Zimbabwe
Moderator: Kunle Oguneye, President, The African Network – Seattle Chapter
NOTE: Cost includes appetizers and refreshments during the reception, 6:00-7:00 p.m. Become a new member and get in free!
What do you know about Africa? There are lions there? It’s a continent not a country? That Kony is a bad guy? What else?
As an organization that exists to provide Seattleites with events that educate and connect them to the rest of the world, we have found that there is a huge information disconnect when it comes to Africa (mainly sub-Saharan) for a majority of the people living outside of the continent.
In response, to further the conversation around Africa in our area, the Young Professionals International Network and the World Affairs Council are working to increase awareness on this misunderstood and often under-represented continent.
Contrary to the majority of negative stereotypes that the media reports to us about Africa, there are many positive things happening in that part of the world. This event will be a great opportunity to see a more positive (or at least more complete) version of the story that has, up until now, been relatively narrow and focused on the negative issues, like child soldiers, disease, extreme poverty, and political corruption.
At the event, we will be focusing on specific themes to increase our city’s awareness of Africa. An expert panel will spend the evening talking about the areas of health care, business, politics, and media. The panel will be moderated by Kunle Oguneye the President of the Seattle chapter of The African Network, an author of children’s books about Africa and a product development expert in the field of telecommunications.
At the reception, we will have the privilege of having a delegation of international visitors from Africa who are part of President Obama’s Young African Leaders Initiative. They are young entrepreneurs who mainly focus on telecom, software, and IT start-ups in their home countries. Come learn about their work, how they’ve created their new ventures, and how they are using Technology to move their economy forward. Get inspired by their afro-optimism in action!
Uwa Agbonile is the CEO and Founder of Infoware, a software solutions provider for the financial services sector in Africa. Their software is used in banks and brokerage houses across Africa. Infoware’s Suite of products is comparable to SAP in features and functionality.
Prior to becoming the CEO of InfoWARE Limited, Uwa worked at Citibank, Chevron and Microsoft. Uwa holds a Masters of Business Administration in Finance, with a Bachelor of Engineering degree in Electronic Engineering. He is recognized as one of the top technology executives in Nigeria. Uwa is also a member of IEEE and holds a US patent #7509538.
Valerie Nkamgang Bemo, MD, MPH, a native of Cameroon, is a senior program officer of special initiatives in the global development division at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, where she is responsible for the emergency response portfolio. Before joining the foundation, she held various roles at the International Rescue Committee, most recently serving as senior technical advisor for health in the Democratic Republic of Congo and West Africa. She also worked with various NGO and had extensive involvement in Aceh, Indonesia, Côte d’Ivoire, Sierra Leone, Mauritania, Kenya and Chad. Dr. Bemo received her medical degree from the University of Côte d’Ivoire, her epidemiology diploma at the University of Paris, and her MPH from Madrid Autonome University.
Dr. W. Joye Hardiman is lifelong learner, an inspirational educator, a global researcher and gifted storyteller. Dr. Hardiman was the Executive Director of The Evergreen State College’s Tacoma Campus from 1991 to 2007. During her tenure, the campus had a retention and graduation rate of more than 89%.
Dr. Hardiman is the International 2nd Vice- President of the Association for the Study of Classical African Civilizations (ASCAC), a Fulbright Scholar and has done extensive research on African and African Diaspora History and Culture, Black Women Studies and Worldview Studies in Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Mali, The Gambia, Ghana, Senegal, Ivory Coast, South Africa, India, the Yucatan, Trinidad, Brazil, Panama and Cuba. Her work is documented in published monograms, anthologies and multi-media formats.
She is a member of the Cultural Reconnection Vision and Planning Team, a Founding Faculty of The Institute for Cultural Reconnection “an international collaboratorium,” dedicated to capacity building and technical assistance for people of African descent and the Founding Director of Ancestral Art Works, a research and creative production company dedicated to using Ancient Wisdoms for Contemporary Problem Solutions.
After attending the Undergraduate Writer’s Workshop at the University of Iowa, Dr. Hardiman earned a B.A. in Literature at the State University of New York, Buffalo, 1968, and a Ph.D. in Applied Literary Studies and Urban Education at the Union Institute, 1986. She is an alumna of Harvard University’s Management Development Program.
Makani Limbikani is the Founder and Managing Editor at Technology Zimbabwe (www.techzim.co.zw), a platform used by tech startups and entrepreneurs to learn from one another and learn about the latest technologies available. The core focus of the organization is to deliver relevant information needed by ICT professionals, entrepreneurs, developers, and consumers to allow technology growth and move the country forward.
Mr. Limbikani and his TechZim website are the authoritative sources of tech information in Zimbabwe. Mr. Limbikani is also the only person in Zimbabwe closely and accurately following advancements in mobile and internet developments. His passion for building a culture of innovation and progress is exactly what Zimbabwe needs at this time when businesses and young people are struggling to create and find jobs and build capital.
Kunle Oguneye is the President of the Seattle Chapter of The African Network. He currently works for AT&T as a Senior Product Development Engineer. He has worked in various capacities for Fortune 500 companies such as Principal Financial Group and Western Wireless.
Mr. Oguneye is also an award-winning author of the children’s book; “Sikulu and Harambe by the Zambezi River.” He is also a recipient of the Mortar Board Outstanding Alumni Award. In Mr. Oguneye’s past, he founded a non-profit organization that donated over 500 computers to schools in Nigeria.
6:00-7:00 p.m. Reception, 7:00-8:30 p.m. Lecture
UW Paccar Hall, Deloitte Commons on 2nd Floor (Reception), Room 394 (Lecture)
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The World Affairs Council is a non-partisan, non-profit organization which provides a forum for speakers representing diverse points of view. The opinions expressed by any and all speakers, presenters and/or guests at Council events are those of the speaker alone, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the World Affairs Council members, staff, Board of Trustees, or Advisory Council.