PRZOOM - /newswire/ -
Washington, D.C., United States, 2005/07/27 - Promoted by Wilson Global Communications USA, the Corporate Council on Africa Business Summit attracts wide TV coverage, newspaper headlines: Event is attended by 2,000 from the US, Europe & Africa..
On the heels of the G-8 Summit with world leaders focused on relieving the debt of Africa and other poor countries, Wilson Global Communications (WGC), a Washington, D.C.-based public relations consultancy, has scored a major international public relations success. WGC created wide media coverage for its client, the Corporate Council on Africa and its 5th Biennial Business Summit, which encourages Western companies to explore business partnerships and investment opportunities in Africa.
CCA is a 200-member group of businesses, including Fortune 500 companies that operate in Africa. Together, the companies provide 85 percent of all private U.S. investments in Africa.
WGC founder and Managing Director Julia Wilson said her firm's immediate goal is to partner with its U.S. and African clients to help ensure that U.S. and international publics continue to get the message that Africa is ready and open for business and trade.
"Africa is in the forefront of world thought right now and it is so important that the American public is informed about some of the positive things going on in that rich continent," Wilson said. Wilson moved from Los Angeles to live in South Africa and Ghana for several years. She made history in South Africa by becoming the first American to own and operate a public relations firm there, after covering the first democratic elections as a television news correspondent for UPN.
"Media images of Africa in the U.S. have mainly focused on poverty, political violence and corruption, social unrest and health issues like AIDS," said Wilson, a University of Southern California (USC) School of Journalism graduate and former adjunct professor. "While these events are indeed news, we at WGC believe it is good journalism to provide alternative stories of Africa that expose some of the positive and exciting business, cultural, and tourism opportunities that exist there."
She said that since the Summit, an avalanche of emails from businesses requesting more information on Africa have poured into WGC headquarters, as well as dozens of requests to WGC for consulting on Africa.
"Julia is a communications professional with high-level contacts throughout the U.S. and Africa," said Stephen Hayes, president of the Corporate Council on Africa. "I worked closely with her as we prepared for the Summit and can personally attest to her integrity, professionalism and work ethic."
"The CCA Summit clearly struck a nerve with our American and international audiences," Wilson said. "With more African leaders practicing democracy and good governance - and business opportunities between the "U.S. and Africa burgeoning - Africa's time has truly come," she said. "I am blessed to be a part of Africa's evolution and continued rise on the world stage."
Prior to the Summit, Wilson coordinated African and U.S. media visits for the five African presidents who met with President at the White House on debt relief. She also secured Maryland Governor Robert L. Ehrlich and Lieutenant Governor Michael S. Steele to host a press conference at the State House in Annapolis, Md. to promote the then-upcoming Baltimore Summit.
The Summit attracted national and international media including CNN International's "Inside Africa, Voice of America, National Public Radio (NPR), Associated Press (AP), Reuters, the Washington Times and the Los Angeles Times. Key Summit attendees included: the new president of the World Bank, Paul Wolfowitz; six African Heads of State; U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Mike Johanns; numerous Fortune 500 and other companies doing or seeking to do business in Africa.
During one of five well-attended press conferences WGC held at the Summit, Wilson introduced H.E. Armando Emilio Guebueza, president of the Republic of Mozambique, Frank Fountain, president of the DaimlerChrysler Foundation Fund and chairman of the board of the Corporate Council on Africa, and Willem van Riet, president of the Peace Parks Foundation based in Johannesburg.
WGC has a 10-year history as an African-focused public relations consultancy and business broker that connects U.S. and African businesses. The company recently brokered a media partnership between Getty Images, the world's leading imagery company and PANAPRESS, the only continental news agency on the continent of Africa with 120 news reporters in 53 African countries.
WGC also ensured that a Paris-based television channel, 3A Telesud that airs African programming in Europe, Africa and the U.S. via Dish Satellite Network, was introduced at the Summit. The channel aired Summit activities live in French and English.
About Wilson Global Communications
Founded in 1994 in Johannesburg, South Africa during Nelson Mandela's presidency by Julia A. Wilson, Wilson Global Communications is a full-service business and public relations consultancy headquartered in Washington, D.C. WGC clients have included: the Coca-Cola Company International, linking the Coke brand with the late U.S. Secretary of Commerce Ron Brown and former First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton visits to South Africa; SBC (Southwestern Bell); MTN South Africa (telecommunications company); the Prince of Wales Trust, securing a one-on-one videotaped interview with Prince Charles; the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (during the 1998 visit of U.S. President William Jefferson Clinton); and the Corporate Council on Africa 2005 Business Summit.