27 October 2017

VFOM elects 2017-2018 Board of Directors

VFOM new president, Lydie Alapini-Sakponou, in 2012, with then Malian
Ambassador Mamoun KEITA, Segou Project Manager Robin Poulton and the
ambassador's Chief of Protocol, during our annual National Mali Day program.

VFOM held its annual board meeting on October 26, 2017 and elected a new president and vice president. Ana Edwards, who has served as president since the formation of the sister city relationship with Segou MALI in 2009, has shifted to vice president and organizational representative on the Richmond Sister Cities Commission. "I happily and proudly yield the leadership position to Lydie Alapini-Sakponou. She was a founding member of the organization and has a long record as an outstanding educator in Chesterfield County schools. Lydie will bring warmth, experience and a keen talent to the job."

The board also welcomed a new category, Student Board Member, and with it three new student members from Virginia Commonwealth University.


11 October 2017

October 6 Photos

Minister Counselor M A. CISSE of the Malian Embassy and members
of the Malian Association of DC are flanked by Papa Susso on the left and 
VFOM founder and  Segou Projects Coordinator, Robin Poulton on the right.

Segou Governor Georges TOGO received gifts from VFOM.
Former city councilor Madani Sissoko prepares to distribute
gifts from the University of Segou to VFOM and Conference guests.

VCU PhD students.

VCU graduate students.

Conference participant from Switzerland and Conference co-organizer
Van Wood enjoy the West African cuisine of Chef MaMusu's Africanne on Main.

TOP: Student volunteers who ran the day-of operations of the conference.
LEFT: President of Richmond Sister Cities Commission.
RIGHT: Rector of Segou University and Mayor of Segou.

Guest from 19 African and European countries attended.


09 September 2017

VFOM to host Cultural Night at Africa Business Conference

Virginia Friends of Mali is organizing the Friday night dinner + concert + dancing for the 200 attendees of the Africa Business Conference .

Featuring the music of

Papa Susso (kora)

Video from 2012 performance at Creighton University
Video from concert in Medallin Colombia, Suso with an Afro Columbian poet


Balla Kouyate (balafon)

Balla Kouyate - Homegrown Museum series, DC, Folklife Festival.


About the Conference

Virginia Commonwealth University will host the eighth annual Conference on Business and Entrepreneurship in Africa, which will bring together academic researchers, business professionals and government officials from around the world.

The conference, “The Big Emerging Continent: The Rise of Africa – Challenges and Opportunities,” is sponsored by the Africa Business and Entrepreneurship Research Society and the Center for International Business Advancement in the VCU School of Business. It will be held Oct. 4-7.

Through paper presentations, panel discussions and keynote addresses, the conference will seek to understand the pivotal role of entrepreneurship in Africa’s economic and social development. Participants from an array of disciplines and backgrounds will present their insights and offer diverse perspectives on Africa’s place in the world and promise in the market. Read more...

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NOTE: For a full list of conference events and to register, visit www.africabusiness.org. Roughly one-third of the sessions have food and require registration, though sessions without food are free of charge to VCU students, alumni and the community.