Meet Ambassador Quao
In May I was invited to Washington DC by Her Excellency Dr. Arikana Quoa, African Union Ambassador to the United States, South America and the Caribbeans, to attend the African Day celebration at the Smithsonian museum. Besides thinking about the event – I found myself in the middle of an even larger issue! What’s the proper way of addressing an ambassador? Mrs. Arikana Quoa, Madame Ambassador, Her Excellency?
Answering my own initial question, I decided to call her Excellency. This seemed like a respectful, yet not overly stiff way of addressing her. I introduced myself with a big smile and said “Hi, I’m Mongai and it turned out to be friendly, open discussion without any air of stiffness or undue formalism. She shared some views of the significance of the African day. She asked me about school and what I will like to be when I grow. We talked about ways that I could better myself and the world. The lessons the ambassador imparted on, me on that day stuck with me. The meeting inspired me to stay focused on my goals.
Pan African Diaspora Women Association.
Last week, Ambassador Quoa visited Charlotte NC for the launching of the North Carolina Chapter of the Pan African Diaspora Women Association. A group of 40 women representing 20 African countries came together for the event. It was a great event and once again I met with Ambassador Quoa. We immediately connected and continued my conversation from the last time we met.
This evening imparted my life greatly. Ambassador Quao explained to the crown the Berlin Conference and the partition of Africa which led to the colonization of Africa and slavery. I had a better understanding why different countries in Africa have different languages. For the first time, as a 15 years old, I understood better the partition on Africa.
Her speech was a wake-up call saying, ‘You can get here too,’”. “I saw myself in her position. She paved the way for me. She just opened it up to let us know that we could also do this if we continued to work hard.”
I’m still going to continue to stay in touch with Ambassador Quao and the things that she does. She paved the way for us young Africans. What I learned is that Ambassador wants the best for Africans everywhere. She is a powerful African woman and I pray she continues to inspire others.