On June 16, Public Affairs Officer Roberto Quiroz II welcomed to the U.S. Embassy in Yaounde Chief Foanyi Nkemayang Paul, who is CEO of Star Media House, Vice President of the Commonwealth Journalists Association for Africa, and an alumnus of the Department of State’s International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) in 2005 on investigative journalism. See Facebook album of visit: https://www.facebook.com/yaounde.usembassy/photos/?tab=album&album_id=10157016538780716.
During their meeting, Chief Foanyi Nkemayang Paul expressed condolences over the recent tragedy in Orlando, Florida, and underscored the need to promote acceptance, peace, and security in all nations. “We the people of Cameroon stand with America at this time. As a nation which has suffered so much from Boko Haram, and which counts on America’s support in these efforts to defeat terrorism, we profoundly share your grief at this time,” he said. Chief Foanyi Nkemayang also discussed Star Media House’s commitment to promoting quality journalism. “Integrity is a requirement for all those aspiring to earn the title of journalist. Training, education, ethics, a commitment to facts based reporting and the freedom to do so, all are necessary in journalism. As we enter the 21st century and new technologies make news travel instantaneously and more accessible, it is imperative that those same values are practiced to ensure public confidence in news outlets and to serve the interests of our citizens, who are the consumers of news and depend on our professionalism,” he concluded.
Mr. Quiroz thanked him for his condolences and reaffirmed President Obama’s message that “we grieve the brutal murder — a horrific massacre — of dozens of innocent people. We pray for their families. This is an especially heartbreaking tragedy. The shooter targeted a nightclub where people came together to be with friends, to dance and to sing, and to live. This is a sobering reminder that attacks on any American — regardless of race, ethnicity, religion or sexual orientation — is an attack on all of us and on the fundamental values of equality and dignity that define us as a country. And no act of hate or terror will ever change who we are or the values that make us Americans, and therefore it is especially moving to see that condolences and solidarity have been expressed from all over the world, from here in Cameroon, and from you as a media leader.”
Mr. Quiroz also lauded the leadership of Cameroonian media entrepreneurs and journalists like Chief Nkemayang, ACMAR Media Group CEO Bony Dashaco, CRTV’s Charles Ebune, and all those who have chosen to serve in this key sector. “The Founding Fathers enshrined freedom of the press as a right in the Constitution of the United States of America. In fact, the media sector is recognized as the ‘Fourth Estate’ in America, and plays a vital role in strengthening our democracy each day. Journalists around the world serve in a noble profession. We strongly support the work you and all Cameroonian journalists do each day to strengthen this key sector through the values which you highlighted. They are true heroes,” said Mr. Roberto Quiroz II.
The International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) is the U.S. Department of State’s premier professional exchange program. Through short-term visits to the United States, current and emerging foreign leaders in a variety of fields experience the U.S. firsthand and cultivate lasting relationships with their American counterparts. Professional meetings reflect the participants’ professional interests. To learn about the IVLP, please see: https://eca.state.gov/ivlp.