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Jeremy Rich

Gabonese politician and foreign minister, was born on 10 April 1956 to Omar (then Albert-Bernard) Bongo Ondimba and Louise Mouyabi Moukala in Franceville, capital of the southeastern Gabonese province of Haut-Ogooué. At the time of her birth, her father, Omar Bongo Ondimba, later president of Gabon, was a lieutenant in the French air force. Little public information is available about her childhood and adolescence, but she attended the University of California–Los Angeles in 1979 with her younger sister Albertine. Her father had purchased a home for roughly 2.2 million dollars US in Beverly Hills, California. Shortly before moving to the United States, she reportedly had a short romantic relationship with the Jamaican reggae singer Bob Marley.

Pascaline Bongo finished her studies in the United States and returned to Gabon Although little detailed information exists about her activities in the 1980s she rose to prominence in her father s government after ...

Article

Alonford James Robinson

George Gordon was born in Jamaica to a black slave and her wealthy white master. His father, Joseph, devoted more time to running his estate and furthering his political career than he did to his colored son. Like most wealthy whites in Jamaica during the 1820s, Joseph Gordon was both a member of Jamaica's exclusive House of Assembly and a custos in Saint Andrew's Parish—the highest administrative official in the local province.

As the illegitimate son of the slave master, George Gordon learned the importance of self-reliance at an early age, even teaching himself how to read and write. Much to his father's surprise, he showed signs of proficiency in accounting at an early age. By age ten he was a skilled bookkeeper, and around this time Joseph Gordon decided to free his son, sending him to live with his godfather, businessman James Daley, in Black River, Jamaica.

With ...

Article

Nazneen Ahmed

Alias of Azaj Warqnah Ishete (1865–1952), Ethiopia's first modern‐trained physician and Ethiopian Minister to London at the time of the Italian invasion of Ethiopia in 1935. Born in Gondar, at the age of 3 Ishete was abandoned by his family during the capture of the fortress of Magada in 1868. Two British officers took him to India, assumed responsibility for his education, and christened him Charles Martin. Martin graduated from Lahore Medical College in 1882, becoming a medical officer in Burma in 1891. He was reunited with his family and his Ethiopian name on his visit to Addis Ababa in 1899. On another trip in 1908 as temporary medical officer in the British legation he treated the ailing Emperor Menilek. In 1919 he returned to Ethiopia to settle practising medicine and undertaking various forms of development work including the founding ...

Article

Trevor Hall

was a ship owner and discoverer, colonizer, and governor of the Portuguese Cape Verde Islands off the Guinea coast (now known as Senegal). Born into a prominent family of cartographers in Genoa, de Noli played an important role in the fifteenth-century slave trade when he sailed to West Africa and transported Africans to Portugal as slaves. There is no information about his marriage; however, he had a daughter, the Portuguese noblewoman Branca de Aguiar. She inherited his Cape Verde governorship in 1497, when she married the Portuguese nobleman Jorge Correa de Sousa. Other relatives were his younger brother Bartholomeu and nephew Raphael de Noli, who like Antonio were ship captains.

Just before 1460 the three de Noli captains sailed their ships from the Mediterranean to Portugal where Prince Henry the Navigator hired Antonio to deliver horses to West Africa The Christian Prince Henry had formed a military alliance ...

Article

Alva Moore Stevenson

revolutionary, governor, city councilman, landowner, and businessman, was born Pío de Jesus Píco at the San Gabriel Mission in California, the fourth of the ten children of José María Píco, founder of the Píco family in Southern California, and a native of Fuerte, Sinaloa, Mexico, and María Eustaquia Gutiérrez, from San Miguel de Horcasitas, Sonora, Mexico. Pío's ancestry was a combination of African, Hispanic, Native American, and European. José Píco migrated to California in 1801 with the Anza Expedition, which was authorized in 1775 by the viceroy of Spain. Soldiers and their families were recruited from Sonora to occupy and settle the port of San Francisco. A successful overland emigration and supply route was established between Sonora and Alta California. Among the positions he held were sergeant and corporal Many members of the Píco family served in the military including Pío Píco s ...

Article

Celso Roberto Pitta do Nascimento was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil to a middle-class family. His father was a tradesman and his mother a public servant. At the age of sixteen, after his father's death, Pitta took his first job as a clerk at the Ministry of Planning.

He received his first degree in economics in 1968, from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, and traveled to England, where he completed a master's degree in transportation economics at Leeds University in 1971. Pitta then studied advanced administration at the Harvard Business School, graduating in 1980. Pitta worked as a consultant in the fields of administration and finance, and worked for several Brazilian businesses, including Estaleiros Mauá and Casa da Moeda do Brasil. Pitta moved to São Paulo in 1986, where he worked for a large private corporation called Eucatex.

In addition to working in ...

Article

Sean Jacobs

South African politician and businessman, was born on 5 March 1953 in the then new township of Soweto, south of Johannesburg. His father worked as a clerk at Johannesburg General Hospital. As a child, Sexwale was a keen karate enthusiast, resulting in his receiving the nickname “Tokyo.” In 1973 he matriculated from Orlando West High School in Soweto. While at school Sexwale, a local student leader, had become a follower of Steve Biko’s Black Consciousness Movement. Shortly afterward he left South Africa. By then he had also become involved with the banned African National Congress (ANC). He joined Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK), the military wing of the ANC. In 1975 he completed a business degree at the now disbanded University of Botswana, Lesotho, and Swaziland. He later completed a military officers’ course in the Soviet Union.

In 1976 Sexwale reentered South Africa on a mission for MK but was ...

Article

Toko  

Jeremy Rich

Very little is available about his early life Some traditions collected by researchers in the twentieth century suggest Toko was a slave or of partial slave descent Whether he was born on the coast of the Gabon Estuary or came from another part of the country Toko managed to become a prominent trader by the early 1840s He belonged to the Agakaza clan of the Mpongwe community that dominated trade on the northern bank of the Gabon Estuary Within Mpongwe society many people of partial or full slave descent could own slaves themselves and act relatively independently of their masters Toko s success in business made him one of the wealthiest Mpongwe men in the entire community Mpongwe merchants held a monopoly on direct access to visiting European Brazilian Cuban and São Tomean ships seeking slaves exotic woods ivory and other natural resources Toko lived near the village of Glass ...

Article

Jeremy Rich

Cameroonian human rights activist and businesswoman, was born in Tcheboa, a town located in the Bénoué department of the province of North Cameroon on 28 November 1951. She attended secondary school in the northern Cameroonian city of Garoua and in the southern port city of Douala. Yaou passed her baccalaureate examinations in 1971. Once she had completed her secondary education, Yaou studied economics at the University of Rouen in France. Yaou received her undergraduate degree in economics in 1975. From 1975 to 1979, Yaou enrolled at Georgetown University and Claremont Graduate School in the United States, where she eventually earned a master’s degree in business administration.

Yaou returned to her homeland and was hired almost immediately by the Société Nationale des Investissements SNI This parastatal organization served to promote economic development Back again in Cameroon she was chosen to become the Minister of Women s Affairs ...