A former Kenyan journalist, Mishael Ondieki, has been appointed to the Board of Directors of the Long Beach-Mombasa Sister City program.
The city of Long Beach, the second busiest port in the US, is 35 miles from downtown Los Angeles, and borders the port of Los Angeles.
Mr. Ondieki, who is an advisor to the United States Africa Opportunity Network (USAFON), is a California-based businessman who has invested in various businesses in the US, including real estate and a software developing company.
Sister city program is a citizen diplomacy network that creates and strengthens partnerships between cities across the world, ranging from business and investing, student exchanges and culture. In the past, several students from Mombasa County have benefited from scholarship programs from the arrangement.
Long Beach-Mombasa Sister City is one of the 17 Sister City Partnerships selected by Sister City International (SCI) to lead infrastructure building projects in Africa under Africa Urban Poverty Alleviation Program (AUPAP).
The appointment was announced by Chairman of the program Ms. Phyllis Vanable. Appointed alongside Mr. Ondieki is Dr. Juma Bharadia, Mr. Art Nora of USAFON, Ms. Sara Mirza and Ms. Mary Makau.
The President of the program, Mr. Marcus Tyson and Dr. Kenneth Curtis were present. The appointment took place at the City of Long Beach last week.
The port of Long Beach is divided by a street from the Port of Los Angeles. Long beach is sandwiched between San Diego and Los Angeles, a part of a Southern California popularly known as the Golden Triangle, which, if it was a country of its own, would be the 16th wealthiest country in the world.
California’s economy would rank 6th largest in the world, ahead of India, France and Canada.
Before relocating to the US, Mr. Ondieki was a business writer with Nation Media Group. He is a graduate of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US), National University (US) and the University of Nairobi.
Mr. Ondieki says that he agreed to join the board due to the alignment of his personal philosophy and that of the program of transferring wealth across the continents ion all aspects of the word.
He said, he has already opened discussions with the President of Jumuia ya Wanafunzi wa Pwani, Patrick Mwavula to explore possibilities of igniting the student exchange program for students starting from high school to university level.
The board is working with the local economic development authority to hold a trade event in Long beach later this year to drum up support and mobilize businesses and investors for a planned trade delegation to Mombasa in 2020.
Ms. Vanable said that the addition to the board will give it the impetus it needs ahead of the planned delegation which will be led by Mayor of Long Beach Mr. Robert Garcia.
The City of Long Beach has Sister City relationships with Phnom Penh, Cambodia Qingdao China, Sochi Russia, and Yokkaichi Japan.
These partnerships host several international delegations per year and sponsor special cultural events throughout the year that help bring together the entire Long Beach international community.
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