Emmanuel does not consider himself a celebrity in any way, shape, or form, but does consider himself a to-go-to person as far as knowledge and news around ECOWAS; African Union; South-South policies are concerned. Probably the only individual consistently monitoring, writing about, and explaining ECOWAS and African Union policies, the host is also already an award-winning blogger.
- Additionally, Emmanuel is already very dexterous with social media, and is known to live-tweet all events he attends. This has helped garner for him a relatively large following on twitter and google plus (5149 and 4730 respectively).
- The host is perfectly bilingual, having had his formative upbringing in Brussels, Belgium over 20 years, and has been monitoring both francophone and anglophone media on West Africa for a decade.
- Well-recognized as an Ecowas/AU Policy analyst by the UN Economic Commission for Africa, Emmanuel has an M.A. in International Politics(2003), from the Brussels-based CERIS, and has UN certification in Regional Trade(2011); Continental Free Trade Area(2012); and acquired a UNITAR/ECOWAS certificate on Multilateral Trade Negotiations in 2015.
- His Pan-Africanist activism includes founding East Africa Rising, which has morphed from a whatsapp group, populated by mostly journalists; activists; lawyers from the East African region, and selected Ghanaians who can help unpack West Africa to East Africans, to a Facebook page educating followers on best practices from East & West Africa that can be replicated in either region. Emmanuel was in Kenya in October 2015. Although the stay was short, two members of the East Africa Rising whatsapp group offered him intimate insights into the country that may have been well-nigh impossible had the group not given their time to show him round.
- From 11-15 September, Emmanuel attended a week-long meeting at the Ecowas Commission, Abuja. He was there on the invite/recommendation of the African Governance Architecture(AGA) Secretariat, which prosecutes the work of the Department of Political Affairs –especially on popularizing the African Charter on Democracy, Elections & Governance(ACDEG).
- The AGA is also responsible for the Youth Engagement Strategy(YES). One of the flagship activities of the YES is the Regional Youth Consultation, which are convened under the theme “Promoting Young People’s Rights towards the attainment of Agenda 2063”. Given the Consultations take an intergenerational approach is one of the reasons why the AGA Secretariat recommended Emmanuel, in his capacity as Host of “Africa in Focus”, Show to moderate a session — which he did to popular acclaim by the participants who appreciated how he was able to switch from English to French with dexterity.
- Although “Africa in Focus” has had a relationship with the AU since 2015 (CAADP and Department of Political Affairs) when we were invited to Ethiopia; South Africa; and Rwanda respectively, (where AIF was invited for the Fourth High-Level Dialogue on Democracy & Development, with a focus on #WomenInPolitics), this invite to moderate is probably the *greatest* endorsement yet by the AU of the Show’s value-addition to the conversation promoting Africa’s integration through the media.