“Until the lion learns how to write, every story will glorify the hunter.”
— African Proverb
Airbus is a diverse and multicultural company. So if you look long enough, you will always find someone with a similar cultural and social background.
What is the origin story of the AIrbus Africa community?
Being in Airbus in Toulouse, France, I used to nod and smile at every black person I will see on site. They will nod back to me and smile. We said “Hello” to each other, and that was it.
We both felt awkward and then moved on to business as usual.
Then Valerie Manning and Yves Yemsi initiated a monthly “Friday Open Launch.” The principle was simple: book a massive table at the restaurant in Toulouse, and everyone with Africa in their heart can come and join. This was back in 2011.
This is how we started connecting at another level.
In 2017, we formalized the creation of our Airbus Africa Community (AAC) to have one flag for us all to focus our energy as one body and mind.
We didn’t know at the time that we were what is called an ERG (Employee Resource Group). We will join the Airbus internal network of networks: The Balance For Business network led by Jane Basson and Susan Breton.
Our mission is to plant the seeds for Airbus in Africa through education and mentorship and to be used to give a unique insight into our company and help change the narrative of our beloved continent.
In 2018, we organized our first AAC forum with the sponsorship of Dirk Hoke, and we were blessed to have Ellen Fischat as an external keynote speaker.
In 2019, we had our second edition of the forum, sponsored by Armel Djeukou and Fadimatou NOUTCHEMO SIMO as an external keynote speaker. And it was amazing.
I was honored to host the event. And I wanted to be a lion telling my African story.