Sunday, September 27, 2015

Paris-Brazzaville : Charles Villeneuve and Richard Attias

I suspect that, the new management never wanted a black person to hold any administrative or management functions within Telesud. Personally, I went on well with the new management, especially with Mr Bernard Volker and Aurelian Delpeyroux.  But I foresaw that, they did not have anything special to offer. Furthermore, I also sensed that, under them, Telesud would become like any other community broadcaster in France with little or no influence in French-speaking Africa and the French-speaking Caribbean islands as it used to have. For it was evident that, they (Bernard Volker and his new entirely white team) had no clearly defined strategy. I was not wrong in the way I foresaw things. For besides the existing programmes such as Afronight, La Grande Interview, Etretien du Jour, Lady Vous Ecoute and the news, to name just these few, they brought or introduced nothing new. They instead instill a spirit of divide and rule, a strategy that brought or pushed the news service on the brink of revolt. For its news Director was now being considered by Bernard Volker as a spy working for Charles Villeneuve.

The paradox is that, it was Mr Villeneuve who brought on board Bernard Volker, but when Villeneuve got sick and was not available to head Telesud, hence the management was given to Bernard Volker. Mr Charles Villeneuve is a journalist. He was formerly the director of the sports service of the privately owned French television called TF1.  TF1 is a private French TV channel controlled by TF1 Group whose major shareholder is Bouygues. According to the online dictionary Wikipedia, TF1 was launched on the 26th of April 1935. While Bouygues SA is an industrial group headquartered in the 8th arrondissement of Paris, France. Bouygues is listed on the Euronext Paris exchange and also the blue chip in the CAC 40 stock market. The company was founded in 1952 by Francis Bouygues and since 1989 has been led by his son Martin Bouygues. In 2011, it had approximately 130,000 employees. The group specializes in construction, real estate development, media and Telecommunications. It is alleged that, Charles Villeneuve has been working or have worked for the French intelligence service abbreviated in DGSE or in full: Direction de la Securite Exterieure or in English: the General Directorate for External Service.

The organization according to Wikipedia can trace its roots back to 1947, when the central external intelligence agency abbreviated in French as SDECE existed. SDECE was created by Alexandre de Marenches in 1944. Precisely it existed from the 6th of November 1944 until 2nd April 1982 when it became known as the DGSE. Alexandre de Marenches was a Franco-American soldier born in Paris in 1921. He was the son of Captain Charles-Constant-Marie de Marenches, a French aristocrat from a very old family of knights of Norman origin, aide-de-camp to Marshal Ferdinand Foch. Whether Charles Villeneuve is or was working as an agent of the French intelligence service or not is not important because, they are just unsubstantiated rumors and I don’t want to consider it because I have also been a victim of such accusations in Congo. What I know about Charles Villeneuve and which to me is the truth and most important is that he is currently working with Richard Attias & Associates. Attias & Associates is a public relations and events organizing company owned by Richard Attias.  

Mr Attias according to the online dictionary Wikipedia was on born on the 19th of November 1959 in Morocco to a Jewish family. He is an event producer, founder and former chairman of Publicis live and he is presently the executive chairman of Richard Attias and Associates and founder of The New York Forum, the New York Africa Forum regularly held in Libreville, Gabon and the lesser known Build Africa Forum that was held in Brazzaville, Congo in February 2014.   This is how the web site of Richard Attias and Associates presents Richard Attias, founder in glowing fashion: Richard Attias has built an unrivaled reputation for advising global leaders, corporations and nations on how to build their global influence, catalyze innovation, and mobilize populations. He has provided clients across sectors with hands on assistance in: branding and strategic communications, the development of public-private partnerships, and investment in emerging markets. His talent for anticipating and managing the most pressing issues of our time, activating global networks, and inspiring innovation is based on his unique experience curating communities of senior leaders, developed over decades with leading platforms that he produced, including: The New York Forum and The New York Forum AFRICA; the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos; the Clinton Global Initiative, the Nobel Laureates Conference and the Doha Goals Forum to name a few.

Before establishing Richard Attias & Associates, now part of WPP, Attias served as advisor to the Emirate of Dubai where he devised a comprehensive branding strategy for the Government. Prior to that, Richard started his career at IBM, and then founded several companies in the IT Industry and in the Global Communications field. He also spent a decade at the media conglomerate Publicis Groupe, where he most recently served as Executive Chairman of Publicis Events Worldwide and designed more than 1,000 events for global corporations. A global citizen originally from Morocco, Attias completed his studies in civil engineering and earned a master’s degree in mathematics and physics. He has lived in France, Switzerland, Japan, Dubai and the United States. His Public Sector clients have included: the African Development Bank, Bahrain, Brazil, China, Dubai, France, Gabon, Republic of Congo, Jordan, Morocco, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, South Africa, Tunisia, UAE, UK, United Nations and USA. His Private Sector clients have included: Avaya, EDF, IBM, Lenovo, L'Oreal, Airbus, The New York Times, Renault Nissan, Sanofi-Aventis and Sony. Headquartered in New York City since 2009, Richard Attias & Associates is made up of a globally minded and culturally diverse team of experienced professionals. We have over 200 years of cumulative expertise in building innovative live initiatives, speaker and audience engagement, thought leadership, business journalism, strategic marketing and communication, branding, project management, production and logistics.

Our staff has graduated from many of the world's top schools including Columbia, Harvard, HEC, the London School of Economics, Oxford, Princeton and Yale.  It is a glowing praise for Richard Attias and his company but certainly not shared by citizens of Gabon and recently Congo where he organizes his events.  Citizens of both countries think that the hosting of New Africa Forum in Gabon and Build Africa Forum in Brazzaville are waste of fund for returns that, the population don’t see. They would have wanted that, the amount of money spent in hosting be put in other vital sectors such as healthcare and education, two sectors that needs massive investments not only in both countries but in most of Africa. 

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