Ambassador Joseph Wilson (ret.) Gives Keynote Address at Africa’s Indaba 2010 Power Conference
CAPE TOWN, South Africa, Feb. 24 /PRNewswire/ — VIPs and delegates gathered in South Africa yesterday to hear retired US Ambassador Joseph Wilson, a Director of Symbion Power, deliver the keynote address at the opening of the Power Indaba 2010 conference in Durban, Symbion Power announced today. Ambassador Wilson served for the United States government at the US Embassy in Niger and he served as Ambassador to Gabon and Sao Tome. He was President Bill Clinton’s senior advisor on African Affairs at the White House when Clinton made his historic visit to Africa in 1998.
Ambassador Wilson served as Chief of Mission at the US Embassy in Baghdad, Iraq during the first Gulf War and after retiring from government service he became a vocal opponent of the President’s decision to invade Iraq in 2003. After visiting Niger in the run up to the second Gulf War he challenged the Bush administration’s misuse of intelligence stating that Iraq had attempted to purchase Uranium Yellow Cake from that African nation. His six-year battle with the Bush administration began when the White House exposed his wife’s identity as a CIA covert officer. This has been chronicled in his bestselling book, The Politics of Truth and in another bestseller, Fair Game, written by his wife, former CIA Officer Valerie Plame. A movie telling the story, directed by Doug Liman (The Bourne Identity), starring Naomi Watts as Valerie and Sean Penn as The Ambassador will be released later in 2010.
Following visits this January to Angola and Tanzania, Ambassador Wilson’s remarks to the 1500 Indaba attendees exhorted the participants to match 35 years of political maturity with the unfinished business of creating economic growth. He said, “We have studied electrification to death. It is now time to dispense with conferences and get on with the job of providing power to the vast number of Africans who don’t have it.” Wilson underscored the importance of building the electrical power facilities that are needed to convert raw materials to finished products as well as emphasized the importance of building the capacity of local people to do this work. Ambassador Wilson remarked that Symbion Power’s success working in difficult and hostile environments is based upon its corporate philosophy of training local workers and partnering with local firms.
Speaking by telephone, Symbion’s Chief Executive Officer, Paul Hinks said, “Joe Wilson loves Africa and Africa loves Joe. I just spent much of January and February in Africa with him and I witnessed the love affair first hand. The courage he displayed by defending the dignity of Africa, when it was wrongly alleged that Saddam Hussein was buying uranium from Niger is further testimony to a man who wants to see poverty alleviated on a continent that is rich with an abundance of natural resources.”
Hinks added, “Ambassador Wilson will be playing a greater, executive role with Symbion in 2010 and going forward. We have four projects under construction in Iraq and Kurdistan, we anticipate new work in Africa shortly and we are in client discussions for projects in Yemen and Oman.” “We have unfinished business with regard to Afghanistan and we will be vigorous about this and in the pursuit of new opportunities there later this year,” said Hinks.
The Ambassador concluded his remarks to the conference by urging the participants to redouble their efforts to realize the dream of bringing power, light and prosperity to the people of Africa.
About Symbion Power:
Symbion Power is an American company established in 2005 with offices in the U.S., across the Middle East and in Africa that specializes in developing complex turnkey electric power infrastructure systems, including transmission lines, substations and switchyards and thermal power plants, in regions of the world where conflict and instability are major impediments to progress. Symbion’s collaboration with Hart Security, the global agency that shares a belief in the importance of working with local populations, has enabled Symbion to develop a unique formula for success that combines security and construction to deliver completed technical projects using a trained, local workforce in locations where security is a risk factor. www.symbion-power.com
SOURCE Symbion Power