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Africa’s Queen Diambi to meet business leaders in Exeter at plastic-free summit

African royalty will be meeting South West business leaders and academics in Exeter to discuss plastic pollution in the oceans – and honour one businessman with the Order of the Leopard.

Her Royal Highness Queen Diambi Kabatusuila, monarch of the Bakwa Luntu People of Kasaï in the Democratic Republic of Congo, will meet delegates at the University of Exeter, on Monday, October 25, and tour the institution.

And she will even bestow on Chris Marrow, a South West Business Council (SWBC) advisory board member, the title of Knight of the Order of the Leopard of the Bakwa Luntu People in recognition of his service to Africa and the African people.

Mr Marrow, from Wellington, is a businessman and former merchant seaman who is an expert in the waterways of southern East Africa and a director of the The Elikia Hope Foundation, a charity working in Africa.

Tim Jones, chairman of SWBC, said: “We have been greatly honoured to host a visit from Queen Diambi.”

He said the main reason for Queen Diambi’s visit is to launch a collaborative programme to support plastic-free oceans. Queen Diambi is connected with UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere programme, to safeguard livelihoods while protecting natural ecosystems, and this has formed an alliance with Plastic Free North Devon to improve water quality and tackle single-use plastics.

“This is a huge problem across the African sub-continent,” said Mt Jones. “The link with the South West is because the region currently runs some brilliant research and community based projects and has some exceptional scientists who are global leaders. A specific project which is already running is Plastic Free North Devon.

“In addition, Queen Diambi’ s role is far wider than the issues that are specific to the DRC. She has access to all the African Leaders, as part of the work she does as the principal spokesperson for the African Diaspora.

“She has a twin function in South America and has recently been made an Honorary Queen to the Bantu People of Brazil.

“This enables her to engage at the highest levels, such as, a collaboration with Prince Albert of Monaco’s Foundation.”

Mr Jones said Queen Diambi may be meeting with Prince William as part of her visit to the UK, but will certainly be meeting with up to 20 university and business representatives in Exeter.

Business Live’s South West Business Reporter is William Telford. William has more than a decade’s experience reporting on the business scene in Plymouth and the South West. He is based in Plymouth but covers the entire region.

To contact William: Email: [email protected] – Phone: 01752 293116 – Mob: 07584 594052 – Twitter: @WTelfordHerald – LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com – Facebook: www.facebook.com/william.telford.5473

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He said: “The visit is being hosted by Exeter University, who have some hugely important projects both in this sector and around environmental enhancement. The visit is also seen as an important moment for reinforcing the relationships between the South West of England and Sub-Saharan Africa. In this context, Her Royal Highness is one of the key ambassadors.”

Mr Jones said Queen Diambi’s visit came after she took part in a virtual conference exploring global trade links post-Brexit with SWBC members in 2020. He said an invitation was sent to her to visit the region when she is in the UK and the SWBC was delighted she accepted, and added: “She is a brilliant speaker.”



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