Noah Samara, Chairman and CEO of Yazmi USA, LLC, and Chair of The Africa Society of the National Summit on Africa’s Board of Directors was the keynote speaker for the opening ceremony of African Union’s eLearning Africa 2015 Conference on May 20, 2015 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. During his presentation on “Technology for Learning: Limitations and Opportunities” before an audience of government leaders, he stressed the need for a strong commitment to education and the necessity for its being a high priority by insuring students have the materials they need, fitting instruction to meet students’ needs, and respecting, preparing and arming teachers with the tools they need.
This address was particularly meaningful for the Ethiopian native whose late father, Azmi Samara, was the chief financial officer for the Organization of African Unity, an international organization founded in 1963 which later became the African Union. It was also the elder Samara who was a teacher of physical and life science who instilled the value of education on his son.
Noah Samara’s focus on education is borne out in his own life with advanced degrees from Georgetown University in Foreign Service and in law, and a Doctorate from the University of California at Los Angeles in Renaissance studies. It is that intellectual curiosity and prowess that led to the innovations that followed.
Presently, through his company, Yazmi, he has invented a tablet powered by satellite throughout the continent of Africa, which can deliver massive amounts of educational material directly to every student and every teacher without the need for internet or electricity.
Samara was also the originator of satellite radio, an invention he created to inform Africans about the ravages of HIV/AIDs and other health pandemics, and to bring a wealth of information to the most remote places in Africa. As the founder and CEO of WorldSpace, an internationally known telecommunications corporation, he built upon his experience as an expert in regulatory issues, a specialist in satellite and cellular communications, and his extensive knowledge in digital audio broadcasting. He worked with the United Nations’ International Telecommunications Union and served as a consultant to numerous entities in the area of telecommunications.
According to Bernadette Paolo, President and CEO of The Africa Society, “For most people, having one profession is enough. Noah is at once an attorney, an inventor, a telecommunications guru, an entrepreneur, a philosopher and, fortunately for us, the Chair of our Board of Directors for more than a decade.”