WZIP 88.1 FM Community Concern Radio Interviews

WZIP-FM and ACWA are partnering to produce Community Concern Programs featuring ACWA guest diplomats as a means to educate WZIP listeners on international issues that affect Northeast Ohio interests, economically and politically. ACWA Executive Director Jane Walker Snider conducts these radio interviews, which are broadcast on WZIP 88.1 FM. The following archives are provided courtesy of WZIP.

Dominik Mutter

May 2014 - Dominik Mutter, Minister Counselor for Political Affairs at the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany, Washington, D.C. discuss:

Germany and the U.S. – Economic and Political Initiatives

  • Ukraine Crisis Update - Mr. Mutter will address the status of Ukraine's scheduled
    presidential elections coming up on May 25. He will also discuss the European Union's and Germany's responses to the crisis.
  • U.S.-German economic relations - The German economy emphasizes "Mittelstand", the small-and medium-sized companies that have proven resilient in the face of global economic crisis. The U.S. is the main investment destination for German companies. Subsidiaries of U.S.companies have created more jobs in Germany than in any other country. This close economic relationship between the U.S. and Germany is based on shared belief in free trade, individual enterprise and open markets. Mr. Mutter will address aspects of this relationship.
  • Skills Initiative - The German Embassy in the U.S. is bringing together German and American businesses and educators to develop training programs best suited to businesses' needs. The objective is to identify and spread best practices in sustainable workforce development in the U.S. In Germany, around 60% of young people take part in a dual system of vocational training. Some 40% are women. This is a system in which a company provides practical training, while vocational schools supplement this with theoretical instruction. This offers participants a recognized training and career path after high school, an alternative or complement to university education.
  • Germany's Centrist Government - Angela Merkel continues as head of Germany's government. She has been serving in this position since 2005 when she became the youngest Chancellor ever, the first woman and the first former East German. Her approval ratings remain above 60%. She is recognized for her ability to facilitate consensus. Mr. Mutter will outline how this relates to addressing significant challenges in his country and in the EU.

View Mr. Mutter's profile


Kuninori Matsuda, Consul General of Japan, Detroit, MI

January 2013 - Saud Al Nowais, Commercial Counselor for the United Arab Emirates to the US, and Jane Walker Snider discuss:

Understanding Business and Culture in the Middle East: Focus on the United Arab Emirates

The United Arab Emirates is one of the United States' strongest allies. Saud Al Nowais from the UAE's embassy in Washington, D.C., discusses the many aspects of the deepening UAE-US bilateral relationship, the UAE’s approach as an innovative social investor and the country’s emergence on the world stage:

  • UAE’s emergence on the world stage—In just over four decades, the UAE has transformed from a tribal culture reliant on agriculture and fishing to an entrepreneurial success story with world-class infrastructure. The UAE’s leadership has improved education, advanced health care and embraced change as the UAE modernizes, consistent with its history and cultural values. Focused on strengthening institutions of government and advancing the role of women in society, today, the UAE is a strong, vibrant and modern nation that is open to the world.
  • UAE-U.S. security interests—The UAE is also a source of tolerance, innovation, and growth in the Arabian Gulf and around the globe. In that regard, the UAE and US have formed a strong relationship with shared security interests and a common resolve to preserve security and stability in the Gulf region. The UAE is only one of three countries and the only Arab nation to participate with the US in five coalition actions over the last 20 years: Afghanistan, Libya, Somalia, Bosnia-Kosovo, and the 1990 Gulf War.
  • UAE-US trade relationship—The economies of the UAE and US are also closely intertwined. In 2012, U.S. exports to the UAE increased by forty percent from 2011 to over $22.5 billion, making the UAE the single largest export market in the Middle East for US goods, a distinction it has now held for the fourth year in a row. For 30 years, the UAE has invested in US capital markets, making the UAE a dependable and long-term contributor to US economic growth. Saud Al Nowais will discuss this long-standing economic relationship and explain in greater detail the UAE’s economy.

View Mr. Al Nowais' profile

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Kuninori Matsuda, Consul General of Japan, Detroit, MI

January 2013 - Consul General Graham Paul and Jane Walker Snider discuss:

France and the U.S. – Economic and Political Initiatives

  • Cross investments between France and the U.S.
    The U.S. is France’s largest trading partner outside of the EU, but, more importantly, it is the top foreign investor in France and the #1 destination for French investment. Consul General Paul will explain why France is so attractive to American investors and why France is so interested in investing in the U.S.
  • Innovation: France's top priority
    France’s commitment to innovation is illustrated by the creation of 71 innovation clusters involving universities, enterprises and research centers. This $45 billion national investment program aims to enhance the competitiveness of the French economy in strategic areas and to implement a number of incentives for business, notably the best research tax credit system in Europe.
  • France, an "influential power" on the world stage
    Consul General Paul will provide a perspective on the foreign policy of France, which includes a wide scope of actions and contributions around the globe. He spoke about the French engagement with Islamic Rebels in Mali, supported by the U.S., and collaboration with other African nations initiatives.
  • The evolution of Europe and the importance of the transatlantic relationship
    Today, the EU is not just the world’s single largest market and the home to 500 million citizens speaking 23 different languages; it is a political body and a global player. Trade between the U.S. and EU accounts for almost half of the world's economic output. Beyond being the top economic partner of the United States, Mr. Paul also focused on Europe and the U.S. sharing a common history, cultural heritage and robust democratic values as well as current current addressing of global challenges.

View Mr. Paul's profile

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Kuninori Matsuda, Consul General of Japan, Detroit, MI

Japan and the U.S. – Economic and Political Partners

October 2012 - Kuninori Matsuda, Consul General of Japan in Detroit, MI

Mr. Matsuda provides an overview of how Japanese investment contributes to northeast Ohio's economy and labor market, with 420 Japanese companies employing over 56,000 people statewide. In this context, he says that this correlates with a high demand for Japanese-speaking talent to fill the ranks of jobs. He also offers heartfelt thanks for the response of the U.S. military and citizens to the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011. Thousands of U.S. military personnel conducted search and rescue efforts in the Tohoku region. In addition, citizens in Ohio and across the U.S. organized relief efforts, contributing financial, volunteer and moral support. He also discusses the issue of nuclear power generation in Japan in the wake of the Fukushima nuclear reactor accident.

View Mr. Matsuda's profile

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Canada and the U.S. – Goals and Challenges

April 2012 - Roy Norton, Consul General of Canada in Detroit, MI

Mr. Norton addresses the mutual economic interdependence of Canada and the U.S., how the two countries are cooperating to provide a border that works. New business models utilize production integration across the border. Parts and finished products move back and forth in the Great Lakes area and in other U.S. border states. The new U.S. – Canada Border Action Plan aims to better assess threats and ease bottlenecks at border crossings. For the Great Lakes area, this means reducing costs associated with $500 million of trade transported daily, including the need for a second Detroit-Windsor bridge, which has been long delayed. Other topics include how Canada and the U.S. are working to achieve dominance in gas and oil production. Mr. Norton also discusses differences in Canada and U.S. immigration policies and how this relates to Canada's education policies and employment goals.

View Mr. Norton's profile

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Mexico: Neighbor and Strategic Partner

February 2012 - Vicente Sanchez Ventura, Consul of Mexico, Detroit, MI

Mr. Ventura provides perspective on NAFTA's benefits to citizens in Mexico, increases in jobs and related university education and with sharp decreases in illegal crossings into the U.S., with families staying together and having good incomes in Mexico. Some 750,000 students annually graduate with degrees in engineering and aerospace. Mr. Ventura also responds to questions abouthis government's actions against the drug cartels, and how cross-border visas are providing legal entry of agricultural workers into the U.S. In closing, he describes the variety of Mexico's historic, cultural and recreational sites that are attracting some 22 million visitors to Mexico annually.

View Mr. Ventura's profile

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Turkish Consul General in Akron: An Outlook on World Affairs from the Perspective of a Strategic Ally

November 2011 - Fatih Yildiz, Consul General of Turkey, Chicago, IL

Mr. Yildiz discusses Turkey's democratic government, with Mr. Mustafa Tayyip Erdogan in his third term as Prime Minister. He comments of his government's uniqueness, in the context of its 90%+ Islamic population. He also addresses his nation's foreign policy, as a consistent and systematic framework, with references to political changes in Arab nations and others on its long borders. At the time of his visit, Turkey was responding to the October 23 earthquake in its Region of Van. Mr. Yildiz outlines how Turkey responds to these disasters, short and long term, which occur periodically throughout his country because of its geography.

View Mr. Yildiz's profile

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Britain – Building on Today’s Domestic and Global Challenges

October 2011 - Ramin Navai, Deputy Consul General, British Consulate, Chicago, IL

Mr. Navai provides perspective on measures Prime Minister David Cameron and the government is undertaking in response to Britain's economic challenge of balancing its “books” after years of deficit spending on social benefits. He also discusses Britain’s appeal to firms in India and other countries working to take their regional businesses to the global level, with Britain providing key business expertise and strong brands. He reviewed the status, at the time of his visit, of the humanitarian mission and strategic goals of Britain, the U.S., France and other key supporters of Libya’s National Transition Council.

View Mr. Navai's profile

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Brazil Today — A Global Model of Democracy and Development

April 2011 - Ernesto Henrique Fraga Araújo, Minister Counselor, Embassy of Brazil, Washington, D.C.

Mr. Araújo focuses on Brazil's historic juncture: strong economic growth and political stability with perspective on current challenges. Dilma Roussellf, Brazil's first female president, has major tasks. One is continuing to address and eradicate extreme poverty, building on Brazil's legacy of reducing poverty by tens of millions in recent years, including the Bosa Familia program’s emphasis on women acting for their families. Brazil, now a major global player, engages in broader challenges, including global issues resolution and counseling emergingeconomies. Also, many U.S. companies are setting up facilities in Brazil.

View Mr. Araújo's profile

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U.S. and Russia Today — Partnering on Global Challenges

November 2010 - Alexey Timofeev, Counselor of the Embassy of the Russian Federation in the U.S., Washington, D.C.

Mr. Timofeev presents an overview of U.S. and Russian 21st-century cooperation, including the historic nuclear arms agreement. He also speaks about space cooperation in the context of Russia's and the U.S. "space race" in the 1960s, including how astronauts of the two countries acknowledged one another's achievements. In addition, he outlines Russia’s challenges in preparing for the February 2014 Summer Olympics in Sochi. This includes Russia's goals of becoming the most innovative and the “greenest” in the modern history of the Olympic Movement, together with focus on attendees ease of access to the games.

View Mr. Timofeev's profile

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Finland Today - Arctic Region Development Strategy: Opportunities & Safeguards

November 2010 - Ann-Sofie Stude, Minister Counselor, Head of Political Affairs, Embassy of Finland in Washington, D.C.

Ms. Stude discusses the complex issues related to the rapid climate change in the Arctic region. This includes perspective on economics, politics, ecology and indigenous people. There are territorial boundaries. Finland has the right to explore natural resources within its territory, as guided by the UN Convention. For Finland and the other countries involved, this is a 200 mile economic zone from the border on water. It is 350 miles from the edge of Finland's Continental shelf. She also presents an objective view of Finland's education system which annually has students outperforming students in other countries, including the U.S., discussing qualifications for teaching and on-the-job training and supervision. She also provides a historic overview of Finland's human rights heritage its global engagement with these today.

View Ms. Stude's profile

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Indonesia Today — Vigorous Democracy & Strategic U.S. Partner

October 2010 - Gustanto, Minister Counselor for Political Affairs, Embassy of Indonesia in Washington, D.C.

Gustanto discusses ways in which the bilateral U.S.-Indonesia partnership will support new and expanded initiatives in both countries within the new Comprehensive Partnership. He also provides perspectives on his country's transition to democracy, including the support of the U.S. for its independence in 1945 and the example set by the U.S. Constitution. He provides examples of Indonesia's unique geography as the world's largest archipelago and the diversity of its peoples, including the largest Muslim democracy in the world, termed an “open society”. With the inauguration of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono in 2004, Indonesia became the third largest democracy in the world, after India and the U.S. Today, the country has one of the strongest global economies, and its citizens value and benefit from its open and tolerant society.

View Gustanto's profile

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Austria Today — Beyond "The Sound of Music"

April 2010 - Dr. Wolfgang Renezeder, Head of Press & Information Service, Embassy of Austria, Washington, D.C.

Dr. Renezeder discusses how Austria has reinvented itself since WWII, through its own efforts and favorable external factors: peace in Europe, an expanding European Union, the collapse of communism and growing global prosperity. Austria has become one of the most important investors in the emerging markets of the new democracies of Central and Eastern Europe (CEE). Other topics that Dr. Renezeder addresses include Austria's continuing its legacy as meadiator and peacekeeper in regions of conflict, its programs that compensate victims of the Holocaust and sends youth to serve at Holocaust institutions of remembrance in other countries. He also acknowledges the significant economic aid provided by the U.S. following WWII that provided an essential foundation for Austria’s moving ahead both economically and politically.

View Mr. Renezeder's profile


The Netherlands & the U.S. — Global Initiatives / Domestic Differences

February 2010 - Dr. Stephan Raes, Head of Economic Department, Royal Netherlands Embassy, Washington, D.C.

Dr. Stephan Raes focuses both on the U.S./Netherlands relationship in 2010 as well as some challenges specific to his country. Netherlands foreign investment in the U.S. provides an estimated 850,000 jobs. Since the Katrina and Rita hurricanes in New Orleans, cooperation in both water management and clean energy has progressed. Some 70% of the Dutch live below sea level, generating ongoing initiatives with application for the U.S. and other countries. Dr. Raes also discusses the Netherlands' soft drug policy and how this differs from that of the U.S. Immigration into the Netherlands is resulting in benefits and debates on how people of different origins live together. Dr. Raes provides an overview of this.

View Dr. Raes' profile


South Africa - New Government, New Directions

November 2009 - Mongezi Mahlulo, First Secretary, Public Diplomacy, Embassy of South Africa in Washington, D.C.

Mr. Mahlulo and Ms. Lefatshe provide an overview of South Africa in 2009 in the context of the country’s recent change in government which gave President Jacob Zuma a mandate for the next five years. Mr. Mahlulo discusses priorities, with South Africa working with other nations to confront poverty, health, education, job development, workplace safety and combating crime and corruption. Mr. Mahlulo also addresses challenges and changes in culture and education since the ending of Apartheid in 1994 with the country’s first multi-racial elections. The leadership of Nelson Mandela and others brought about a change to democracy with, among other goals, a non-racial and nonsexist South Africa. Economic problems remain from the apartheid era. Mr. Mahlulu discusses how resolution of these is being managed through focus on controlling inflation, maintaining a budget surplus, and using state-owned enterprises to deliver basic services to low income areas as a means of increasing job growth and household income.

View Mr. Mahlulo's profile


South Africa - New Government, New Directions

November 2009 - Boipelo Lefatshe, 3rd Secretary, Public Diplomacy, Embassy of South Africa in Washington, D.C.

Ms. Lefatshe provides perspective on business and tourism in South Africa, in the context of the country’s preparedness to host the 2010 Soccer World Cup. This is the first African nation to be selected for the competition. In preparation, an intensive building campaign is underway, with some $1.48 billion being spent on nine stadiums. South Africa is getting its first high-speed railway. These supplement South Africa’s existing assets: 1,533 miles of scenic coastline, 10 international airports, a robust stock exchange and an open society with a free press. Ms. Lefatshe provides an overview of how a visitor can easily travel to many remarkable locations within a reasonable time frame.


Morocco and the U.S. — The Historic Alliance in the 21st Century

October 2009 - Wassane Zailachi, Deputy Chief of Mission - Embassy of the Kingdom of Morocco in Washington, D.C.

Ms. Zailachi provides an overview of the liberalization of Moroccan society under King Mohammed VI, successor to the throne in 1999. She also reviews the long relationship with the U.S., beginning in 1777 and its strategic importance to both countries in the 21st century. In 1777, Morocco’s ruler granted American ships free entry to all its ports, a privilege reserved at that time for only major trading partners. A treaty of Peace & Friendship was negotiated in 1787. This remains the longest uninterrupted treaty of the U.S. with another country. Ms. Zailachi discusses current challenges, with King Mohammed VI continuing to work to modernize Morocco’s society and placing strong initiatives against terrorism. On May 16, 2003, suicide bombers hit targets in Casablanca. A tough new anti-terrorism strategy was enacted, supported by its citizens and praised by the U.S. State Department. Mrs. Zailachi alsol provides an overview of important advances in women’s rights, freedom of the press and the rule of law. Challenges remain, including literacy, job creation and the economy. On a regional basis, Morocco has long been a partner in Arab-Israli peace efforts.

View Ms. Zailachi's profile

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U.S.–German Relations: Addressing Global Issues

April 2009 - David Schwake, Political Counselor, Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in Washington, D.C.

David Schwake provides an overview of current global issues being addressed by his government and by the U.S. and two historic events being commemorated by Germany in 2009. He reports on the Group of 20 meeting in London, on April 2nd, providing his government’s assessment both of the conference’s outcome. Mr. Schwake also discusses Germany's commitment of more troops to Afghanistan, with emphasis on his government’s comprehensive approach to helping stabilize the country, both politically and militarily, and its assessment of the importance of these steps. With 2009 being the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, Mr. Schwake will summarize major accomplishments in East Germany since the departure of Soviet troops. The German government is also commemorating the 60th anniversary of the Berlin air lift, with recognition of U.S. pilots who flew the hazardous passage in the post WWII period.

View Mr. Schwake's profile


Akron Council on World Affairs Featured Over WZIP-FM

April 2009 - Jane Walker Snider, ACWA Executive Director

Ms. Snider discusses the mission of The Akron Council on World Affairs (ACWA) and the programs provided to our extended community as a 501(c)(3) educational non-profit. ACWA's mission is to increase public dialogue in Akron and vicinity on international issues important to U.S. policy making and to support cross-cultural communication and democratic decision-making by our citizens. Ms. Snider provides an overview of ACWA's three coordinated programs that offer attendees the opportunity to engage with diplomats from foreign governments who are serving in the U.S. These programs include the Speaker Series which is open to the community by registration. The Global Scholars program for leadership high school students collaborates with Akron Public Schools, with participating students preparing in advance sessions to meet with the visiting diplomats and peers from other APS high schools. This formal session supports informed exchanges on significant current topics related to a given foreign nation. These topics are separately discussed by Ms. Snider in her interview with each diplomat at the studios of WZIP-88.1FM.

View a photo gallery of students in dialogue with diplomats and one another.

View Ms. Snider's profile

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