OCA Magazine: 15 years of success in building the land bridge with Eurasia in the heart of the storm

Since 2009, OCA Magazine has become a well-regarded publication with a readership that includes diplomats and businesspeople. It is the sole English-language magazine dedicated to the Central Asian and CIS region.  For the past 15 years, OCA Magazine has been promoting diplomatic relationships and international partnerships between Eurasia and the global community.

The list of contributors to OCA Magazine is extensive and includes heads of state, ambassadors, ministers, celebrities, academicians, businesspeople, and others. In 2024, the magazine will celebrate its anniversary with both new and traditional special editions, as well as international events that will bring together readers, contributors, and partners of the publication.

A special issue, OCA: Creative Industries & Tourism Expertise, has already been published as part of the celebrations. The edition includes articles about the best tourist experiences, modern projects, and key challenges in the creative economy for Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Belarus, and other countries. The articles are written by experts from various countries, including the UK, Spain, and Russia.  The text presents different aspects of tourism, such as destinations, innovation, environmental sustainability, and the impact of tourism on the economy and culture. The first edition was presented to the audience during the OCA Zoom International Conference on ‘Sustainable Development of the Creative Economy: a New Model for Tourism in Central Asia’.

The conference brought together tourism experts from Central Asia to discuss current issues and trends. The speakers included Gulchekhra-begim Makhmudova, Artem Klykov, Irina Kharitonova, Gareth Stamp, and Gregory Schaefer. The conference was moderated by Marc David Miller, who utilised his expertise and knowledge of the subject to facilitate communication between the experts. The conference addressed significant trends in tourism development resulting from changes in the global situation.

During the Zoom session, new opportunities for Eurasian creative tourism were discussed by the experts. Ms. Makhmudova proposed the creation of an edutainment park called SILKROADLAND, and also suggested the production of attractive video content based on her children’s books about the legends of the Great Silk Road.  Ms Makhmudova noted that while many are familiar with Western cartoon characters like Aladdin, there is a great opportunity to showcase the unique and diverse culture of Central Asia through animation. Additionally, she suggested that Pixar Studios could consider creating an animated film featuring Central Asian characters such as Khodja Nasredin. During the conference, Mr Gregory Schafer discussed sustainable cultural tourism and its management. He highlighted the significance of preserving cultural authenticity, promoting eco-friendly practices, and even exploring gastro-tourism.

During the discussion, Ms Irina Kharitonova brought up the topic of developing the creative economy and related industries. She noted that some individuals may not be familiar with terms such as ‘creative tourism’ or ‘creative industries’, and the aim is to promote better understanding. Mr. Artem Klykov, a professor at Silk Road University and SWISS University, highlighted the significance of human capital as the basis for sustainable tourism and the creative economy. “Increasing the competitiveness of tourism requires effective management of human capital,” stated Mr Klykov.

Despite the business-oriented nature of the conference, there was still an opportunity for celebration. Marat Akhmedjanov, the founder of Silk Road Media (UK) and publisher of OCA Magazine, congratulated everyone on the 15th anniversary and expressed gratitude to all participants for their warm wishes.

Later this year the OCA Magazine community will see several more special issues and related Zoom conferences such as the 4th OCA Magazine: Education (a special opportunity for universities, experts and media representatives to promote education and research opportunities inside the region and abroad), the 5th OCA Magazine: People (40 interviews with outstanding creative people of  Eurasia), the 4th OCA Magazine: North America Edition (a special edition observing the wide range of issues related to Central Asia, the CIS, the USA and Canada) and the 1st OCA Magazine: Real Estate (new and exciting opportunities for  international investors).

The year’s activities will focus on the OCA Dialogue Forum ‘New Dimensions of International Investment Attractiveness of Eurasia. Global ReFace’ as the main event, scheduled to take place in London in November 2024.

Please find the video of the OCA Zoom International Conference ‘Sustainable Development of the Creative Economy: a New Model for Tourism in Central Asia’ available by QR code.

If you have any questions, please contact us using the details below.

Taina Kaunis,

Vasir/Advisor to the Silk Road Media Ltd (UK),


Instant messengers (WhatsApp) +44 7938 823815


OCA Magazine – is a quarterly independent magazine published in London since 2009 by Silk Road Media Group with the support of the Eurasian Creative Guild (London). It is aimed at an English-speaking audience and those interested in or living in the former Soviet Union and Eurasian region. Over 50,000 organisations subscribe to the electronic version of the journal, and the print run varies between 2,000 and 5,000 copies, depending on the subject. We accept articles in English of up to 1,000 words on significant events and phenomena in the region. Advertising and PR materials are also available.

OCA magazine contributors and interviews (selected)


Editor in chief: Nick Rowan

Guest Editors: Stephen M. Bland, Gareth Stamp, Matthew Traver, Jack Hemsley 


Baroness Alison Suttie (House of Lords, Liberal Democrat)

Dame Margaret Hodge (MP, Labour)

Lady Judge (Chairwoman, UK Atomic Energy Authority)

Baron Laird (House of Lords, Ulster Unionist Party)

The Viscount Waverley (House of Lords)

Wendy Morton (MP, Conservative)

Charles Hendry (Minister of State for Energy and Climate Change, MP)

HE Robin Ord-Smith (British Ambassador to Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan)

HE Tim Torlot (British Ambassador to Uzbekistan)

HE Thorda Abbott-Watt (British Ambassador to Turkmenistan)

HE Fionna Gibb (British Ambassador to Belarus)

HE Kathy Leach (British Ambassador to Kazakhstan)

HE Mike Gifford (British Ambassador to Kazakhstan)

HE David Moran (British Ambassador to Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Armenia )

Prof. Luca Anceschi (University of Glasgow )

Nandita Parshad ( Managing Director Sustainable Infrastructure Group, EBRD)

Peter Bonfield (Vice-Chancellor and President, University of Westminster)

Denise Waddingham (Director, British Council Uzbekistan)

Richard Everitt ( British Council, Imperial College London)

Prof. Saxena (Cambridge University)

Dr. St John Simpson (British Museum )

Dr. Michael Erdman (British Library)

Dr. Anna Matveeva (SOAS)

Dr. Razia Sultanova (Cambridge University)

Dr. Jonathan Fryer ( Liberal Democrat Party, SOAS)

Hamid Ismailov (Head of BBC Central Asia)

Prof. Shirin Akiner (SOAS)

Peter Lindsay (President CATBG/ British Expertise)

Dr. Robert Mead (Slade School of Fine Art /UCL)

Nick Kochan (Cosmos Communications)

Nicholas Rutherford (AIDEX)


HE Said Rustamov (Uzbek Ambassador to UK)

HE Gairat Fazilov (Deputy Foreign minister, Uzbek Ambassador to Belgium)

Prof. Akmal Saidov ( MP, First Deputy Speaker)

Prof. Iskandar Abdullaev (Justus Liebig University Giessen)

Dr. Saidakbar Rizaev (Sharaf Rashidov fund)

Prof. Gulchekhra Rikshieva ( rector of Tashkent university of Oriental studies)

Dr. Bakhtyor Makhkamov (rector of TUIT)

Dr. Iskandar Muminov (Sharaf Rashidov fund)

Dr. Farkhad Tolipov (National University of Uzbekistan)

Eldor Tulyakov (former MP, Director at Development Strategy Center)

Akmal Burkhanov (former MP, Director State Anti-corruption Agency)

Odilbek Isakov ( Deputy Finance Minister)


Sherzod Shermatov ( Minister of Public Education)

Gayane Umerova (Director of the Art and Culture Development Foundation)

Aktam Khaitov (MP, Leader of Liberal Democrat Party)

Dr. Matluba Kakharova ( Nizamy University)


HE Erzhan Kazykhanov (Kazakh Foreign miniter & Ambassador to UK, USA)

HE Erlan Idrissov (Kazakh Foreign miniter & Ambassador to UK, USA)

HE Kairat Abusseitov (Kazakh Ambassador to UK)

HE Mr Magzhan Ilyassov (Kazakh Ambassador to UK)

Prof. Yerlan Sydykov (rector Eurasian National University)

Prof. Tlektles Yespolov (rector Agrarian National Research University)

Prof. Orazaly Sabden (former MP, rector of Turkistan University, president of Kazakhstan Scientists union)

Prof. Salima Kunanbaeva (rector of Ablai Khan University)

Prof. Muratbek Kassenov (Taraz University)

Prof. Chokan Laumulin (The National Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Kazakhstan)

Dr. Zarema Akhmadiyeva (Leibniz Institute of Agricultural Development in Transition Economies)

Dr. Abduali Kaydar (Turkic Academy)

Dr. Tursynbek Kakishev (Karaganda University)


Almazbek Atambaev ( President of Kyrgyzstan)

Kazat Akmatov (National Writer, former MP)

Bolot Shamshiev (Film director)

Sultan Raev (Chairman Turksoy, Former Culture minister)

HE Ulan Djusupov (Kyrgyz Ambassador to UK)

HE Kuban Mambetaliev (Kyrgyz Ambassador to UK)

Elena Kalashnikova , (director, Kyrgyz tourism fund and founder Ak Sai travel)

Prof. Raisa Abdrakhmanova (IUCA, Kyrgyzstan)

Prof. Nargiza Muratalieva (AUCA)

Prof.Bakyt Kakchekeev (Kyrgyz-Russian Slavic University)

Dr. Asylai Akisheva (Koç Üniversitesi)

Belek Sarymsakov ( Deputy Chairman of the Union of Architects )

Dr. Jamilia I. Jeenbaeva (University of Trento, Italy)


Lucia Tăut (Telefilm Chisinau)

Evgenii Doga (Composer)

Dr. Andrey Zapsha

Ludmila Dubkovetskaya (writer)


Sergei Aleinik (Foreign Minister, Belarus ambassador to UK)

Dmitry Shepachev (Charge d’affaires of Belarus Embassy  in UK)

Pavel Shidlovsky (Charge d’affaires of Belarus Embassy  in USA)

Sergey Machekin (Mogilev State University)

Dr. Ludmila Kozhuhovskaya ( vice rector of NIHE)

Mikhail Rybakov (Director, Museum of the History of Belarusian Literature)

Prof. Barys Kit (Maryland University)

Prof. Lidia Shkor (Belarus University of Culture and Arts)

Alexey Talay (Paralympian)


HE The Hon Fr. Thomas A. Cellucci (White House advisor)

HE William Moser (US Ambassador to Kazakhstan)

HE Daniel Speckhard (US Ambassador to Belarus)

HE John Mark Pommersheim (US Ambassador to Tajikistan)

Andrew Watchel (president of AUCA, Compass College, rector Narhoz Almaty)

Prof. Rafis Abazov (KazNARU)

Dr. Chang Young Bang (president KIMEP)

Dr. Cordelia Buchanan Ponczek (Finnish Institute of International Affairs – FIIA)

Marc David Miller (Kyrgyz-North America Trade Council)

Prof. Baktybek Abdrisaev (Utah Valley University)

Dr. Ross “Rusty” Butler (Russian Academy of Natural Sciences)

Michael Schena (U.S. Department of State)

Robyn Alice McCutcheon (U.S. Department of State)

Prof. Tara Catherine Pandeya (Dominican University)

Prof. Michael P. Goodyear (NYU)

Dr. Leora Eisenberg (Harvard University)

Cyrus Yavneh (film director)

Janet Givens ( author of At Home On the Kazakh Steppe)

Marla Mossman (The Peace Caravan Project)

Luke Coffey (Hudson Institute)

Monty Cox (actor)

David Pearce ( World Bank)

Stiphan Beher (Advisor to the Kyrgyz President on Foreign Direct Investment )


Prof. Kazushi Yamamoto (Tashkent Law University)

Marin Ekstrom (Toyo University)


HE Ihor Kyzym ( Ukraine Ambassador to Belarus)

Jamala – Susana Alimivna Jamaladinova (Eurovision Song Contest)

Kateryna Koval (Kyiv School of State Management named after Serhii Nyzhny)


Emomali Rahmon (President of Tajikistan)

Gulsifat Shahidi (Award wining writer and journalist)

HE Farhod Salim ( Tajik Ambassador to USA)

Khujanazar Aslamshoev (GRATA International)


HE Tahir Taghizade (Azerbaijan Ambassador to UK)

Prof. Adalat Muradov (rector UNEC)

Dr. Taleh Ziyadov (Director-General of Port of Baku)

Sabukhi Akhmedov (Azeri Deplomat)

Dr. Dayanat A. Ahmadov (AMROP)

Gasan Guliev.(Musician)

Dr. Khadija Asadova (Azerbaijan National Museum of Art)


HE Donika Hoxha ( Albanian Ambassador to Moldova, Bulgaria)


Dr. Loretta O’Donnell (vice provost, NU, Kazakhstan)

Prof. Richard Pomfret (University of Adelaide)

Paul Wilson (World Tourism Organization (UNWTO))


Tomas Cepatis (MEP)


Solvi Fannar (actor)


Mintimer Shaimiev (President of Tatarstan)

Mikhail Shvydkoi (Former Minister of Culture)

HE Alexander Yakovenko (Russian Ambassador to UK)

Roman Romanov (Director, GULAG museum)

Vladimir Zhirinovsky (Leader Liberal Democratic Party)

Dr. Lenar Shaekh (Tatar Publishing House)

Marsel Salimov (Bashkir writer)

Prof. Vladimir Remyga (Financial University under the government of the Russian Federation)


Dr. Paulo Afonso Brardo Duarte (Catholic University of Louvain)


Ivan Ivoylov (University of Tartu)


Reidar Braathen (Universitetet i Bergen)


Melek Maksudoglu (Kings College)


Dr. Philipp Lottholz (Justus Liebig University Gießen)


Dr. Ajap Bayriyeva (National Turkmen Carpet Museum)

Nazik Avlyakulova (US Embassy)


Fiona O’Malley (Senator)


Martin Balaz (Independent Professional Photographer)


Marketa Jerabek (UNHCR)


Charles van der Leeuw (TCA)


Shalva Natelashvili (Leader of Labour Party)


Shamsh Kassim-Lakha ( Former minister of Education, chairman of UCA)