Promoting trade in Africa and the Caribbean
Businesses looking to expand their markets to Africa and the Caribbean should join the African & Caribbean Business Council of Greater Philadelphia (ACBC) at its 8th Annual Winter Summit and Awards Dinner, Friday, November 17 through Saturday, November 18, 2017 at the Philadelphia Airport Double Tree by Hilton Hotel. The summit will bring together African, Caribbean and American entrepreneurs and government officials to discuss developing partnerships, and expanding trade between U.S. companies and African and Caribbean businesses.
The theme of the two-day summit is “Addressing the Challenges of Small Business and those of the African and Caribbean Diaspora Business to promote bilateral trade with African and Caribbean Nations.” The summit will present information for American businesses seeking to do business in Africa and the Caribbean, and African and Caribbean entrepreneurs looking to grow their businesses in the U.S. Presenters include representatives of the U.S. Department of Commerce, U.S. Agency for International Development, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, City of Philadelphia Commerce Department, Delaware River Port Authority, Philadelphia Regional Port Authority, Exim Bank, African Growth and Opportunity Act, Electrify Africa and the Overseas Private Investment Corporation among others. Participants also include ambassadors and agriculture, commerce and energy officials from 14 African and Caribbean nations seeking potential partners on major infrastructure, hotel, airport and renewable energy projects.
“Small businesses and entrepreneurs have considerable difficulties getting financing and technical assistances to do business in Africa and the Caribbean,” explained Stanley L. Straughter, chair of ACBC’s board of directors. “This year’s international business summit will bring together experts to address these issues. The African & Caribbean Business Council is the only business organization in the Philadelphia region that specifically focuses on trade with African and Caribbean nations, and is connected to the fast growing markets in Africa and the Caribbean, through its partners and membership.“
Agribusiness is Pennsylvania’s largest industry and is rapidly expanding in Africa and the Caribbean. Friday’s program will focus on agribusiness and includes workshops on financing and investment, production, branding/marketing, technology and innovation. Cheryl Cook, deputy secretary of the PA Department of Agriculture, will discuss government programs available to agribusinesses.
Saturday’s program includes a variety of workshops on financing, doing business in Africa, energy, waste management, transportation, aquaculture and hospitality. The day includes discussion of ACBC’s strategic plan for Africa and culminates with the annual awards dinner presided over by Honorary Chairs Philadelphia City Councilperson Jannie L. Blackwell, Congressman Dwight Evans and State Senator Sharif Street. Honorary Co-chairs are Congressman Robert Brady, U.S. Senator Robert Casey, Jr., City Councilpersons Curtis Jones and Kenyatta Johnson, and PA State Representatives Donna Bullock, Vanessa Lowery Brown, Jordan Harris, Stephen Kinsey and Joanna McClinton.
Kerry Kirkland, Pennsylvania Department of General Services deputy secretary for diversity, inclusion and small business opportunities, is the keynote speaker of Saturday’s awards dinner, and will speak on state contract opportunities for minority entrepreneurs.
“It is estimated that trade from African countries to the Philadelphia ports is in excess of $10 billion,” explained Straughter. “ACBC has developed a trade initiative to create opportunities for Philadelphia area small and minority enterprises to export their products, goods and services to the fast growing markets in Africa, the Caribbean and Latin America. This is about connecting and expanding opportunities. Africa and the Caribbean are open for business.”
Both days include breakfast and lunch. For more information on registration and the full schedule call Dr. Rogers Kounga at 267-581-9754 or go to www.acbcphilly.org.