Harvesting African Entrepreneurial Opportunities and Promotion of Trade and Commerce between the USA and Africa was the theme of The African Network’s conference at the San Jose Fairmont Hotel last Saturday.
Hosted by TAN President Dr. Paschul Iwuh, the global non-profit organization, headquartered in Silicon Valley, fosters innovation in technology and business among people of the African Diaspora. “We leverage available resources through our programs with education, networking, mentoring and creating an environment to match people with opportunities. We don’t provide funding but everything else,” he said beside, Sade Sobande, Director of Media and Public Relations. “Through the TAN Conferences we create an eco system where entrepreneurs, venture capitalist, community, business and policy leaders come together to discuss investments and opportunities,” said Sobande.
About 75 guests had the opportunity to hear from Myles Stevens, Principal of Stevens & Associates who has created architectural projects throughout West Africa and Chid Liberty, Founder and CEO, Liberty and Justice, Liberia who fosters entrepreneurship opportunities at the micro level. The Honorable Teresa Cox, US Trade Advisor to the Department of Commerce served as keynote speaker.
Cox, a member of the Industry Trade Advisory Council advises on international trade agreements to promote the economic interest and opportunities of the United States and bargaining positions for global trade negotiations, Congressional and International relations, and other trade-related policy matters. She is the only representative from Northern California Bay Area and Silicon Valley.
During her keynote speech, Cox stated it was most significant when President Obama left the G-8 Summit and went to Ghana where he and the President of Ghana, John Atta Mills, were elected at the same time and shared a vision hoping to expand on the U.S. and Ghanaian relations.
“Ghana has always been a country that we partner with for health with malaria and polio and as we progress we can expand the dialogue to technology and protecting each others’ intellectual properties between both countries. We have set up under the US trade reps office a special council to deal with African Affairs and an African desk in the department of commerce.”
Cox also shared the new legislation within The Free Trade Agreement. “Nowhere in history has a president passed three at one time; Columbia, Panama and Korea. The biggest impact is that this is millions of dollars that will reduce the export cost of doing business overseas and giving small businesses tools so that they can be successful and compete in the global marketplace.”
Cox further noted her support of TAN’s mission. “Organizations like TAN are bringing forth the awareness of partnerships with Africa that we can help small businesses do business in Africa and also provide and support the technology.
For more information visit: www.TheAfricanNetwork.org, www.export.gov and www.trade.gov