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THE BUSINESS FORUM FOR LIBERIA: EXPLORING ECONOMIC GROWTH, PRIVATE ENTERPRISE & JOB CREATION
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The Government of the Republic of Liberia through its Embassy in Washington, DC., joins efforts in partnership with the City of Philadelphia Mayor’s Commission on African and Caribbean Immigrant Affairs, the Overseas Private
Investment Corporation (OPIC), the U.S. Department of Commerce, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Global Interdependence Center and other participating sponsors to host a Business Forum for Liberia on Friday, June 12, 2009 at the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia. The Forum is integrated with the historical annual three-day Odunde Festival that will bring together approximately 250,000 individuals comprising business executives and entrepreneurs to Philadelphia.
The Mayor’s Commission on African and Caribbean Immigrant Affairs has worked vigorously with African and Caribbean governments to create jobs and expand economic growth in these economies. The Commission has fostered this wide range approach to promote commerce and trade, culture and tourism in these emerging markets. The 2009 Odunde Festival will feature a one-day investment road show, promoting business opportunities in Liberia. This event will provide a unique opportunity for businesses operating in the greater Philadelphia area to explore foreign investment opportunities. This broad partnership between Liberia and the City of Philadelphia will bring pecuniary benefits to the two parties.
This forum will address strategic initiatives instituted by the Liberian government to develop a vibrant private sector whereby small and mid-sized businesses would operate as the driving force to create jobs and expand economic activities. The administration of President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf has aggressively worked to create an open investment climate that has attracted Liberians living in the Diaspora to return home and invest in the local economy. In this connection, interested parties are cordially invited to participate in this historic and exciting Business Forum, which will explore the excellent investment opportunities that exist in Liberia for potential investors wishing to invest in the country’s emerging markets. The Government of Liberia is rebuilding the country’s ravaged infrastructures, improving education and healthcare, developing capacities and expanding the economy through the establishments of small and mid-size businesses and industries. In spite of the global economic recession, the business climate in the country is conducive and the fundamentals of our economy remain promising and dynamic. In this connection, the Liberian Government is encouraging foreign capital investments in the private sector that is very vital for the creation of jobs in all spheres of the country’s economy.
Date: Friday, June 12, 2009
City: Philadelphia, PA
Federal Reserve Bank of PhiladelphiaDownload iCal
Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is the 24th President of Liberia and the first elected female Head of State in Africa. Throughout her career she has demonstrated passionate commitment to hard work, integrity and good governance, advocating for the rights of women and the importance of education to provide a better future for her country and its people.
Born Ellen Euphemia Johnson in Monrovia on October 29, 1938, she is the granddaughter of a traditional chief of renown in western Liberia and a market woman from the southeast. She grew up in Liberia and attended high school at the College of West Africa in Monrovia, subsequently studying at Madison Business College, the University of Colorado and Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government where she obtained a Master’s Degree in Public Administration in 1971.
Her entry into politics came in 1972 when she delivered her now famous commencement address to her high school alma mater in which she sharply criticized the government, showing her determination to speak truth unto power. This was the start of a distinguished professional and political career spanning nearly four decades.
In 1965 she joined the then Treasury Department in Liberia and was appointed Minister of Finance in 1979 where she introduced measures to curb the mismanagement of government finances. After the military coup d’état of 1980, Johnson Sirleaf served as President of the Liberian Bank for Development and Investment (LBDI) but fled Liberia and the increasingly suppressive military government that same year. She traveled to Kenya and served as Vice President of CITICORP’s Africa Regional Office in Nairobi, and later moved to Washington, D.C. to assume the position of Senior Loan Officer at the World Bank, and Vice President for Equator Bank. In 1992 she joined the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) as Assistant Administrator and Director of its Regional Bureau of Africa with the rank of Assistant Secretary-General of the United Nations.
However, with her country still very much at heart, Johnson Sirleaf resigned in 1997 to return home and contest the Presidential elections and was ranked second in votes to warlord Charles Taylor. She was exiled again, this time to the Ivory Coast where she kept a close eye on Liberian politics. During that time she established, in Abidjan, Kormah Development and Investment Corporation, a venture capital vehicle for African entrepreneurs, and Measuagoon, a Liberian community development NGO.
In 2003 when Charles Taylor was exiled to Nigeria and the National Transitional Government of Liberia (NTGL) was formed, Johnson Sirleaf was selected to serve as Chairperson of the Governance Reform Commission where she led the country’s anti-corruption reform by changing the reporting mechanism of the General Auditing Commission from the Executive to the Legislature thereby strengthening and reinforcing its independence. She resigned this position to successfully contest the 2005 Presidential elections, resulting in her historic inauguration, on January 16, 2006, as President of Liberia.
After decades of fighting for freedom, justice and equality in Liberia, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has spent more than four years rebuilding post-conflict Liberia. She has revived national hope by strengthening the institutions of national security and good governance, leading the revitalization of the national economy and infrastructure, including the construction of more than 800 miles of roads, and restoring Liberia’s international reputation and credibility.
President Johnson Sirleaf has built strong relations with regional partners and the international community, attracting investment of over $16 billion in Liberia’s mining, agriculture and forestry sectors, and off-shore oil exploration to provide jobs for her people. Her leadership has led to more than $4 billion in debt relief in June 2010 and to the lifting of UN trade sanctions to allow Liberia access to the international market. She has increased the national budget from $80 million in 2006 to more than $350 million in 2010 and has driven annual GDP growth at between 5 and 9.5 percent over this period.
The Liberian leader has attracted more than $5 million of private resources from international contributions, which she has used to enhance Government’s ability to rebuild vital infrastructure – to build schools and clinics and markets, and to foster scholarships to further build the skills and capabilities of the Liberian people.
President Johnson Sirleaf currently serves as Chairperson of the Mano River Union where she leads the effort for political stability and economic cooperation among Sierra Leone, Guinea, Liberia and Côte d’Ivoire. She was a founding member of the International Institute for Women in Political Leadership, was designated in 1999 by the OAU to serve on the committee to investigate the Rwanda genocide, was a Commission Chair for the Inter-Congolese Dialogue, and was selected by UNIFEM as one of two persons to investigate and report on the effect of conflict on women and women’s roles in peace building.
Before her ascendancy to the Presidency, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf served on many advisory boards, including the International Crisis Group (USA) and Women Waging Peace (USA), and she is the recipient of numerous prestigious awards, among them: the FAO CERES Medal (2008); the Crisis Group Fred Cuny Award for the Prevention of Deadly Crisis (2008) for outstanding leadership in democracy, development and peace building in Africa; and the Presidential Medal of Freedom (2007), the highest civilian honor bestowed by an American president. Special honors received include Commander de l’Ordre du Mono (1996), Togo’s highest national honor; the Franklin D. Roosevelt Freedom of Speech Award (1988); and the 2010 Friend of the Media Award from the African Editors’ Union, in recognition of her contribution to a media-friendly environment in Liberia throughout her tenure as President. She has also received Honorary Doctorate degrees from fourteen universities in the United States and Africa.
In 2010, Newsweek magazine listed Johnson Sirleaf as one of the ten best leaders in the world, Time placed her among the top ten female leaders, and The Economist called her “the best President the country has ever had.”
President Johnson Sirleaf has written widely on financial, development and human rights issues, and in 2008 she published her critically acclaimed memoir, “This Child Will Be Great”.
Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is the proud mother of four sons and grandmother of eleven.
Richard Tolbert is the Chairman of Liberia’s National Investment Commission, an institution that has been very busy lately attracting investors to the country from around the globe.
Richard Tolbert earned a Bachelor Degree (cum laude) in Economics from Harvard in 1968 and a law degree (Juris Doctor) from Columbia University in 1975, specializing in corporate and international law.
He is the nephew of the 18th president of Liberia, the late President William R. Tolbert.
Boakai Sirleaf if the acting minister of agriculture in Liberia.
the Hon. Francis Norkeh is the Acting Minister of Commerce for Liberia
Michael A. Nutter, the 98th mayor of Philadelphia, has set a course for America’s sixth largest city aimed at growing the regional economy in a sustainable manner, dramatically improving public safety and investing in education and workforce development.
Since taking office in January 2008, Mayor Nutter has implemented a crime fighting strategy that has seen a sharp decline in the homicide rate and continuing reductions in other violent crime.
He has committed the city and the Philadelphia School District to increase the school graduation rate by 50 percent in five to seven years and to double the college attainment rate in five to 10 years.
With a pledge to make Philadelphia the greenest city in America, Mayor Nutter has launched an aggressive strategy, Greenworks Philadelphia that will reduce the city’s carbon footprint and train Philadelphians for new green collar jobs, from weatherization to solar panel installation.
Long committed to careful planning of development, Mayor Nutter has reoriented city government, giving primacy to planning as the city prepares for future development along the Delaware River, the Navy Yard and Philadelphia International Airport. He has reorganized the city’s Commerce Department to improve its assistance to small businesses and to foster minority- and women-owned business.
Within city government, Mayor Nutter has begun a reform drive that includes the creation of a 311 Call Center to serve better the service needs of city residents. And his administration has set bright line standards for ethical conduct, increased funding for the city’s Inspector General’s office and established the city’s first ever Chief Integrity Officer.
In response to the deepest recession in generations, Mayor Nutter launched a nationally recognized mortgage foreclosure program that links at-risk homeowners with housing counseling and related services.
Born in Philadelphia in 1957, Michael Nutter grew up in West Philadelphia with his parents, who instilled in him a deep interest in community service, his sister and grandmother. An academic scholarship recipient, he graduated from St. Joseph’s Preparatory High School. In 1979, he graduated from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania.
JANNIE L. BLACKWELL, a five term councilperson born and reared in Philadelphia, is a seasoned advocate for social change with a thirty year reputation for serving community members and the poor and underprivileged in the City of Philadelphia, making her a leader in our City with her own vision.
Jannie L. Blackwell is a graduate of Cheyney University where she received a Bachelor of Science degree in Education and a graduate of St. Joseph’s University where she received a Master of Arts in Education. Councilwoman Blackwell began her political career by serving as Special Assistant to the Governor, assigned to the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. She resigned with her husband, then State Representative Lucien E. Blackwell, when he ran for and was elected to City Council.
In addition to serving as delegate to the National Convention for the last four presidential elections, she served as Administrative Assistant to two Lucien E. Blackwell campaigns for Mayor, four for City Council and three for the U.S. Congress. She also served in this capacity during his fifteen year tenure in City Council, before succeeding him.
Since taking office in 1992, Jannie has emerged as a strong contender and power broker in the local political arena. Elected among her peers as Majority Leader in 2000, Councilwoman Blackwell is a behind the scenes consensus builder and problem solver. A stellar politician who understands the making of solid policy, Councilwoman Blackwell has introduced significant legislation during her four Council terms.
In addition to her role as Majority Leader from 2000 -2008, Blackwell is also Chair of the Education Committee and the Chair of the Committee on Housing, Neighborhood Development and the Homeless. She is Vice Chair of the Finance Committee and member of the Committee of the Whole, Committee on Transportation and Public Utilities, and the Committee on Ethics. Councilwoman Blackwell is also a Co-Founder and Commissioner on the Mayor’s Commission on African and Caribbean Immigrant Affairs.
While rooted in the Blackwell tradition of empowering the under served, Jannie has crafted her own vision for the Third Council manic District that focuses on increasing affordable housing and creating economic opportunity for her constituent base whose demographics are continually expanding. She has likewise enhanced her district by increasing commercial development and home ownership opportunities. As a Commissioner on the Philadelphia Housing Authority Board, she is proud of the blight removal and new housing construction across the City. The Lucien E. Blackwell Homes, located in and around 46th Street and Brown Streets in West Philadelphia total over 1,000 new homes available for rental and home ownership!
In 1999, Councilwoman Blackwell announced a Ten-Year Economic Development Plan for West and Southwest Philadelphia causing the formation of a non-profit organization, “West Philadelphia on the Move”. The Plan incorporates her vision for increasing affordable housing and job and business development. Her leadership and hands-on approach with business leaders, public and private institutions, community groups, town watch leaders, block captains, and other elected officials, has continued to allow this economic development plan to come to fruition, culminating in over 3 billion dollars in public and private investment.
Councilwoman Blackwell has made a life-long commitment to move her community forward, and will always work to foster an end to homelessness, neighborhood blight and poor public education through using the tools of public policy, legislation and public involvement. Her overall vision is to improve her constituents’ quality of life – regardless of race, class, gender, or socio-economic status. She continues to believe that there is a solution to every problem, and that when we work together, everybody wins.
Altman, the former CEO of the Anacostia Waterfront Corporation, has been engaged in private sector work after years of significant public service.
“As a native Philadelphian who has led large-scale development projects including the successful economic redevelopment of Washington, DC, Andrew will bring unparalleled experience and perspective to the Commerce Department,” said Nutter. “I am incredibly pleased that he answered my call to service and returned home to aid in the economic growth of Philadelphia.”
Altman served for five years as the planning director for Washington D.C. under Mayor Anthony A. Williams, and was appointed the first President and Chief Executive Officer of the Anacostia Waterfront Corporation founded to guide the ambitious regeneration of the National Capital waterfront. The initiative to reclaim the waterfront of Washington D.C. has been nationally recognized by the American Institute of Architects, the American Planning Association, Places Magazine (ERDA award) and the American Society of Landscape Architects as one of the most innovative urban redevelopment initiatives in the United States.
Altman was also appointed a Visiting Fellow at the Brookings Institution Center for Metropolitan Policy where he worked on the development of a new “Transformative Agenda for Cities” as well as international initiatives on urban development.
Altman has been the recipient of fellowships including the German Marshall Fund Fellowship, the Loeb Fellowship at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design and a Lady Davis Fellowship at the Technion, Israel Institute of Technology. Mr. Altman holds a Masters in City Planning from MIT.
Altman’s appointment brings the Commerce Department, formerly headed by Stephanie Naidoff, and the Philadelphia City Planning Commission, which was led by Janice Woodcock, under one roof.
Mr. Straughter serves as Director of International Business Development in the financial management consulting practice of Thompson, Cobb, Bazilio & Associates, PC. With nearly thirty years experience in international development he has lived and worked in several countries on the continents of Africa, Central Asia, the Caribbean and Russia. As a finance specialist, Mr. Straughter has provided services to foreign governments in governance and transparency, worked with Finance Ministers and provided advice and counsel to governments on trade policy and foreign direct investment.
Mr. Straughter speaks French and has considerable experience working with bilateral and multilateral financial development entities such as USAID, African Development Bank, African Development Foundation, Eastern Caribbean Investment Promotion service and U.S. Trade and Development Administration and Mr. Straughter has experience in the following countries: Cameroon, Egypt, India, Cote d ‘Ivoire, Ghana, Guinea, Haiti, Jamaica, Kenya, Israel, Niger, St. Lucia, St. Kitts, Senegal, Togo, Virgin Islands, South Africa, Russia, Uzbekistan, Zambia, Zimbabwe and South Africa.
Mr. Straughter advises public and private sector entities on issues related to international trade, exporting and importing, marketing analysis, and preparing market penetration strategies to emerging markets for small and medium sized businesses. The firm organizes trade and investment missions to emerging market countries and organizes investment promotion seminars in the United States on behalf of developing countries, particularly African and Caribbean countries. Successful trade missions have been organized to Cote d’Ivoire, Guinea, Senegal, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Mr. Straughter is also a specialist on issues affecting small and medium enterprises in developing countries and the United States.
Mr. Straughter provides consulting services to OIC International, Inc. a NGO serving, Poland, Philippines, Haiti, and eighteen (18) countries in Sub-Saharan Africa. As a senior advisor to the president of OIC International, he has assisted the organization in the design, implementation and funding of projects in the countries of Guinea, Ghana, Togo, Ivory Coast, Senegal, Angola, Uganda, Nigeria.
Mr. Straughter has served as a senior advisor to the International Foundation for Education and Self-Help (IFESH). For IFESH, he has participated in the organization of the African African-American Summits. He has organized workshops and seminars for the organization’s bankers for African programs and has provided counsel on its government relations activities for African countries.
Mr. Straughter serves as advisor to the World Conference of Mayors (WCM). This organization is composed of mayors from around the world. Founded by Mayor Johnny Ford, Tuskegee, Alabama, the organization convenes seminars and conferences for its membership to network and exchange views on democracy and governance, civil society advocacy, government ethics, legislative oversight and local government transparency. Mr. Straughter advises the Director General of the World Conference of Mayors and organizes delegations to sub-Saharan African countries.
In the area of Finance some of Mr. Straughter’s engagements have included serving a Senior Finance Advisor to the government of Togo on the design and implementation of a production farm to provide training and income to small farmers. For the Republic of Niger, Mr. Straughter served as a Senior Finance Advisor to that country’s Agricultural Credit Bank. He participated in an exercise to restructure the loan portfolio of the institution. As a Senior Advisor to the African Development Bank, Mr. Straughter assisted the institution in its successful efforts to sell its securities in the United States to public sector retirement funds.
As a Senior Advisor on Trade, Mr. Straughter represented the Eastern Caribbean Investment Promotion Services (ECIPS) in the United States. He organized in-bound and out-bound trade missions between the United States and the member countries of ECIPS. He was directly involved in the increased foreign direct investment into the ECIPS member countries from the United States. The investments benefited small and medium enterprises in the Caribbean. Mr. Straughter served as a Senior Advisor to U.S. Virgin Islands Government Employees Retirement System (GERS). Mr. Straughter assisted the GERS in the restructuring of its loan portfolio and the design of a system of accountability and reporting to management.
Mr. Straughter is also a specialist in state and local government issues and has served as the Executive Director of the National Black Caucus of State Legislators (NBCSL). NBCSL is an organization of 600 legislators from 44 states and the US Virgin Islands. He was executive director from 1986 to 1990. He now serves as senior advisor to the president of NBCSL on international matters. Mr. Straughter has organized delegations of state legislators to African and Caribbean countries and Foreign delegations to study trade and economic development issues in the United States for NBCSL.
Bruce Cameron is the Deputy Director, Housing Programs for the Overseas Private Investment Corporation.
Company Description: The Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) is an agency of the U.S. government that helps U.S. businesses invest overseas, fosters economic development in new and emerging markets, complements the private sector in managing risks associated with foreign direct investment, and supports U.S. foreign policy. The Enterprise Development Network (EDN) is a strategic alliance between the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) and the private sector. OPIC and PFS Finance have signed an EDN Loan Originator agreement on May 27th, 2008.
Dr. Rockfeler Herisse
Rockfeler Herisse, Ph.D. is a Senior Alliance Advisor in the Office of Development Partners, Private Sector Alliances and provides leadership in developing Public-Private Partnerships in Africa, Haiti, and on the agricultural value chain. Dr. Herisse also has expertise and interests in program development, management, monitoring, and evaluation; Diaspora engagement; democracy, governance and conflict resolution; and acquisition and assistance.
Rounding out his experience on USAID, he served as Team Leader for the Central/Coastal West Africa Team and Country Development Officer for Nigeria, Benin and Gabon. He monitored Mission support for Nigeria, Ghana, Benin, the West Africa Regional Mission, Cameroon, Chad, Equatorial Guinea, Sao Tome and Principe, and Togo.
Prior to joining the West Africa team, Dr. Herisse was the Acting Deputy Director of the Office for Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OSDBU) where he served as the Minority Serving Institutions Program Coordinator, presented papers at international conferences linking transformational development to the US transformational diplomacy goals, and developed the Agency’s Mentor-Protégé Program for small businesses. Dr. Herisse is also the former Assistant Executive Director Riviera Beach Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) in Riviera Beach, FL from 2001-2003. He was responsible for the day to day oversight of the Agency staff including a 14-member consultant team, its budget, and all grant applications to and from the Agency.
Over the past 15 years, Dr. Herisse has worked, lived or traveled in Africa, Latin America, and the Caribbean regions. Notably from 2000-2001, he served as the Chief of Party on a $1.5 million Leadership Development training project funded by USAID/Mali. From 1995-1999, Dr. Herisse was the Africare Chief of Party in Burundi. While in Burundi, he was recognized for transformational leadership with political tact while managing a USAID-funded $3.5 million budget and a program to mitigate the conditions caused by a cyclical ethno-political civil war. He developed a team of trainers equipped with techniques for promoting peace through development and sustainable
resolution of conflicts based on indigenous values and faith.
Born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti and reared in upstate New York since elementary and pre-baccalaureate studies, Dr. Herisse received his bachelor’s degree in Agriculture (Economics) from the University of Maryland-Eastern Shore. He earned his master’s and doctorate degrees in Agricultural Extension Education from the Pennsylvania State and Michigan State Universities respectively. He is fluent in Créole, French, and Spanish. He conducts seminars and publishes articles on diverse topics, volunteers with community development projects, the arts, and athletics, and serves on advisory committees and Board of Reviewers for several professional journals in his field.
Jeffrey Jackson serves as Senior Private Sector Advisor to USAID’s Africa Bureau. Prior to this role, Jeffrey served in a wide range of senior-level positions within the area of SME development and finance, including a tenure at Leevy Redcross & Company, where he served in a senior capacity in SME support projects in Somalia, Swaziland and South Africa, and as Deputy Director of the Minority Business Development Center for the Washington DC region. Earlier in his career, Jeffrey gained experience at the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the U.S. Treasury, and the U.S. House of Representatives (Committee on Budget). Jeffrey’s areas of expertise include economic analysis and policy, privatization, SOE control and monitoring, corporate governance, and enterprise development and finance.Markets Group Sales Manager. He also spent several years as the Senior Vice President of Treasury Services Sales Manager.
Kevin R. Boyd was selected for the position of Director of the Office of Africa in January of 2005. Mr. Boyd is responsible for recommending and implementing U.S. policies to address market access and trade agreement compliance issues in sub-Saharan Africa.
Mr. Boyd began his career at the Department of Commerce in 1987 as an international economist in the Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Europe. He was responsible for analyzing trade and economic policies within Europe, particularly Eastern Europe. From 1991 until 1995, Mr. Boyd was an international economist in the Office of the Assistant Secretary for International Economic Policy. In that capacity, he worked on a broad range of trade policy issues, with a particular focus on both Asia and Latin America. From 1995 until 2005, Mr. Boyd served as the Director for ASEAN Affairs, where he was responsible for recommending and implementing U.S. trade and commercial policies in the ASEAN member countries. He was awarded the Department’s Silver Medal in 1998 for his work on the Asia financial crisis, and received other awards for his efforts as the Department’s lead on the U.S.-Singapore FTA negotiations. He received a second Silver Medal in 2009 for his leadership in advancing the protection of intellectual property rights in West Africa.
Mr. Boyd holds an M.A. in Economics from the University of Michigan.
John Simon, a leader in promoting private investment in low-income countries, will join the Center for Global Development as a visiting fellow starting February 2. Simon is the outgoing U.S. ambassador to the African Union and former executive vice president of the U.S. Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC).
At OPIC, Simon spearheaded efforts to promote private investment to the developing world, including by catalyzing the creation of new private equity funds focused on social impact investment in Africa. He previously served at the White House as special assistant to the president and senior director for relief, stabilization and development in the National Security Council (NSC) and at USAID as deputy assistant administrator overseeing the agency’s development information and evaluation units.
CGD president Nancy Birdsall said that Simon will draw on his many years of public and private sector experience to explore the growing wave of socially-oriented investment and its impact on the developing world.
“A new class of globally-minded investors seeks not only positive financial returns but also high social returns on their investments in rural development, healthcare, affordable housing, and renewable energy. We are pleased that John Simon will be drawing on his wealth of experience to help find ways to make the most of this promising new trend. John’s record of bringing creativity and energy to provide practical solutions to pressing global problems makes him a great fit for CGD,” she said.
Simon’s work will be a part of CGD’s Emerging Africa Project headed by CGD senior fellow Todd Moss, who recently returned to the Center after serving in the State Department as the deputy assistant secretary for Africa. Simon praised the Center as “a leader in producing groundbreaking research on development issues.”
“I am thrilled that they have offered me the opportunity to investigate the exciting new field of social impact investment and how it can become a tool in the fight against global poverty,” he said.
Until recently Simon was been based in Addis Ababa as the United States’ representative to the AU. Earlier in his career, he worked at Harvard Pilgrim Health Care and for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. He earned his bachelor’s degree at Princeton University and a master’s degree in public policy from Harvard University.
Stephen Cashin is the founder and CEO of Pan African Capital Group, LLC (PACG). Established in 2004, PACG focuses on three key areas; investment banking and advisory services, asset management, and private equity throughout Africa. Investments include financial services, technology and agribusiness.
Stephen Cashin was founder and has served as Managing Director and head of the Washington Office of Modern Africa Fund Managers, LLC from 1998 until 2004. He was responsible for identifying the majority of the investors in Modern Africa Growth and Investment Company LLC, a $105 million fund capitalized by private institutional investors and leveraged with the support of the U.S. Overseas Private Investment Corporation. Stephen was integrally involved in identifying and structuring Modern Africa’s investments and management of the portfolio.
Stephen Cashin serves on the boards of Data Bank, an investment banking group based in Ghana, and DiscoveryTel, a communications company carrying traffic into and out of Africa and the Middle East from the US. Until recently he served as the Vice Chairman of the Corporate Council on Africa and was a principal participant in The Commission on Financing in Africa published in 2002. He also serves on the boards of the African Wildlife Foundation, Africare, and the Jesuit Refugee Service. He served as board member of the National Summit on Africa and the DEVCap initiative of Catholic Relief Services, the constituency for Africa and has been a National Co-Chairman of Africares’s annual Bishop Walker Dinner. He was a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies and speaks at numerous events focused on the development of Africa’s financial markets.
Stephen Cashin was employed by Equator Bank, a member of the Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation from 1984-1996. He opened Equator’s office in Nairobi, Kenya, and was responsible for developing the bank’s relationships with central banks, international agencies and corporations, particularly in Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda. In 1993 Stephen was appointed as the bank’s representative in Washington, D.C. In that capacity, he managed the bank’s relationships with United States governmental and international agencies, trade organizations, and financial institutions. Later he assumed responsibility for managing the corporate finance portfolio of the bank, advising investor groups, structuring transactions, devising new financial products, and implementing privatization transactions. Stephen began his career as a Peace Corps volunteer from 1979-1981 in Zanzibar, Tanzania. He graduated from the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University and has his MBA from Boston College.
Gayah Fahnbulleg is a member of the Transworld International Consortium and Chairman of the “Unity Party U.S.A”.