African Business Roundtable

Date: Friday, June 7, 2019
Philadelphia, PA

$0.00

Join GIC during Philadelphia’s Annual ODUNDE Festival for a roundtable discussion on June 7. This annual event is free, but registration is required.

Registration for the African Business Roundtable is now closed. To be added to the wait list, please call 215-238-0990.

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Event Detail

African Business Roundtable

Join us on Friday, June 7, 2019 for GIC’s African Business Roundtable, held in collaboration with the Annual ODUNDE Festival! This annual event is free, but registration is required.

Created in 1975, ODUNDE provides opportunities for people from diverse backgrounds to meet, engage, cultivate, and learn about the African Diaspora’s heritage, communities, leadership and arts. ODUNDE is the largest African festival in the United States. Click here to learn more. 

Join us immediately following the event for a free VIP Reception generously sponsored by the Mayor’s Commission on African and Caribbean Affairs, also held at the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia. Access to the Reception is included with registration. It will take place from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m.

 

Agenda

2:30 P.M. | Registration

3:00 P.M. | Welcoming Remarks

  • Jannie L Blackwell, Member of the City Council of Philadelphia
  • Stanley L. Straughter, Chairman, African and Caribbean Business Council
  • Harold T. Epps, Director of Commerce at the City of Philadelphia
  • Senator Sharif Street, Pennsylvania State Senator representing the Third Senatorial District of Philadelphia
  • Donald Rissmiller, Founding Partner of Strategas and Chairman of GIC
  • Oshunbumi Fernandez-West, CEO of Odunde

3:30 P.M. | Keynote Address

  • Martha Namundjebo-Tilahun, Chairperson of the United Africa Group

4:00 P.M. | Panel Session

  • H.E. Inza Camara, Ambassador of Cote d’Ivoire to the U.S.
  • H.E. Mahamadou Nimaga, Ambassador of the Republic of Mali to the U.S.
  • Faman Touré, President of Côte d’Ivoire Chamber of Commerce and Industry
  • H.E. Henri Etoundi Essomba, Ambassador of the Republic of Cameroon to the United States of America
  • Deniece Laurent-Mantey, Deputy Director, Office of West African Affairs, U.S. Department of State

4:45 P.M. | Audience Q&A
Moderator: Hon. Stanley L. Straughter, Chairman, African and Caribbean Business Council

5:15 P.M. | Conclusion

  • Oshunbumi Fernandez, CEO of Odunde
  • Stanley L. Straughter, Chairman, African and Caribbean Business Council

5:30 P.M. – 7:30 P.M. | Reception
Generously sponsored by the Mayor’s Commission on African and Caribbean Affairs

 

Description of Participants’ Organization and Countries

African Union (AU)
The African Union is the official diplomatic representative to the United States of America. The African Union Commission is headquartered in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and has developed a dynamic program to increase economic growth, create jobs, and expand access to healthcare for the growing African population. The African Union represents 55 African Countries and over 1.2 billion people, several of the world’s fastest growing economics are on the continent of Africa with many of the world’s essential commodities. Africa, with its young population and growing middle class, is open for business but the continent lacks many of the necessary elements to reach its goals. United States businesses and especially Philadelphia large and small businesses will have a unique opportunity to hear about trade and exports to the African continent and other collaborations and partnerships.

The Republic of Cameroon 
The City of Philadelphia has a major interest in the Republic of Cameroon. In 1985 on a Trade Mission with the City of Philadelphia to Douala Cameroon, lea by the late Congressman William H. Gray, III. Doula was selected as Philadelphia’s first African Sister City. Cameroon is a major player in Central Africa and its ports are key access points to the Central African market that includes ten (10) countries and a consumer market exceeding 300 million people. In October 2017 the Mayor of Douala will lead an “In Bound Trade Mission” to Philadelphia with business leaders seeking goods, services and commodities manufactured in the Greater Philadelphia region. The business delegation will visit businesses in the region as well as have one-on-one meetings to discuss buying and selling of products, goods and services. This African Business Roundtable will provide more information on the trade mission and speak to specific export opportunities available.

The Republic of Cote d’Ivoire
Cote d’Ivoire is one of the fastest growing economies in the world. The country has had a long term relationship with the Greater Philadelphia region, due to it being the world’s largest producer of cocoa beans, a major grower of coffee and other agricultural products. The country is rich with many other natural resources, (like oil, gold, etc.) Many of the leaders of the country attended colleges and universities in the Greater Philadelphia region. The current Head of State graduated from Drexel University and received a Doctorate from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. The country is building a vast infrastructure and due to its growing economy many products, goods and services produced in the United States is in demand. The growing middle class in the country is forging ahead to increase the quality of life for its citizens and make an interesting target to focus on “inbound tourism” to Philadelphia. The Philadelphia Ivory Coast Chamber of Commerce will launch its operations on June 9, 2017 and will develop a strategy to promote trade with their country.

Event Location

Date: Friday, June 7, 2019 Time: 2:30 PM - 5:30 PM City: Philadelphia, PA

Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia
Boehne Auditorium
100 N. 6th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106

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Speakers

Jannie L. Blackwell

Jannie L. Blackwell

Member of the City Council of Philadelphia

Jannie L. Blackwell, a six 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.

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Inza Camara

Inza Camara

Ambassador of Cote d’Ivoire to the U.S.

Since March 20, 2018, Mr. Inza Camara has been named Ambassador. He was appointed on July 12, 2012 to become the Delegate General of the Economic Promotion Service of Cote d'Ivoire to the United States of America, Canada & Mexico.

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Harold T. Epps

Harold T. Epps

Director of Commerce at the City of Philadelphia

Harold T. Epps is the Director of Commerce at the City of Philadelphia and is a business leader with over 30 years of corporate experience in providing high performance products and solutions for complex and compliance driven industries.

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H.E. Henri Etoundi Essomba

H.E. Henri Etoundi Essomba

Ambassador of the Republic of Cameroon to the United States of America

H.E. Henri Etoundi Essomba is a Senior Diplomat. He was appointed Ambassador of The Republic Of Cameroon To The United States Of America On April 11, 2016.

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Oshunbumi Fernandez-West

Oshunbumi Fernandez-West

CEO of ODUNDE, Inc.

Oshunbumi Fernandez-West was named by The Philadelphia Tribune as one of the 10 People Under40 to watch in 2011. In 2012, 2013 and 2014 she  was named in the Philadelphia Tribune as one of Philadelphia’s Most Influential Leaders.

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Deniece Laurent-Mantey

Deniece Laurent-Mantey

Foreign Affairs Officer at the U.S. Department of State

Deniece Laurent-Mantey is currently a Foreign Affairs Officer at the U.S. Department of State. Mrs. Laurent-Mantey most recently served as a Special Assistant to Secretary of State John Kerry and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in the Executive Secretariat Staff of the Department. 

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Dr. Martha Namundjebo-Tilahun

Dr. Martha Namundjebo-Tilahun

Chairperson of the United Africa Group

Dr. Martha Namundjebo-Tilahun, is the Chairperson of the United Africa Group, a privately owned multi-billion-dollar business conglomerate in Namibia that has been in operation since 1992.

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H.E. Mahamadou Nimaga

H.E. Mahamadou Nimaga

Ambassador of the Republic of Mali to the U.S. and Mexico

His Excellency Mahamadou Nimaga is a seasoned diplomat and currently Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Mali to the United States of America and Mexico.

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Ambassador George S. W. Patten, Sr.

Ambassador George S. W. Patten, Sr.

Ambassador of the Republic of Liberia

Ambassador George S. W. Patten, Sr. is a career diplomat with more than two decades of experience in the Liberian Foreign Service. He served in various capacities at the Liberian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and rose through the ranks of the Liberian Foreign Service.

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Donald Rissmiller

Donald Rissmiller

Founding Partner of Strategas

Donald Rissmiller is a founding partner of Strategas and has been the firm's chief economist since 2006, directing its macroeconomic research effort. He oversees Strategas' high-frequency econometric forecasting and thematic economic research. Mr. Rissmiller's research has been consistently recognized by Institutional Investor magazine in their annual survey: he was ranked best up and coming economist in 2008, and was third in their 2009 All-America Independent Research Team survey. He is frequently quoted in the financial press.

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Stanley Straughter

Stanley Straughter

Specialist in International Business Development and Financial Management

Mr. Straughter is a specialist in international business development in the financial management area. 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.

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Senator Sharif Street

Senator Sharif Street

Pennsylvania State Senator representing the Third Senatorial District of Philadelphia

Senator Sharif Street, elected to the Pennsylvania Senate in 2016, represents the Third Senatorial District of Philadelphia, which encompasses a population of over 240,000 people in North Philadelphia, Nicetown, Roxborough, Lower Germantown, Logan, Olney, Fern Rock, Crescentville, East Oak Lane, East Wyoming, East Hunting Park and Melrose Park Garden.

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Faman Touré

Faman Touré

President of Côte d'Ivoire Chamber of Commerce and Industry

Mr. Faman Touré holds a Graduate Diploma in Insurance Studies from the International Institute of Insurance (IIA) from Yaoundé to Cameroon. He is an agronomist and professional mediator, graduated from the School of Mediation and Negotiation of Bordeaux.

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Partners

Greenberg Traurig
ODUNDE

Sponsors

African Caribbean Business Council