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African Business Roundtable

Friday, June 9, 2017
Boehne Auditorium, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia
100 N. 6th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106

Held in collaboration with the 42nd Annual ODUNDE Festival

Event Detail

African Business Roundtable

Held in collaboration with the 42nd Annual ODUNDE Festival

About the 42nd Annual ODUNDE Festival
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. http://odundefestival.org/


2:00 p.m. — Registration

2:30 p.m. — Welcoming Remarks
Don Rissmiller, Chief Economist, Strategas Research Partners and GIC Vice Chairman

2:35 p.m. — Keynote Address
H.E. Dr. Arikana Chihombori-Quao, African Union Ambassador to the United States

3:30 p.m. — Session I: United States Perspective
Robert Scott, Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, Bureau of African Affairs, U.S. Department of State

3:45 p.m. — Panel Session: Trade and Investments in Africa
• H.E. Etoundi Essomba, Ambassador for Cameroon 
• H. E. Daouda Diabate, Ambassador for the Republic of Cote d’Ivoire 
• H.E. Jeff Gongoer Dowana, Sr., Deputy Chief of Mission, Embassy of Liberia, Washington DC 
• Melvin P. Foote, Founder and CEO, Constituency for Africa

4:30 p.m. — Audience Q&A
Moderator: Hon. Stanley L. Straughter, Chairman, ACBC

4:45 p.m. — Conclusion
Oshunbumi Fernandez, CEO of Odunde

5:00-7:30 p.m. — Reception, African American Museum

  • Generously sponsored by the Mayor’s Commission on African and Caribbean Affairs


Our partners:

African and Caribbean Business Council
Mayor’s Commission on African and Caribbean Immigrant Affairs


Please note that while there is no fee associated with this event, individual registration via our website is mandatory for attendance in compliance with the Law Enforcement regulations of the Federal Reserve Bank.

Event Location

Date: Friday, June 9, 2017 Time: 02:00 PM - 05:00 PM City: Philadelphia Boehne Auditorium Download iCal


H.E. Dr. Arikana Chihombori-Quao

African Union Ambassador to the U.S.A.

H.E. Dr. Arikana Chihombori-Quao is the African Union Ambassador to the United States of America since December 1, 2016. She was nominated by HE Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, Chairperson of the African Union Commission, to lead the African Union Mission to the USA, the first bilateral diplomatic Mission opened by the AU in 2007.

As the African Union Ambassador to the U.S., Dr. Chihombori-Quao is fully committed to reinforcing the longstanding and deep historic, cultural and economic relations between Africa and the U.S. She plays a key role in reinforcing the African Union strategic partnerships with the United States, grounded on shared values and mutual interests. Ambassador Chihombori-Quao is a strong believer in the promise that the African Union-U.S. partnership holds and that a prosperous, peaceful and integrated Africa is a shared strategic interest.

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H.E. Daouda Diabate

Ambassador for the Republic of Cote d’Ivoire

A career diplomat, Daouda Diabaté was born January 1, 1948, in Saoundi, which was in the colony of Côte d’Ivoire, which at the time was part of French West Africa, along with Mauritania, Senegal, French Sudan (now Mali), French Guinea (now Guinea), Upper Volta (now Burkina Faso), Dahomey (now Benin) and Niger. He earned a B.A. in English at the National University of Abidjan in 1974, a graduate degree in diplomatic administration at the same university in 1975, and a graduate degree in advanced diplomatic studies from the International Institute for Public Administration and International Relations in Paris, France, in 1976.

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Oshunbumi Fernandez


Celebration, Passion and Persistence….. are the words that come to mind when describing the life of Oshunbumi Fernandez, CEO of ODUNDE, Inc.

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Robert Scott

Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, Bureau of African Affairs, US Department of State

Robert Scott is the Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of African Affairs, covering West African Affairs and Economic and Regional Affairs. Previously he served as the Director for Economic and Regional Affairs in the Department of State’s Africa Bureau, the Deputy Chief of Mission in Zimbabwe and Tanzania, and as the Deputy Office Director for West African Affairs. Other overseas tours include Ukraine, Germany, France, Ghana, and domestic assignments working on climate change and European security issues.

Mr. Scott joined the Foreign Service in 1994. He received a B.A. from Lawrence University, and has an M.A. in International Relations from American University.

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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About The Event