Friday, March 16, 2012, Charlotte, NC, USA
UNC Charlotte’s Africana Studies Department is playing a critical role in the Charlotte Africa Initiative, which will officially launch with a series of workshops at UNC Charlotte Center City during Charlotte Africa Business Week, April 24-28.
“The Charlotte Africa Initiative allows businesses, students, scholars and others in the Charlotte region and elsewhere in North Carolina to engage with the emerging continent of Africa,” said Akin Ogundiran, chair of the Africana Studies Department in the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences.
“These connections can be economic, cultural or academic,” Ogundiran said. “The goal is to improve and enrich the lives and livelihoods of communities in the United States and in Africa through business and entrepreneurial opportunities. We look forward to continuing to grow this initiative and welcome others to join with us.”
Other collaborators for the launch of the initiative are the Pan African Chamber of Commerce and Industry, which is a continental umbrella organization of chambers in the majority of African countries that is endorsed by the African Union; and Afribiz., a division of Conceptualee, Inc., focused on growing trade, information, business, technology and innovation, and capital flows between Africa and other global markets.
The two primary public events during Charlotte Africa Business Week are “Going Global in Africa: Success Strategies for SMEs and Entrepreneurs to Tap African Markets,” a workshop focused on strategy and practical tactics for business leaders and entrepreneurs and “Doing Business in Fast-Growing Africa: A Focus on Regional Markets and Economic Hubs,” a conference offering insights into business opportunities on the continent.
Both events will be held at UNC Charlotte Center City, 320 E. 9th Street. The first daylong workshop is scheduled for Tuesday, April 24, with a registration fee of $50 that includes a light lunch, books and a toolkit. A discounted rate of $40 is available for University students and faculty, and a limited number of scholarships are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Register at http://goingglobalinafrica.eventbrite.com. Email Ogundiran at [email protected] for further information.
The second day-long event is scheduled for Friday, April 27, with a $20 registration fee for University students and faculty and $99 for others. Register at http://doingbusinessafrica.eventbrite.com.
The list of confirmed speakers for this conference is below with additional speakers to be finalized.
- Zemedeneh Negatu, Managing Partner at Ernst & Young Ethiopia and Head of Transaction Advisory Services of Eastern Africa, leading a special focus session
- Rob Smith, Founder and Director of Earthwise Ventures, speaking on infrastructure in East Africa
- William Carter, Africa Diamond Leader at Ashoka, speaking on social entrepreneurship in East Africa and how to leverage these networks to do business on the continent
- Lauri Elliott, Director of Afribiz Media, speaking on innovations in ICT (mobile) in East Africa
- Hartmut Sieper, CEO of Trans Africa Invest, speaking on the key capital markets in East Africa
- Richard Schroeder, CEO of First Step Special Economic Zone, speaking on using economic zones in West Africa to do business in Africa
- Troy Pelshak, CEO of Amana Global Services and former NFL player, speaking on preparing for dynamics of doing business in West Africa
- Albert Essien, Deputy CEO of Ecobank, speaking on banking sector in West Africa
- Daniel Anagho, President of African Investment Corporation, speaking on opportunities and nuances of doing business in Cameroon & Central Africa, as well as his role with OPIC
- Claude Ibalanky, CEO of Bantu Investments, speaking on developing retail products for informal consumer markets in Southern Africa
- Carol Tappenden, COO of Nexii, speaking on innovative impact and social enterprise investment options in Southern Africa
- Sipho Mseleku, President of Pan African Chamber of Commerce and Industry, speaking on the low-hanging fruit opportunities in Southern Africa
- Kendal Tyre, Partner at the law firm of Nixon Peabody LLP, and Chair/Founder of Lex Noir, speaking on franchising in Southern Africa
For more information, visit the website http://africana.uncc.edu/or http://www.afribiz.info.