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Arkansas to host 2018 Trade with Africa Business Summit


Bentonville, Arkansas, will host the the Trade with Africa Business Summit 2018, an inaugural event that convenes global business leaders, change agents and innovators driving digital acceleration, sustainable agriculture, global trade and women empowerment on the continent of Africa.

According to the organisers, the aim of the event is to ignite a fresh dialog that educates and showcases effective strategies for increasing trade between the U.S. and African countries. The event also positions the state of Arkansas as a favorable destination for African business & political leaders looking to create partnerships with the U.S.

Toyin Umesiri, CEO Nazaru LLC and convener of the event, said: “The timing is right for U.S. businesses to develop an effective strategy towards Africa. By 2050 Africa is projected to have a quarter of the world’s population and currently has some of the fastest growing economies with GDP growth rate of 5% or more.”

In 2000, the United States established the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) to support U.S. trade with Africa. Although some level of success has been accomplished, U.S. still engages at less than 2% of total global trade with Sub-Saharan Africa. On the U.S. side there are several constraints including lack of awareness, supporting business data, and misconception and information gap. On the African side there is lack of information related to available business partnerships and opportunities for African businesses as well as education on ways to secure investments needed to build the level of capacity required to meet U.S. standards.

The Trade with Africa Business Summit 2018 provides an effective platform to strengthen linkages by bringing together African and U.S. business and political leaders and their supporting service providers. Bentonville, Arkansas is the home of Walmart, the world’s leading retailer, and is a thriving trade and economic hub and hence the perfect location to establish new trade opportunities.

Confirmed Speakers include: Donnie Smith, Former CEO, Tyson Foods; Denise Thomas, Director of Africa Trade Relations, World Trade Center; Scott Ford, CEO Westrock Coffee; Dale Dawson, Founder Bridge to Rwanda; Salim Amin, Chairman Camerapix Kenya; Finn Holm-Olsen, Trade Promotion & AGOA, USAID East Africa Trade Hub and Chris Folayan, CEO Mall for Africa.