African Trade Chamber in US seeks collaboration in Africa

African Trade Chamber in US seeks collaboration in Africa



The Midlands African Chamber in the United States of America is extending its reaches to entrepreneurs in Africa countries.

Karine Sokpoh, President of the Chamber, has embarked on a tour of some African countries, including Ghana and was in the Volta Region on the invitation of the Volta Development Forum (VDF), regional development advocacy organisation.

She paid a courtesy call on Dr. Archibald Yao Letsa, the Volta Regional Minister, and introduced the Chamber as having a “strong African population with very business minded people based in Nebraska.”She said the Chamber, which was established a few years ago, currently has about 250 members and with stakes in major firms like Wells Fargo, Walmart, Google and Facebook.

Technology, banking and finance, transportation, and real estate are among interests of the US business group, and the President said she was meeting with other chambers in various African countries “to build that bridge between members, and economic cooperation.”She said the Chamber sought to promote cooperation, collaboration and business opportunities, adding that Nebraska was known for Agritech and could enhance the agricultural sector in Africa.

She said the US State also held the repute for renewable fuels, and also food technology, including GMOs, and agricultural irrigation.

Ms. Sokpoh spoke of available professional job opportunities in the State, and said through collaboration, Ghana could benefit.

“We are touring to see if there are more avenues for collaboration,” she said, promising to help the Volta Region address some of its social challenges, particularly in the areas of water and sanitation, and education.

She agreed with the Regional Minister and stakeholders, including executives of the VDF, on building a framework for collaboration.

The Volta Regional Minister, on his part, said Volta had vibrant private sector driving opportunities in agriculture sector, ICT and tourism, and was in position to grow the foreign collaboration.

He said ongoing efforts by the Association of Ghana Industries and the Volta Regional Coordinating Council generated access to international markets for local businesses, which would be greatly boosted with the support of the US Chamber.

Dr Letsa commended the VDF for its “pool of ideas,” as well as the instrumentality in boosting investor traffic to the Region.

The Regional Minister said the Region most importantly had a vibrant crop of youth entrepreneurs and would require support to advance in excellence.

“Young people in Volta have great ideas and can do a lot with the right support.”Mr. Kwame Kludjesen, President of Sister Cities Organisations, accompanied the US executive on the visit, and called on African Countries to consider the prospects of sister city collaborations.

He said it facilitated accelerated development and commended the Regional Minister for his role in the realisation of a consulate for Ghana in the US State of Arkansas.

Mr. Daniel Agboka Dzegede, the Executive Director of the Volta Development Forum, said Ghana was the first point of call for the US executive, and that the Organisation was honoured to promote the collaboration.

At a separate meeting with executives of the development forum, Mr Dzegede shared plans to help rebrand the tourism industry of the Volta Region, and said among others, a trip was being organised to Barbados to understudy its visitor economy.

He said other development initiatives aligned with the vision that established the Organisation, and that, “the VDF has a mandate to ensure that within 10 to 20 years, Volta would be the investment hub in the subregion.” Samuel Akumatey

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