RECAP: Opening Doors to Africa
In August, National Center Chief of Staff Erin Abrahamson and Export Business Development Specialist Kyia Jackson had the honor of participating in a Trade Mission to Africa. The mission was sponsored by the International Trade Administration, through its Global Diversity Export Initiative. Kyia and Erin represented American Indigenous communities, as a part of a broader effort to connect minority-owned businesses to their counterparts in South Africa and Ghana. This partnership is an outgrowth of the Memorandum of Agreement signed between The National Center and ITA earlier this year, and part of The National Center’s growing focus on international trade.
Kyia shared some of her observations – and pictures – from the trip. Check them out below. If you’d like to learn more about the African market and trade possibilities, please join the Arizona MBDA Export Center for its next Trade Talks on October 11. Kyia will lead a discussion with William Fanjoy, who is a senior advisor at USAID, with a specific focus on Prosper Africa.
Being a part of the GDEI Trade Mission to Africa was an incredible opportunity, not only for the Arizona MBDA Export Center but for the National Center and the communities we represent. We embarked on a journey to two African countries, South Africa and Ghana, with the goal of building bridges between minority-owned business within the U.S and businesses in these countries.
South Africa is hungry for international trade and ready for business, whereas in Ghana, we learned more about the needs of these communities, whether economic, health-related, education, or infrastructure. However, both countries offer U.S companies tremendous business opportunities. We experienced and witnessed successful business relationships during the business-to-business meetings, expos, and networking receptions in which we participated.
The mission itself was not the only benefit of traveling abroad. Erin and I had the opportunity to meet with the rest of our delegation including business owners, strategic partners, and representatives of the U.S Commercial Services such as Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade Marisa Lago. We made connections and brought back new opportunities and a better understanding of international markets, which we hope to use for the benefit of Indian Country.