By Okon Ekpenyong
During the recent Houston International Trade Development Council (HITDC) conference and expo, held on Tuesday, June 20, 2023, it was encouraging to observe Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) connecting and learning about the various business opportunities available throughout Africa.
The event featured keynote speaker Sheila Jackson, a representative for Houston’s 18th congressional district and candidate for mayor, didn’t miss its mark.
Houston.org, in its October 2022 publication, reported that of about 1.7 foreign-born residents, approximately 118 thousand are originally from Africa.
So Every year, the city of Houston continues to show its commitment to promoting business, identifying economic development opportunities, and discussing challenges among American companies operating in Africa and vice versa.
Houston-Africa Energy Summit, the first of its kind in September 2022, proved a resounding success since it serves as the world headquarters for all energy-related sectors, including exploration, production, transmission, marketing, supply, and new technology. It featured African Heads of State, African Ministers, Houston-based energy CEOs, and business leaders from the African continent.
HITDC also works with entrepreneurs from Asia, the Caribbean, and Central and South America for business development and trade talks. This networking can potentially create new jobs and stimulate economic growth in the region.
In addition to providing advisory services to the business owners attending the event, Bill Fanjoy, from Prosper Africa, which works to increase trade investment between the United States and African countries, spoke about efforts to expand and connect with US small businesses.
The congresswoman said, “Investing in Africa can benefit Houston’s economy and the African continent.” She also discussed the significance of Juneteenth for both the African community and African-Americans.
Business leaders from the US and Africa shared “the secrets” and success of investing and trading in Liberia, Nigeria, Ghana, Senegal, Côte d’Ivoire, Angola, and more!
The conference included breakout sessions on various topics, including international financing and globalization.
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