World Bank Group and African Development Bank hold first Diaspora Trade Forum in Washington DC

Akinwumi Adesina
Akinwumi Adesina, president of African Development Bank. Photo: Brookings Institution

The World Bank Group’s first Annual African Diaspora Trade Forum will bring together donors, entrepreneurs, investors, and others who are looking to create trade, investment, and mentorship opportunities in Sub-Saharan Africa.

The main goal of this year’s forum is to engage and incentivize entrepreneurs and investors in the African Diaspora who are looking to create trade, investment, and mentorship opportunities in Sub-Saharan Africa. The World Bank Group Headquarters J Building on 701 18th Street NW in Washington DC will be the venue for this event.

The potential wealth and talent existing in the African Diaspora are enormous. Some researchers estimate that US$53 billion is saved on an annual basis by the African Diaspora. Additionally, it is estimated that by 2040 Africa will have a larger workforce than China or India.

All of this will require targeted new enterprise growth in areas that can enhance food supply, healthcare services, and educational solutions, particularly in the area of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) within local communities.

At its core, the forum will be an opportunity for participants to interact with and hear from various demographics in the African diaspora, highlighting their successes and failures in doing business throughout the African continent. Speakers will include diaspora early-stage investors and entrepreneurs as well as donor partners who will discuss existing programs which are being implemented to take advantage of the diaspora’s potential to boost trade and investment.

In addition, preliminary results from a pilot survey on the Africa diaspora will be shared for the first time at the forum. Developed by the World Bank Group’s Trade and Competitiveness Global Practice, this survey has been designed to gather data on the engagement of African diaspora individuals with origins from eight African countries, and focuses on their business activities in the following areas: agribusiness, consumer products, energy, climate change, financial services/inclusion, and tourism.

While still in its pilot phase, the survey will provide some insight into the activities of diaspora communities in developing trade, investment, and technical assistance opportunities with their countries of origin.

By sparking animated discussions, the forum aims to be a point collaboration between all attendees, leading to the discovery of partnerships and potential synergies with a variety of stakeholders invested in strengthening the African continent through trade and investment opportunities.

This event’s core team is composed of John Speakman; Practice Manager, Trade and Competitiveness Global Practice. Lucy Fye; Senior Private Sector Development Specialist, Nii Simmonds; Private Sector Development Specialist, Beverley Mbu and Donald Agaba who are both consultants.

Watch the live stream of the event on June 10, 2015, from 9 AM Eastern Standard Time here.

Source: World Bank Group

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