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Connecting across continents: MBDA hosts Power Africa and Agribusiness Summit

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Created on January 29, 2016

The U.S. Department of Commerce, Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) Business Center-Baltimore and Global Political Solutions, LLC (GPS) hosted the first-ever Power Africa and Agribusiness Summit in Washington, D.C. at The National Press Club, Jan. 13-14.

The summit brought together more than 150 public and private sector investors, minority business entrepreneurs, U.S. government officials, Fortune 500 companies and African Ministerial level delegations from more than 20 African Nations.

This event was designed to provide attendees with key opportunities to network and discuss business opportunities, energy infrastructure and Agribusiness food security issues, such as advanced growing techniques and sustainability.

Representatives from the U.S. Department of Energy, U.S. Department of Agriculture, PEER Consultants P.C., Coalmont Electrical Development Corp. and Brisa International were also present.

“For us, this whole event was really to match MBEs with opportunities that the African countries brought to the table,” said Martin Ezemma, MBDA Business Development Specialist. “The center been able to capture a lot of viable opportunities that were presented by either ambassadors or ministers that attended. The next step for us is to follow up and make sure we actualize these efforts,” he said.

Ezemma, along with MBDA Business Center-Baltimore Project Director N. Scott Phillips, Aaron T Manaigo, Global Political Solutions (GPS), and a team of others worked collectively to organize and host the summit.

MBDA’s National Deputy Director Albert K. Shen and Associate Director of the Office of Business Development, Efrain Gonzalez, Jr., provided remarks during the luncheon portion of the summit.

On the second day, attendees traveled to Capitol Hill to meet with the U.S. House committee and staff to discuss agriculture and energy-related issues. They also visited the University of District of Columbia’s Aquatic Energy Demonstration Project and participated in a Joint Agency and Foreign Delegates meeting at the Ronald Reagan Building.

The Power Africa and Agribusiness Summit supports the White House’s Power Africa Initiative and “Doing Business in Africa” campaign. Power Africa was created in 2013 by President Obama to double the access to power in sub-Saharan Africa, while the DBIA campaign created in 2012, focuses on furthering the United States’ commercial relationship with Africa.  

The Commerce Department leads the DBIA campaign and MBDA continues to promote more U.S. trade with Africa through increased financing for and engagement with key stakeholders, including the African Diaspora community.

For more information about the Power Africa Initiative and MBDA’s Africa Agenda visit and

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