A four-day international trade and investment fair on Africa has end in Atlanta, USA. It was organised by EXPO AFRICA Limited and dubbed EXPO AFRICA 2005.
EXPO AFRICA Limited is an International Trade, Investment and Cultural Exhibition organisation which assist the African business community to showcase the plethora of goods and services produced by Africans around the globe.
This year's event was a followed-up to Ghana Expo 2003 held in London and Ghana Expo 2004 in Atlanta last year.
The event sought to bring together African and America businesses under one roof for business interactions. It also created a network and match making platform for participating countries and businesses to learn more and pursue business opportunities beyond their boundaries.
For the first time, other African countries other than Ghana as Nigeria, Zambia, South Africa, Liberia, Senegal and The Gambia participated in the event. In all nearly one hundred business contacts were clinched between the exhibitors and their counterparts from America and Europe.
Countries like Nigeria, Senegal, The Gambia, Zambia, Botswana, Kenya and South Africa had representatives from their business communities.
It also attracted highly prominent business, traditional and political figures from around the globe. These included His Majesty King Molotlegi of the Royal Bafoken Nation of South Africa, Assistant Secretary of the State of Georgia, Mr Ronald Langston, the National Director of the Minority Business Development Agency US Ministers and Diplomats of the participating countries.
The spectacular closing ceremony saw all participants and visitors with hands held together singing national anthems of participating countries depicting the success of the event.
They called on the American government and other governments of the civilised world to support Africa and other third world countries to compete favourably in global trade by pulling down all trade barriers that militate against Africa's participation in the global trade.
A Director of EXPO AFRICA, Mr. Kwabena Asamoah Afriyie, in his speech at the opening ceremony observed that “Africa wants trade and not Aid - And we as Ambassadors of Africa should provide the inspiration to effect the changes for generations to come. The battle begins with Expo Africa 2005 in Atlanta”
He noted that there have been trade barriers in different shapes and forms including the refusal to grant visas to bona fide African entrepreneurs to do business abroad.
Mr Asamoah noted that in spite of the many hindrances, the event chalked a huge success. This he said is a clear indication that the African business community is prepared to forge ahead and place the continent on the world trade and investment map.
He therefore assured all well meaning African entrepreneurs EXPO AFRICA will continue to provide the platform for African entrepreneurs to showcase their potentials.
Mr. Asamoah Afriyie urged the exhibitors as Ambassadors of Africa to provide the inspiration to effect the changes for generations to come.
He also advised businesses and prospective businesses in the US to engage their African counterparts in dialogue and to consider setting up joint ventures and partnerships. “For we know that statistically, African countries offer the highest return on investment than any other country in the world – ranging from 30% to 60% or even higher.” The AFRICA EXPO Director observed.