OVC is excited to announce Bennett M. Harman, Deputy Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for Africa and Deputy Chief Negotiator for the U.S.-Kenya Strategic Trade and Investment Partnership (STIP) negotiations as the Diaspora Investor Expo Keynote Speaker.
Representative Harman’s work in trade spans many decades with his current role focused on improving trade and investment policies in Africa, addressing both barriers to U.S. exports and investment and capacity needs of African nations.
Speaking on the choice of Keynote, Dr. Jake Ongaki, Expo Planning Chair has this to say, “The US government has a unique opportunity to partner with our diaspora to discuss ideas that would be beneficial to East Africans when it comes to commercialization and entrepreneurship”.
“This is a great opportunity to hear from a highly influential figure in trade, and understand how best to forge positive and impactful business relations between East Africans and the USA.” Ongaki concluded.
The in-person event will be held May 5th – 7th at the Hilton Rockville Hotel in Washington, DC.
More Diaspora Expo highlights:
- A Governance and Civil Society Panel sponsored by Watch Democracy Grow, a nonprofit organization established in 2016 after an inspirational speech of President Obama at the African Union summit in 2015. Henrietta Mary will lead the panel.
- A Gala and Awards ceremony will recognize and celebrate exemplary leaders in the Diaspora community and hope to inspire future leaders to work towards the unity of all Diasporans.
Additional Expo Panelists include the following executives from sponsor organizations (topics and titles to be released)
- Dr. Peter Ndiangui, Honorary Ambassador of Nyeri County to Diaspora and Professor at Florida Gulf University.
- Ben Kasue, Board Member at East Africa Chamber of Commerce, fostering economic development between businesses and governmental agencies of East Africa and the U.S.
- Dr. Truphena Choti, Founder of Afrithrive, a Maryland nonprofit building vibrant and thriving African immigrant and minority families through access to nutritious, culturally appropriate food, skills development, and economic opportunity.
- Basil Ajuo of Minnesota Africans United (MAU), a coalition and statewide organization for all African immigrant communities in Minnesota. MAU supports Minnesota’s African Immigrant community with representation from 55 African countries and acts as a connection for the network of African immigrants in Minnesota and for local African immigrant community organizations and small businesses.
- Kevin Machine of Swahili Cultural Institute, a language and cultural institute that promotes the preservation, learning, and knowledge of Swahili and other African languages, cultures and heritage.
- Peter Maina; Geonet Communications
- Dr. Angwenyi; Global Travel Connections
- Dr. Elizabeth Kangethe, Mayor in UK & Beacon of Hope
- Prof. Charles Choti, OVC Director of Governance & Afthrive Co.
- Martin Mark, Kenyans in Jacksonville, Florida
Registration to the Diaspora Investor Expo is in full swing and early hotel reservations are encouraged.