By Diane Tezeno
The National Black Chamber of Commerce recently hosted its first Pan African Summit, themed “The Globalization of the Black Entrepreneur” in Houston, Nov. 15-18, 2012.
Coordinators of the three-day event, hosted by the Bethel’s Place Black Chamber of Commerce of Houston, welcomed hundreds of participants from across the globe including ministers from various countries, government officials with specific projects, entrepreneurs, companies looking for joint ventures and investments.
Attendees were anticipated from a variety of countries, including Trinidad and Tobago, Zambia, Nigeria, Ghana, South Africa, Kenya, Ethiopia, Suriname, Cameroon, France, Equatorial Guinea, & Fiji Islands.
NBCC President Harry Alford and wife, Kay Alford, along with Chuck Debow and other NBCC officials facilitated an information-packed summit as business owners and officials from across the globe converged on the Four Seasons Hotel in downtown Houston to foster global business alliances and engage in networking opportunities.
The summit kicked off on Day One with a keynote address by Prosper Adabla, CEO of New-Capital Holdings on “Innovative Financing in the Global Market.
On Day Two, Alford, co-founder of the Pan African Entrepreneurs Conference, moderated a plenary on “Making the Case for International Trade,” followed later in the day by a keynote address on “Emerging into the African Marketplace” delivered by Robert Agbede, president & CEO of Chester Engineers.
Frederick Jordan, president/CEO of F.E. Jordan Associates, Jon Ricks, senior director of Energy, TCPN and Cherae Robinson, head of Strategic Partnerships & Development, CIMMYT made up a panel of experts on “The Sustainability of a Nation: Technology, Infrastructure, Energy, Agribusiness. The Afripolitans hosted the second panel of the day featuring successful entrepreneurs of the diaspora who have made their mark in the digital media, real estate, art, entertainment and international development industries.
The final day of the Summit included a panel discussion on “The Business of Entertainment and Fashion,” featuring Jay Alexander Martin, executive vice president and co-founder of FUBU along with two members of the Bethel’s Place Black Chamber of Commerce, Kim Roxie of LAMIK Beauty and Dee Dee Coleman of DEElicious Catering and Cuisine. The trio shared insights on their successes and challenges in the entertainment, fashion and restaurant industries.
The event concluded with a roundtable on “Best Practices of U.S. Businesses doing Business Globally.”