Today, Congressman Al Green (TX-09) joined prominent business leaders from the Houston area in a press conference to announce the convening of the first Texas Africa Business Summit. As Honorary Host Committee Chair, Congressman Al Green praised the summit’s organizers for their foresight in promoting international networking and business opportunities.
Congressman Al Green commented that “Africa is becoming a key player in several economic sectors such as agriculture business, energy and tourism.” He noted that “in 2008 sub-Saharan countries imported goods from the United States worth 86 billion dollars.”
Wea Lee, chairman of Houston’s International Trade Center, the organizer of the event, emphasized that the main purpose is “to provide an innovative platform that will first create and then develop business opportunities between a powerful state such as Texas and a more than promising region of the world economy, such as the continent of Africa.”
“Africa, with emerging markets in the areas of oil, energy, and mineral resources, provides an excellent business opportunity to develop partnerships between Houston-area businesses and African countries. This event is designed to capitalize on such opportunities,” added Congressman Al Green.
“There is already a foundation for business that we believe can be improved upon. We now live in an interlinked world and what happens in the United States has an impact in Africa and vice-versa,” he commented.
The commercial relationship between Texas and African nations has already been established for several years, especially regarding oil and agri-business. In this sense, the Honorary Consul General of Ethiopia in Houston, Gezahgen Kebede, highlighted that the Port of Houston is one the most active in the trade with Africa.
“This summit is really being catered specifically to mid size and small size companies that want to enter this new realm of commercial endeavors,” added Mr. Kebede.
The Texas Africa Business Summit will take place in Houston’s International Trade Center from February 22nd until the 24th. The City of Houston, the Greater Houston Partnership and the Texas Governor’s Division of Economic Development & Tourism are also collaborating in organizing the event.