Friday March 11, 2016 from 8:30 AM to 3:00 PM CST
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Governors State University 
1 University Parkway
Engbretson Hall
University Park, IL 60484

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Mary Ma, Director of International Trade Center at GSU 
Illinois SBDC International Trade Center at Governors State University 


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Doing Business in Africa 

The Doing Business in Africa workshop will bring government and business leaders in trade and investment to Governors State University, located in University Park, Illinois. It provides pratical knowledge to businesses in the Chicago area that aspire to do business in and with emerging markets in Africa.

The redesigned format will contain a Keynote Presentation on the Power Africa Initiative, and representatives from select African governments will be present. Marketing and financial strategies will also be presetned by US government officials. The presentations and panel discussions will help participants understand the opportunities and challenges in these markets as well as some emerging trends in specific industries and business sectors.

Participants will learn: 

  • Entry and marketing strategies in Africa.
  • How to finance their trade and investment activities in the region.
  • Best practices from Illinois businesses that have been successful in these markets. 

Participants will also have opportunity to build important business connections with government officials, other businesses and industry experts.

Full program itinerary is available here.

   Register Now!Registration is free. Breakfast and lunch will be provided, with support from a Department of Education grant.

For more questions, please feel free to contact: Dr. Jun Zhao, jzhao@govst.edu, 708-534-4953  or Ms. Mary Ma, hma@govst.edu, 708-534-6976.


List of Presenters 

Opening Remarks:

Dr. Ellen Foster Curtis, Dean, College of Business, Governors State University

Keynote Presentation:  Power Africa Initiative

Brandon Megorden, Country Manager, Sub-Saharan Africa, U.S. Trade and Development Agency

 African Government Session:

  1. Shakira Motan, Economic Consul, South African Consulate General, Chicago
  2. Jean AbiNader, Director of Morocco-America Trade and Investment Center
  3. Dr. Olumide Ijose, Associate Professor, Governors State University (to speak on Nigeria) 

 U.S. Government Session:

  1. Benjamin S. Todd, Business Development for Africa, Global Business Development Division, U.S. Export-Import Bank
  2. Rich Carpenter, International Trade Specialist, the U.S. Department of Commerce
  3. Dennis Foldenauer, Regional Manager, International Trade Finance Specialist, U.S. Small Business Administration
  4. Margo Markopoulos, Director, Office of Trade and Investment,  Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity
Moderator: Ms. Mary Ma, Director, Illinois SBDC International Trade Center at Governors State University

 Business Session:

  1. Sophia Leaguedi, President, Ameroc Export Inc.
  2. Eugene Bostoe, President, Ability Engineering Technology Inc.
  3. Cheryle Jackson, Vice President, Government Affairs & Corporate Development, AAR CORP
  4. Kevin Sofen, Business Development, W.S. Darley & Co.

Moderator: Richard Paullin, Executive Director, International  Trade Association of Greater Chicago

Closing Remarks:

Dr. Jun Zhao, Chair, College of Business, Governors State University