WASHINGTON – USBC President Ron Busby took a weeklong dive into international business development at the invitation of the Moroccan government and the Moroccan American Network. The multi-city tour coincided with the US-Africa Business Summit in Marrakech, which featured delegates from practically every African nation and many American companies interested in expansion to the African continent.
“Our goal – as always – is increasing business opportunities for Black-owned businesses,” said Busby, “whether those opportunities are across the street or across the ocean. Though doing business internationally is not feasible for every business owner, there are legitimate opportunities across the globe, and it is our responsibility to help position Black businesses for those opportunities.”
The opening session of the US-Africa Business Summit featured a videotaped welcome message from Vice President Kamala Harris, representatives of Moroccan King Mohammad VI, the Corporate Council on Africa and the head of the African Development Bank. Breakout sessions covered agriculture, healthcare, energy, entrepreneurship, transportation, logistics, infrastructure and a wide range of social issues that impact business.
Joined by USBC Board Chairman Charles O’Neal and Elhajjam Mohamed, founder of Moroccan American Network and Morocco Day, Busby opened discussions with foreign service veteran US Consul General Lawrence Randolph. Randolph, a Morehouse College graduate, was upbeat about prospects for business opportunities in Morocco. Senior
Commercial Specialist Kenza El Amrani joined in our discussions.
Following opening day activities, the first of a series of meetings and press events with Moroccan government officials began, significantly with Mohcine Jazouli, Minister Delegate for Investments, then a brief meeting with Minister of Economy and Finance Nadia Fettah Alaoui among others. A number of these meetings were widely publicized on Moroccan television, in newspapers and across social media. In fact, our guide for the day, Ahmed
Larouz, came home to Marrakech from Amsterdam because he learned the USBC would be in attendance!
The next day was huge! The USBC was hosted by the Prime Minister, His Excellency Aziz Ahhannouch for a wide-ranging discussion of opportunities, the planned 2023 Morocco Day and an exchange of proclamations cementing relations between Morocco and the USBC. This was a significant Black History moment!
From Casablanca to Rabat to Marrakech and on to Agadir for the final day of meetings with Souss Massa (region) chamber of commerce president Said Dor and a formal meeting with Karim Achengli, president of the Souss Massa Regional Council. Agadir, coastal resort city and home of Prime Minister Akhannouch, will be the host city for Morocco Day 2023.
“We are optimistic for the future of business opportunities for USBC members who desire to do business on the African continent,” Busby said. “Morocco is a financial giant on the continent with strong banking ties to 39 nations and is considered to be the Gateway to Africa. We are working hard to ensure that Morocco is the gateway for America’s Blackowned businesses to access opportunities in Africa.”