Monday, August 09, 2010
By Mutale Kapekele
Sun 08 Aug. 2010, 04:00 CAT
COMMERCE minister Felix Mutati has told American investors they stand to lose huge opportunities if they avoid investing in changing Africa. Mutati, who on Friday received a standing ovation after delivering a strong emotional speech at the African Growth Opportunity Act (AGOA) Forum in Kansas City, said Africa was changing.
According to first secretary for press at the Zambian Embassy in Washington DC, Ben Kangwa, Mutati’s speech was punctuated with a strong message of Africa as a new frontier for investment “amid long applauses.”
“Africa is changing. At least 38 African countries in the recent past have moved towards political stability and good governance,” Mutati said. “They have also implemented reforms to improve the way they conduct business.”
Mutati challenged US companies to take advantage of the AGOA as Africa was open and ready for job creation and accountability.
He commended the hard work and dynamism of African women whom he described as determined to make a difference and to prosper in a world dominated by men.
Mutati cited as an example Ghana’s chief executive officer of Homefoods Processing and Cannery Limited, Felicia Twumwasi and Zambia’s Sylvia Banda, the chief executive officer of Sylva Food Solutions as being among the most dynamic women on the continent.
“I salute African women who started their businesses in their kitchens and are now able to run multimillion dollar companies or have expanded from catering to processing and packaging traditional Zambian foodstuffs,” he said.
Mutati also spoke at a panel discussion moderated by the US Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, Ambassador Johnnie Carson. The AGOA Forum opened last Monday.