Ghana trade officials have selected 500 African companies to participate in Ghana Expo 2004, a trade and investment event featuring Ghana President John Kufuor and U.S. talk show host Ophra Winfrey, to be held at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, Sept. 23-26, according to event manager Karen Mason.

“For companies that are interested in doing business in Africa, this is certainly the place they’ll want to be. A number of high officials will be present, including the ministers of agriculture, private sector and trade,” Ms. Mason told GlobalAtlanta.

In support of the exhibition, the Atlanta City Council has declared Sept. 19-26 as Ghana Week. The national chapter of 100 Black Men is helping to promote the event, said Erieka Bennett, an event adviser to Ghana’s president.

“You often hear so much about Ghana’s wars and poverty,” said Dr. Bennett. “This is an opportunity for Americans to learn about Ghana’s beauty and rich culture.”

A gala dinner honoring Andrew Young, former U.S. ambassador to the U.N., 102-year-old educator Sam Evans and Ms. Winfrey for their contributions to humanity will be a fundraiser for Mr. Kufuor’s education initiative, she said.

Dr. Bennett said the president “really believes in the value of education. His vision is for every child in Ghana to go to school free. Currently, the government is working very hard to support public education, but we need traditional chiefs and the private sector to help with the educational system.”

The public is invited to attend the dinner on Saturday, Sept. 25. Tickets are $100 and can be purchased at

Also, Asa Hillyard, a professor at Georgia State University, is writing curriculum for Georgia students who will study Ghana during the week of the expo, said Ms. Bennet.

Ghana Expo will also include a youth forum, in which some 15 Ghana youth will discuss current events and issues with local youth, Ms. Mason said.

In addition, journalists from Africa and the United States are to attend a media summit on Friday, Sept. 24, to address issues regarding story treatment of Africa in the media, which is often framed in the negative, according to summit coordinator Tony Regusters.

Some of the journalists attending the summit are CNN correspondents Farai Chedeya and Jim Clancy, and Atlanta Journal-Constitution international affairs writer Shelia Poole, as well as members of the Atlanta Association of Black Journalists, Embassy Information Counselors of Washington and Washington’s African Diplomatic Corps.

For more information on the event, go to for call (404) 969-1206.