Months of preparations are about to bear fruit for the National Black MBA Association‘s week-long journey to Liberia and Ghana as 15 of its members including Jesse Tyson, the NBMBAA’s president, ready to leave Saturday, Feb. 16.
Mr. Tyson has made connecting with Africa a top priority of the association which moved its headquarters from Chicago to Atlanta in 2016. The Liberian leg of the trip has been organized by Cynthia L. Blandford, the honorary consul of Liberia in Atlanta and president and CEO of Global Strategies for Good LLC, while the Ghana leg is under the direction of Matilda Arhin, president of the Atlanta-based Ghana International Chamber of Commerce.
Their visit is to include meetings with the countries’ top officials including ministers of foreign affairs, commerce and industry, and agriculture and representatives of Liberia’s National Investment Commission.
They also are scheduled to participate in roundtable discussions with members of local chambers of commerce and business associations as well as representatives from the U.S. embassies.
Ms. Blandford told Global Atlanta that highlights of the visit will include a meeting with officials from the Ministries of Education, Gender, Youth and Sports and the Liberian Football Association.
The president of Liberia, George Weah, is a former professional soccer player, who for 14 years played for clubs in France, Italy and England. According to Ms. Blandford, Mr. Weah is preoccupied with what Liberia’s government can do to promote an agenda that will be relevant to the youth in view that 60 percent of Liberia’s population are 25 years old and younger,
She also said that she looked forward to cultural aspects of the visit including time to be spent on Providence Island where freed slaves from America landed in the 1820s. Liberia is to celebrate in 2021 the 200th anniversary of the return of African-Americans to Liberia.
In Ghana, the delegation will tour the Cape Coast, the capital of the country’s Coastal Region, known for it role in the transatlantic slave trade. They also will visit the W.E.B. DuBois Center in Accra, Ghana’s capital, where Dr. DuBois, the Pan-Africanist became a citizen of Ghana, spending the later part of his life there at the invitation of President Kwame Nkrumah. Dr. DuBois spent two extended periods in Atlanta from from 1897-1910 and 1934-44 and wrote some of his most influential work here.
While in Accra, the delegation also will visit with the Ghana Investment Promotion Center where it will meet with members and its chief executive officer. It also is to visit the country’s parliament and meet with U.S. embassy officials.