Unlocking Your Market Potential

CITD Seminar - Doing Business in Africa

The continent of Africa, consisting of 54 countries and a population of over 800 million people represents an enormous market for US companies. Several presenters will join as a panel to provide expert advice on how US companies can succeed in the African market, providing an overview of the continent, and a focus on the region of North Africa and the countries of South Africa and Ghana.

This seminar is one of a nine-part seminar series on international business and is supported by the US Department of Commerce and the Small Business Association.

Click on the highlighted links for the presentation download.

Date: Tuesday, October 5, 2004
Location: USDoC, 250 Montgomery Street, 14th floor, San Francisco CA 94104
Time 8:45 am - 1:00 pm

08:45 - 09:15 Registration and Networking
09:15 - 09:25 Introductions
09:25 - 10:10 Richard Soyombo, Bay Area CITD – an overview of doing business on the African continent
10:10 - 11:00 Said Cherkaoui, Ph.D., East Bay CITD – Doing Business in North Africa
11:00 - 11:20 break
11:20 - 12:00 Lucie M. Newcomb, Doing Business in South Africa
12:00 - 12:30 Miriam Rosenthal, focus on Ghana
12:30 - 13:00 Networking

The panel moderator will be Keith Rayner of Kemarra, Inc.


Richard A.F. Soyombo
Richard A.F. Soyombo is the Director for the Center for International Trade Development (CITD). His experience spans two decades of international business development. He has played various successful roles in both the public and private sectors helping corporations to succeed internationally and providing guidance for foreign governments in the development of localized strategies to implement international trade as a tool for economic development.

A strategic planning and positioning specialist, he possesses a solid background in successful international market growth solutions, localization of plants and personnel, distributor network development and multiculturalis and has held various executive-level positions with responsibilities in both Latin America and Africa.

His background includes:

* In 1984 he founded a trade-company operating between Brazil and Africa.
* Sr. Consultant specializing in markets of Latin America, Sub-Sahara Africa and South East Asia.
* Regional Director, Latin America/Caribbean (in the high-tech/telecomm industries).
* Assistant to Director Latin American Trade (MASSPORT - Massachusetts Port Authority) where he was responsible for various business development projects in Latin America.
* Adjunct Faculty (International Business) at various Northern California colleges (and Universities).
* Consultant on minority business development.

Richard is an acknowledged speaker/writer at several international forums (throughout Africa, South America and the USA.) and is actively involved with a diverse portfolio of community based organizations throughout the Bay Area. He holds a graduate degree in Multinational Commerce/Business from Boston University.

Dr. Said Cherkaoui
Dr. Cherkaoui’s career combines an international consulting practice, executive and managerial business duties with E-Learning practices, applied research and academic responsibilities in Europe, United States of America with project development in Africa, the Middle East as well as in the rest of the Third World. He has a successful record in international trade, business, and market development for various economic sectors which span from agriculture to information technology and telecommunications industries. Dr. Cherkaoui has held Executive and Senior Management positions at Global Center for Trade (GLOCENTRA), East Bay Center for International Trade Development and California-Mexico Trade Assistance Center (EBCITD and CMTAC), Mercanteo/Amient, Sprint, Everex, the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce, Baker Associate and as Researcher with several institutes in Europe.

Dr Cherkaoui holds a Doctorate in Economics with Honors from the Universite de Sorbonne, Paris, France. with Research Directors as Drs. Frederic Mauro and Jacques Chonchol, two of the most preeminent Latin-American Experts and Researchers worldwide. Dr. Cherkaoui conducted an extensive doctoral research for 14 years and initially wrote 1400 pages for the doctoral thesis focusing on modernization, the early transfer of technology and their combined cause-effect relationship with international investment and regional development in Latin America as well as other developing countries.

Dr Cherkaoui also received his Master of Science degree in Prospective Science from l'Institut de Prospective et de Politique de la Science, Universite Pierre-Mendes France, (UPMF) Grenoble, France and a Diplome du Second Cycle in Economics & Finance from the L'Institut d'Etudes Politiques, UPMF, Grenoble, France. His graduate studies concentrated on Industrial Organization, Finance and the central economic role of the Moroccan State. His Bachelor of Arts degree in Accounting, Economics and Statistics is from the same Institute. Dr. Cherkaoui also holds several U.S. technical and professional certificates on Telecommunications, Information Technology, Entrepreneurship, Online Teaching, Sales, Business Management, International Trade, Trade Finance, Export-Import operations and Trade with Mexico.

Lucie Newcomb
Lucie Newcomb has been empowering companies in the business-to-business marketplace for more than 20 years. With over 10 years of global experience in most regional trading blocs, she has been working with South African market leaders since 1993, including IBM, Nedcor Financial Services, Sasol (synthetic fuels), Johnson & Johnson, U.S. Commercial Services and many others. She lived in South Africa from 1994-98, after being recruited to run the Global Sales and Marketing division of a top South African manufacturer, and hers was one of only 35 consultancies approved by the South African government’s Department of Trade and Industry for its productivity improvement program(me).

Proficient across the marketing mix, she specializes in branding, markets development, PR/communications, web marketing and strategic pricing systems, and she conducted sales training and management consulting projects in South Africa. She has also held a number of leadership roles, including co-Founder, with the US Consul General, of the Cape-American Business Council in Cape Town, which regularly hosted top-level US business and political delegations.

In her current role as President of The Global LightWorks Foundation, her primary efforts in South Africa focus on AIDS orphans and related endeavors. Lucie is a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley. A former resident of both the United Kingdom and South Africa, she is fluent in French.

Miriam Rosenthal
Miriam Rosenthal is a successful entrepreneur with businesses in California, USA and Accra, Ghana. A passionate believer in shared opportunities and community development, Miriam has successfully transferred her business skills to benefit Africa. She is the President of SIGN AFRICA, a Ghana-based company that manufactures innovative outdoor advertising products throughout West Africa.

Headquartered in Ghana, SIGN AFRICA combines the creativity of the USA advertising industry with African requirements to enhance the image and/or messages from both private and public sectors. As part of her commitment to shared opportunities, SIGN AFRICA works with local governments to promote social issues such as AIDS awareness in conjunction with major advertisers.

Miriam Rosenthal’s extended relationship with Africa was not preplanned. She visited Ghana for the first time in 2001 as part of a volunteer group working on a school project. She has not looked back since. Miriam has utilized her experience and background to benefit African and Latin groups and individuals in the development of new market opportunities, strategic partnerships and public service initiatives.

Keith Rayner, Kemarra Inc.
Keith Rayner is Managing Director of Kemarra Inc, an international business development consultancy specializing in the ICT and Life Sciences sectors. The company represents both US companies wishing to expand abroad, and foreign companies wishing to establish themselves in the US. The company is based in San Francisco, next to Silicon Valley, and is ideally situated to help companies establish themselves in this important high-tech region. Kemarra also works with its network of international partners to ensure the success of US companies in their move abroad.
Mr. Rayner started his international career in London, working on the commodity and stock markets. A move abroad to New York saw consultancy work on Wall Street with Goldman, Sachs & Co., and Citibank. He then broadened his international experience with four years in Berlin, Germany, and five years in Paris, France, consulting for a number of companies in the financial and IT sectors. With fluency in both German and French, he then represented a US software product company in sales and marketing to European multinational telecommunication companies, overseeing a number of projects in different countries. Keith then returned to the US, transitioning full-time to product marketing for several US software firms.
As founder of Kemarra Inc. Mr Rayner is keenly aware of the factors that determine the success of a move into a new market abroad, and can help companies avoid many of the pitfalls that await the unwary.
Keith has a BSc in Psychology from Reading University in the UK, a Diploma in Medical Sciences from the University of Central England, and the "Grosses Deutsches Sprachdiplom", specialist subject Economics, from the Goethe Institute in Germany. Kemarra Inc. can be found at www.kemarra.com.