Secretary Schafer to Speak About Growing U.S. Agribusiness Investments in Africa

Secretary Schafer to Speak About Growing U.S. Agribusiness Investments in Africa

Washington, DC (June 19, 2008)— United States Secretary of Agriculture Ed Schafer will deliver the keynote address at The Corporate Council on Africa (CCA) 2008 U.S.-Africa Agribusiness Forum, it was announced today. The forum will take place June 25-27 in Chicago. World Trade Center Illinois, member of the world’s largest private business network, serves as CCA’s cooperative partner for the event. Secretary Schafer will deliver the keynote address during the event’s closing luncheon on Friday, June 27. His address will focus on growing U.S. agribusiness investments in Africa, and mutual benefits for the U.S. private sector and African public and private sectors. (All media must be credentialed to cover event. Please visit www.africacncl.org to access credential application.) Secretary Schafer was sworn in as the 29th Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) on January 28, 2008. He brings a record as an innovative two-term governor of North Dakota to USDA, along with extensive private sector experience as both an entrepreneur and a business executive. “Secretary Schafer’s presence sends a clear message about the importance of this conference and the importance that the U.S. government attaches to African agribusiness opportunities for American companies,” said CCA President Stephen Hayes. “Africa has the potential to help resolve the world food crisis and other global agriculture issues, and U.S. businesses can play a significant role in these resolutions.” According to the World Bank, up to 80 percent of Africa’s labor force is engaged in agriculture and agribusiness-related enterprises accounted for more than $206.7 billion — more than a third of the continent’s total GDP — in 2006-2007. The 2008 Agribusiness Forum, Investing in Agriculture Links in Africa, is organized by CCA’s Agribusiness Initiatives Program. The forum is expected to attract more than 300 leaders from the private and public sectors in the U.S. and Africa. The two-day forum will include industry-specific workshop sessions, networking opportunities, and plenary sessions where industry experts will provide the latest, cutting-edge information on various agribusiness issues. Topics for discussion include cross-cutting issues such as financing; commodity trading markets; food security; infrastructure investment to connect African markets; market information systems improvement; product innovation; cash crop production and investment; livestock production and investment; pharmaceutical growth; bio-fuel industry growth; carbon trading; and production technology. Event sponsors include the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), Novus International, Inc., CME Group, Buchanan Renewables, Schaffer Global Group, Illovo Sugar, World Cocoa Foundation, U.S. Soybean Export Council, Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA/World Bank), All Africa Global Media, Watt Publishing, African Business, African Decisions, and Corporate Africa. Posted 6.19.08

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