Wednesday AM February 24th, 2010

Ambassadors from several African nations are in Houston for a two-day summit on international trade. Ed Mayberry reports.

There are 53 countries on the continent of Africa with varying prospects for Western investment, in agriculture, minerals, infrastructure and telecommunications.  The Texas Africa Business Summit — Tuesday at Rice University and today at the International Trade Center at Bellaire and Wilcrest — is a chance for investors to learn about business opportunities in Africa.  Jeff Moseley with the Greater Houston Partnership says Africa's trade with Houston actually increased last year, even as trade worldwide cooled off.

"Houston has the tools to help them as they extract crude, as they go in and do the mining, as the continent develops its energy resources."

Ed: "And we can also help with infrastructure, telecommunications..."

"Africa's in a growth mode and they're investing heavily in infrastructure.  They're building highways, they're investing in their ports, they're putting in new airports and runways, they're putting in telecommunications infrastructure.  And we have prime contractors that are positioned here that can be a direct strategic ally and are already beginning those relationships with the continent."

Africa is a continent of emerging nations, and many nations are in the process of building up infrastructure.

"It's emerging.  There's new technologies and abilities to get into their mineral wealth.  Those combined mean that the continent is really making a leap forward in its infrastructure and in its growth.  Houston is a strategic ally.  As you look at what we can offer in the development in energy, as you look at what we can offer in building a deepwater port and the best practices associated with a global airport and the best practices associated with telecommunications, Houston has the ability to be right there to help the continent of Africa as it goes to the next stage."   

Representatives from Angola, Equatorial Guinea, Senegal, South Africa, Nigeria, Ghana, Malawi and Ethiopia have been talking about economic development, tourism and doing business in Africa.
 

two-day summit on international trade

Bio photo of Ed Mayberry

Ed Mayberry

Local Anchor, All Things Considered

Ed Mayberry has worked in radio since 1971, with many of those years spent on the rock 'n' roll disc jockey side of the business...