Obama picks Africa.com CEO as advisor

November 7, 2014
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Clarke was appointed to the board based on her twenty years of experience doing business in Africa
Clarke was appointed to the board based on her twenty years of experience doing business in Africa

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 7- Africa.com CEO Teresa Clarke is among 15 private sector leaders who have been appointed to the newly established United States President’s Advisory Council on Doing Business in Africa (PAC-DBIA).

Making the announcement on Friday, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker said the members, representing the private sector from a variety of industry sectors, were hand-picked to advise the President and the Secretary of Commerce on strengthening commercial engagement between the United States and Africa.

“Economic growth on the Continent will continue to drive demand for U.S. exports, which will ultimately help create jobs at home and provide valuable investment opportunities for U.S. businesses,” Pritzker said.

“With Africa being home to six of the 10 fastest-growing economies in the world, the President’s Advisory Council will provide expert counsel on strengthening our partnerships with African countries to leverage opportunities for U.S. companies committed for the long term,” she added.

The appointments were announced at Discover Global Markets, a commerce-led business development forum held in Atlanta that focuses on export opportunities in Sub-Saharan Africa, including Cote d’Ivoire, Nigeria, South Africa, Kenya and Mozambique, among others.

Clarke was appointed to the board based on her twenty years of experience doing business in Africa, her vast business career which includes being the first African-American woman managing director in the investment banking division of Goldman Sachs.

“I am grateful to be able to serve the President and the Secretary of Commerce on a topic about which I have so much passion,” Clarke said while accepting the appointment.

“Africa.com has opened the eyes of American business to opportunity in Africa for years through multi-media including our film, Africa Straight Up, and our weekly business newsletters, the Africa.com Top 10,” she added.

Clarke is also the Chairman and the founder of Africa.com which was the only Africa-focused media company selected to be a part of the White House Traveling Press Corps on President Obama’s historic trip to Africa in 2011.

She said her hopes for the President’s Advisory Council was see it help both US and African small businesses increase inter-continental trade, and in particular, leveraging internet technology to do so.

“The untapped potential of the internet in Africa presents a huge opportunity to take what has been great growth on the continent to exponential growth.”

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