Senior U.S. Commerce Official discusses Commerce and Entrepreneurship with U.S. and Ethiopian Businesswomen, and encourages prosperity via mutually helpful business engagement


U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary (THE) of Commerce for the Global Markets of the Middle East and Africa Camille Richardson participated in a coffee chat series (“The Series”) on March 9th on empowering women through trade. The virtual meeting was attended by speakers and panelists from the private sector and government from Ethiopia and the United States.

The panel consisted of two Ethiopian women entrepreneurs, Felekeche Biratu and Sara Yirga, and a Business Development Specialist at the Export-Import Bank of the United States (EX-IM) LaTaunya Darden. Felekeche Biratu is a co-founder of the Yenae Collection and a member of the Association of Women in Boldness / Business. Sara Yirga is the founder of Ya Coffee Roasters and Ethiopian Women in Coffee. Both shared valuable perspectives on opportunities in Ethiopia, female entrepreneurship and potential for business relationships between women-run companies in the US and Ethiopia. LaTaunya Darden explained the important role EX-IM can play in helping US exporters.

The coffee chat in Ethiopia was the second of ten such engagements planned by the US Department of Commerce’s Middle East and Africa office during the year. The Series is a component of the Women’s Empowerment through Commerce initiative, which includes another webinar on March 31, 2021, organized in collaboration with the President’s Advisory Board on Business in Africa, focusing on women’s entrepreneurship concentrated on the entire African continent. “The Series” will culminate in a multi-region event in Dubai in collaboration with Trade Winds Dubai in March 2022, coinciding with International Women’s Day 2022.

This coffee chat in Ethiopia reflects the high priority the US Department of Commerce places on the US-Ethiopia business relationship. The US International Trade Administration also maintains a Memorandum of Understanding (Letter of intent) with the Ethiopian Ministry of Finance and Economic Development. This Letter of intent was signed in 2018 and aims to facilitate the exchange of information and cooperation on commercial opportunities in priority sectors.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of the US Embassy Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
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