Saturday, April 20, 2019

U.S. Dignitaries Attend State Dinner in Côte d’Ivoire

With Senator Lindsey Graham
Photo: The Daily Mail

April 17, 2019
Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire

Readout of State Dinner

Following the We-Fi Summit, dignitaries, including the First Lady of Côte d’Ivoire Dominique Ouattara, Advisor to the President Ivanka Trump, Vice President of the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire, Daniel Kablan Duncan, Administrator Green and the bipartisan U.S. Congressional Delegation led by Senator Lindsey Graham attended a State Dinner.  Leaders reaffirmed their commitment to the underlying goals of the United States’ Women’s Global Development and Prosperity Initiative, and their desire to work collectively toward building economies that invite contributions of women entrepreneurs, specifically in the fields of technology and agribusiness.  They noted the outsized impact such efforts could have in improving the lives of women, their families, and communities across the globe.   

With First Lady Dominique Ouattara
  Photo: U.S. Embassy Abidjan

World Bank Holds First Regional Summit for the Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative

Photo: U.S. Embassy Abidjan

April 17, 2019
Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire

Readout of World Bank’s First Regional Summit for the Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative

Advisor to the President Ivanka Trump provides keynote remarks during the first ever West Africa
Regional Summit of the World Bank Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative (We-Fi), meeting with and hearing from local government officials, business leaders, and women entrepreneurs from the region. The United States was a founding member of We-Fi in 2017. In its first year, the We-Fi allocated $120 million toward project proposals helping women entrepreneurs around the world, which will help mobilize $1.6 billion in additional funds from commercial and other sources.

During the Summit, Ms. Trump discussed the U.S. government’s work, in partnership with international organizations and the private sector, to empower 50 million women economically by 2025 through the Women’s Global Development and Prosperity Initiative. The event also featured remarks from U.S. Senators Lindsey Graham and Christopher Coons, highlighting the importance of this bipartisan policy priority. The event concluded with a call to action by U.S. and African leaders, as well as leadership from Multilateral Development Banks, to enhance and target efforts to ensure equal and legal access to land, finance, and markets for African women.

Photo: U.S. Embassy Abidjan

Photo: U.S. Embassy Abidjan

Ivanka Trump Meets Female Cocoa Farmers in Côte d’Ivoire

Photo: U.S. Embassy Abidjan

April 17, 2019
Adzope, Côte d’Ivoire

Readout of Visit to Cocoa Farm in Adzope, Côte d’Ivoire and Announcement of New Public-Private Partnership for Women in the Cocoa Industry

Advisor to the President Ivanka Trump and USAID Administrator Mark Green met female cocoa farmers and entrepreneurs at a cocoa farm in Adzope, Côte d’Ivoire. The delegation heard from the women about the process of producing cocoa and the economic challenges they face. They discussed the ways in which the Women’s Global Development and Prosperity (W-GDP) Initiative could support an environment for similar women’s cooperatives to overcome challenges and thrive.

The delegation announced a renewed public-private partnership through USAID’s W-GDP fund and the World Cocoa Foundation for $2 million, which will catalyze private sector investment in women workers of the cocoa industry. In this second phase of the project, USAID will deepen its partnership with the cocoa industry in Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Nigeria and Cameroon to improve the productivity and sustainability of cocoa production, as well as support the economic empowerment of women farmers.  Collectively, this region’s estimated 2 million smallholder cocoa farmers produce approximately 70% of the world’s supply.  Firms involved in the partnership include Barry Callebaut, Blommer Chocolate, Cargill, Guittard Chocolate Company, The Hershey Company, Mars Wrigley Corporation, Mondelēz International, Nestlé, Olam, TCHO, and Tree Global. Catalyzing support from private sector partners, in collaboration with the U.S. Government, is a fundamental component of W-GDP.

Photo: U.S. Embassy Abidjan

Photo: U.S. Embassy Abidjan

Photo: U.S. Embassy Abidjan

Ivanka Trump/U.S. Delegation Meet Ivorian VP Daniel Duncan

VP Daniel Kablan Duncan with Ivanka Trump
Photo: U.S. Embassy Abidjan

April 16, 2019
Abidjan, La Cote d’Ivoire

Readout of Senior Advisor to the President Ivanka Trump’s Meeting with Vice President of the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire Daniel Kablan Duncan

Today, Senior Advisor to the President Ivanka Trump and USAID Administrator Mark Green met with His Excellency Vice President of the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire Daniel Kablan Duncan and other officials at the Presidential Palace.

Ms. Trump and Administrator Green gave their condolences for the passing of Louise Ouattara, President Alassane Ouattara’s daughter-in-law. The meeting focused on the importance of maintaining Côte d’Ivoire’s political and economic reform process, while strengthening efforts to ensure Ivoirians, especially women, are able to actively participate in, and benefit from, the country’s strong economy.

Vice President Duncan reaffirmed the Government of Côte d’Ivoire’s commitment to passing 20 out of 20 indicators on the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) scorecard by 2020, including indicators regarding girls’ education and women’s economic empowerment.

They discussed legal and cultural barriers to women’s economic empowerment in Côte d’Ivoire, and the work that remains to be done. Ivanka Trump reaffirmed the United States commitment to partner with Côte d’Ivoire to achieve these reforms. The two also discussed ways to boost trade between the two countries and the importance of cocoa and cashews to Côte d’Ivoire’s economy.

Ms. Trump and Administrator Green also joined the Ivoirian Minister of National Education and Technical Training, Mrs. Kandia Camara, as she signed an arrêté (Ministerial Order) for the operationalization of a new high-level gender unit within Côte d’Ivoire’s Ministry of Education.
They were accompanied for the signing ceremony by MCC Vice President Karen Sessions, U.S. Embassy Chargé d’Affaires Katherine Brucker, and Ivoirian officials including Secretary General of the Presidency Mr. Patrick Achi, Minister of Foreign Affairs Marcel Amon-Tanoh, and Minister Women, Family and Children Ramata Ly-Bakayoko.

The signing of the order and establishment of the Gender Unit is a key condition for unlocking funding under the $524.7 million Millennium Challenge Corporation Compact in Côte d’Ivoire.

 Signing of Ministerial Order
Photo: U.S. Embassy Abidjan

 Signing of Ministerial Order
Photo: U.S. Embassy Abidjan

 U.S. Delegation and Vice President Duncan
Photo: U.S. Embassy Abidjan

3 Africans Among Winners of GIST Tech-I Competition

Media Note
Office of the Spokesperson
Department of State
Washington, DC
April 16, 2019

The U.S. State Department’s Global Innovations through Science and Technology Initiative (GIST) hosted its Technology Idea (Tech-I) Competition at the Global Entrepreneurship Congress in Bahrain, April 14-16. The GIST Tech-I pitch competition brings together science and technology entrepreneurs from emerging economies worldwide, enabling young innovators through networking, skill development, mentoring, and access to financing, to develop startup solutions that address economic and development challenges. This year more than 500 up-and-coming entrepreneurs submitted applications. Twelve finalists competed in the “idea” stage and twelve in the “startup” stage. All are seeking to further develop their innovations and competed for over $30,000 in seed capital funding and more than $200,000 in Amazon Web Services credits.

The State Department congratulates the following winners of the GIST Tech-I pitch competition:

Outstanding Female Entrepreneur – Queenny Alvarado (Anuka) – Ecuador

Startup Phase:

** 1st Place – Donatus Njoroge (Vinis Limited) – Kenya **
2nd Place – Syed Abrar Ahmed (Azaad Health Private Limited) – Pakistan
3rd Place – Varinder Singh (GFF Innovations Pvt Ltd) – India

Idea Phase:

** 1st Place – Anatoli Kirigwajjo (Yunga Technologies) – Uganda **
** 2nd Place – Isaac Sesi (Sesi Technologies Ltd) – Ghana **
3rd Place – Ariuntuya Altangerel (Brighton – English Speaking Center) – Mongolia

Spirit of Tech-I Award – Heriberto Solano (Black Square) – Colombia

Since its inception in 2011, GIST has engaged more than 27 million entrepreneurship community members from 137 emerging economies and has mentored over 8,700 startups. GIST startups have gone on to generate more than $250 million in revenue and nearly 6,000 jobs. In the last year, the GIST community has benefitted from over $1,000,000 in additional resources from Amazon Web Services, Microsoft, Google, and others in the U.S. private sector.

For more information, please contact

 Isaac Sesi, Ghana

Startup/Idea:       Sesi Technologies Ltd   
Category:              Idea                        Sector:                   Agriculture
Elevator Pitch: FarmSense is a low-cost soil monitoring solution which helps smallholder farmers increase yield and productivity by providing them with essential insights to help them make data driven decisions about their farms.

 Donatus Njoroge, Kenya

 Startup/Idea:       Vinis Kenya Limited            
Category:              Startup                   Sector:                   Agriculture
Elevator Pitch: Vinis ltd is a social venture that manufacturer and distribute novel bio bio pesticide formulation isolated from plants essential oils to curb post-harvest losses of maize and other grains. This creates jobs, lift people out of poverty, improve health, nutrition, and deliver investors double-digits returns.

Anatoli Kirigwajjo, Uganda              

Startup/Idea:       YUNGA TECHNOLOGIES     
Category:              Idea                        Sector:                   Information Technology and Communication
Elevator Pitch: Meet Yunga, a local rescue digital network for neighbors that allows them to communicate with each other in real time in case of an attack or emergencies. It intends to bridge the communication gap among neighbors and security agencies in order to reduce crime in our communities.

Thursday, April 18, 2019

The African Union and United States Sign Communique on Women, Peace, and Security

African Union Deputy Sec. Kewsi Quartey with Ivanka Trump
Photo: U.S. Embassy, Ethiopia

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
April 15, 2019

Readout from Advisor to the President’s Meeting with African Union Deputy ChairpersonKwesi Quartey and Signing of Communique 

Advisor to the President Ivanka Trump, USAID Administrator Mark Green and Acting OPIC President and CEO Dave Bohigian met with African Union Deputy Chairperson Kwesi Quartey to discuss ways to catalyze the potential of women in the workforce, and the goal of the W-GDP to prioritize women’s empowerment as a key driver to spur economic growth in Africa.  To deepen the United States’- African Union Commission partnership, they renewed a commitment to strengthen women’s economic participation and entrepreneurship across the African continent, and to boost economic prosperity — key enablers of peace and stability in the region. Ms. Trump congratulated the Deputy Chairperson on the AU’s leadership in advancing the Women, Peace, and Security agenda and encouraged continued efforts to increase women’s participation, voice, and empowerment in decision-making on security issues.  Ms. Trump raised the two entities’ mutual interest in working together to combating gender-based violence.

Following the meeting, Ms. Trump and Deputy Chairperson Kwesi Quartey signed a joint communique committing to a partnership to advance women’s economic empowerment and entrepreneurship across the continent.  The communique signals a key step in W-GDP’s goal of promoting an enabling environment that increases women’s economic empowerment by reducing barriers and enhancing policy, legal, regulatory protections and public and private practices to facilitate women’s participation in the economy.

Ivanka Trump/U.S. Delegation Call on Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed

Ethiopian Prime Minister Dr. Abiy Ahmed with Ivanka Trump
Photo: U.S. Embassy, Ethiopia

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
April 15, 2019

Readout from Advisor to the President’s Meeting with Prime Minister Dr. Abiy Ahmed at Menelik Palace in Addis Ababa Ethiopia

Advisor to the President Ivanka Trump, USAID Administrator Mark Green and Acting OPIC President and CEO Dave Bohigian met with His Excellency, Prime Minister Dr. Abiy Ahmed at Menelik Palace, to reaffirm strong U.S. support for Ethiopia’s progress on reforms toward inclusive democracy, broad-based prosperity, and lasting stability. During the meeting, Ms. Trump welcomed the Prime Minister’s proactive approach to increasing the number of women in leadership positions in his government and discussed ways Ethiopia and the United States can partner to advance their shared goal of improving women’s economic empowerment in Ethiopia and worldwide.