Ernst & Young to Provide Insights on Doing Business in Ethiopia at Charlotte Africa Business Week

Charlotte, NC (Press Release) – Zemedeneh Negatu, Managing Partner of Ernst & Young Ethiopia and Head of Transaction Advisory Services East Africa, joins the list of confirmed special focus session speakers for Doing Business in Fast-Growing Africa. The conference is being held on Friday, April 27, 2012 in Charlotte, North Carolina. It is part of the line-up of events for Charlotte Africa Business Week (CABW) 2012.

The conference is highlighting Ethiopia, Nigeria, and DR Congo under the theme, “Business in Africa’s Most Populous Countries.” Negatu joins other key business and government leaders to demonstrate why Africa is the last, great emerging growth region.

Ethiopia has one of the largest consumer markets, over 80 million people, in Africa and grew at a rate of 7.5% in 2011. It is a member of the EAC and COMESA regional economic communities, expanding access to a consumer market larger than 400 million people.

Like many of Africa’s major capital cities, Addis Ababa in Ethiopia, is experiencing increased economic activity with construction levels being a significant indicator. In the last several years, Addis Ababa has added world class facilities, including a new convention center, headquarters for the African Union, and hotels like the Radisson Blu.

“Ethiopia is an example of many African countries who have gained sufficient economic momentum to begin to really tackle their social issues like poverty through trade instead of aid, which increases their voice in global governance. This is a new geopolitical dynamic to which Western governments have to adapt and some have found difficulty in doing so. However, for businesses looking for new markets, opportunities abound and the doors are open,” says Lauri Elliott, Director of Afribiz Media, a partner for CABW 2012.

About Charlotte Africa Business Week

The Charlotte Africa Business Week (CABW) 2012 is the first ever initiative of this kind to connect Charlotte with business opportunities in Africa. CABW partners are the Global Business Roundtable (GBR); Pan African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PACCI), an umbrella chamber of commerce organization for chambers across Africa and based in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; Afribiz, a division of Conceptualee, Inc.; and University of North Carolina Charlotte’s (UNCC’s) Africana Studies Department. Ecobank is the anchor sponsor.

Charlotte’s competitive strengths in Banking, Finance, and Investment, Energy, Healthcare, Education, Technology, as well as the State of North Carolina’s additional strengths in these areas and agriculture, match many of the needs of the fast growing African continent with a population over 1 billion and annual GDP of over $1 trillion. In several countries in Africa, the middle class is growing faster and has greater purchasing power than the middle class in China or India. Also, seven of the fastest growing economies (Ethiopia, Mozambique, Zambia, Tanzania, Ghana, Nigeria, Congo) in the world for the next five years are in Africa, according to The Economist. The Economist expects the Africa region to overtake the Asia region in growth within five years. 

About Charlotte Africa Initiative

The Charlotte Africa Initiative (CAI) as an integrated platform for the Charlotte Metro region and the State of North Carolina to engage with the emerging continent of Africa – economically, culturally, academically, etc. Its aim is to improve and enrich the lives and livelihoods of communities in the United States, starting with Charlotte, and those on the continent of Africa through business and entrepreneurial opportunities. Its mandate is to provide linkages between Charlotte and Africa to catalyze trade, economic, and investment flows.

CAI is being spearheaded by the African Studies Department at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte in collaboration with the Pan African Chamber of Commerce and Industry, a continental umbrella organization of chambers in the majority of African countries and endorsed by the African Union, and Conceptualee, Inc., a business incubation firm focusing on catalyzing and growing trade, information, business, technology and innovation, and capital flows between Africa and other global markets.