Ethiopian Business Delegation Visits Harlem’s Economic Development Leaders
By Anasa Scott- Laude
Though it is quite warm as I am writing this, Summer has officially ended. I have a lot to say about recent climate events but I will keep this message upbeat.
I was honored to join Harlem CDC and NY Women’s Chamber of Commerce for a meeting with a delegation of business leaders from Ethiopia. Highlights of the meeting at Harlem CDC headquarters included the efforts of Chambers of Commerce across Ethiopia seeking to expand the role of women in trade, expand trade relations through strategic alliances with important commercial hubs in the city and address the impact of climate change on the nation’s livelihood and agriculture. Ethiopia is the world’s largest producer and export of coffee and we learned about the many layers of social, environmental and economic issues along the supply chain.
Quenia Abreu, Executive Director of the NY Women’s Chamber of Commerce (I serve as a board member) shared the organization’s best practices in advocacy and training for minority women in business. The chamber has hosted delegations from Asia and South America and was instrumental in establishing a Women’s Chamber of Commerce in Chile.
Curtis Archer, Executive Director of Harlem CDC shared highlights of the organization’s programs supporting small businesses and the development of the Victoria Theater, a mixed-use development with affordable housing, the theater and other commercial uses.
I spoke of ILE’s work supporting developers with implementing green features in their developments, working with clients on projects in the pipeline. The delegation was especially interested in our work in East Africa, supporting social entrepreneurs focused on climate change adaptation. We have been honored to work with young leaders in Uganda who are innovating solutions for food security, especially among women and girls. We hope to forge a partnership to support some of the emerging women-led businesses in Ethiopia’s coffee trade.
African leaders will be in town for the US Africa Trade event in NYC. Mayor Adams will be hosting delegations from Africa to discuss business opportunities. ILE has been working with organizers behind the scenes and we hope to be able to attend at least one of the sessions if time permits.
These engagements will be key in devising shared solutions on climate change and the economy for our collective prosperity.
Speaking of climate change …. Climate week is here and we will be sharing some tools and templates for engaging staff and community in the ever so complex but much needed green transition. Since I have been sitting in on a number of construction and finance meetings, I found myself struggling to keep up with all of the regs and fund application requirements for green financing and I would like to make that process easier for you!
Until then, wishing you all a joyous early Fall season with your loved ones!