Start Date: 5/13/2021 12:00 PM EDT
End Date: 5/13/2021 1:00 PM EDT
Venue Name: Virtual
Africa Policy for the Biden Administration
The new Biden Administration creates a wide range of opportunities, including resetting a more constructive and cooperative dialogue with the emerging economies and leaders in Africa. Join Rosa Whitaker, CEO of the Whitaker Group and the first-ever Assistant USTR for Africa under both President Clinton and President George W. Bush. This Firestarter discussion will focus on what a policy agenda for Africa could look like. How can an expiring AGOA program be reinvented for a more constructive agenda? How does the African Continental Free Trade Agreement create opportunities for a deeper US policy agenda? What does strategic engagement look like with African countries and the African Continent? Join our conversation and find out!
Hera Abbasi, IBM and WIIT Board Member
Rosa Whitaker, CEO of the Whitaker Group
Rosa Whitaker, CEO/President of TWG, is a visionary, entrepreneur, former US government policy leader, career diplomat and trade negotiator with a progressive record of achievement driving investments into Africa. Notably, she served as America’s first-ever Assistant US Trade Representative in the administrations of Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. Named as one of Foreign Policy magazine's Top 100 Global Thinkers, Rosa is broadly recognized as a leading expert on African trade and business engagement.
While serving as a Senior Trade Advisor to US Congressman Charlie Rangel (Former Chairman of the powerful House Ways & Means Committee), Rosa was one of the key architects that crafted the historic African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), which was enacted in 2000. AGOA, America’s first comprehensive trade law towards Africa, now spanning the administrations of four US Presidents, remains the cornerstone of US economic policy towards Africa. It has delivered, inter-alia, billions of dollars in duty free products from Africa into the US market annually while also generating jobs and investments across the Continent.
After decades of supporting US and global investors to succeed in Africa, Rosa recently led TWG into its first direct investment in Africa. Supporting the region’s creative economy, in 2017, TWG acquired shares and management control of Dominion TV – a Pan-African 24/7 television, entertainment and multimedia company that broadcast in 48 African countries on DStv, Africa’s largest satellite platform.
Rosa is also a philanthropist currently serving as the President of Mercy Ships while simultaneously maintaining her position on the International Executive Board of Directors of this prominent global charity that operates the world’s largest hospital ship. Since its founding in 1978, Mercy Ships has been providing surgeries and medical treatments (~$2B in value), free of charge, to the most economically vulnerable people in Africa.
The recipient of many awards and honors, Rosa is regularly featured in US and global media outlets for commentary and insights on Africa’s business landscape. She holds Master’s and Bachelor’s degrees from The American University in Washington, DC and has completed specialized studies at universities in London and Italy, as well as at the US Foreign Service Institute.