event photos



event photos




Senegalese delegation to Afrik Impact touts business opportunities, praises ALG

As the hugely successful Afrik Impact 2023 drew to a conclusion, the African Leadership Group hosted one final event, a business and investment forum, on Monday, August 28.

In attendance at the forum were many of the members of the 17-member delegation from Senegal that spent five days in Denver and attended the Afrik Impact Gala on August 26.

Monday’s forum provided an opportunity for Senegalese elected and appointed officials and businesspeople to make a pitch to local business owners to come do business in their country. It also allowed Colorado business and cultural venue leaders to discuss exchanges and opportunities in this country for their Senegalese counterparts.

Aliou Sow, Senegal’s Minister of Culture and Historical Heritage, was the highest-ranking member of the delegation. He told forum attendees that Senegal is a safe, stable, and easy place for foreigners to do business.

“It is a peaceful country, an attractive one, without tribalism or ethnicity problems,” he said.

Sow described Senegal’s governmental structure as decentralized, with more than 500 city councils empowered to make business deals with foreign entities, which are then backed by the authority of the national government, making those investments safe and secure.

He also emphasized the Senegalese term “Teranga,” which means hospitality, and is a value he said his countrymen take very seriously. “It is a form of kindness in attitude, in behavior, in any action when interacting with a visitor ,” Sow said. The goal, he said, is to make visitors feel so welcome that they never want to leave.

Several U.S, business and nonprofit leaders spoke at Monday’s event and reinforced Sow’s message that Senegal is a safe and secure place to do business, with a market that remains largely untapped.

During their days in the Denver area, delegation members had a chance to observe ALG and its founder and executive director, Papa Dia, in action. They came away impressed with the organization’s reach and influence.

Elhadji Ndao, the New York-based Consul General of Senegal, has visited Denver three times during  Afrik Impact. He said each time he comes away more impressed.

“Coming here and seeing the visibility that ALG has in Denver and  in Colorado in general, is a source of pride for us, but also a source of satisfaction for our communities,” Ndao said.

In his extensive travels around the U.S., Ndao said, he has come to realize that ALG is unique. “There is no other organization anywhere that does what Papa and the ALG team is doing really well,” he said.

“That’s the reason why you’re seeing the level of involvement of the Senegalese government. If you have a cabinet level secretary who travels from Senegal to come straight to Denver just for this event, I think it means a lot.”

Ndao said there is a real need for ALG to replicate in other states with significant African communities. He mentioned Columbus and Cincinnati Ohio as well as Indianapolis as likely candidates for ALG chapters.

Mbengue Maimouna, Secretary General of the Chamber of Commerce of Senegal was another delegation member, and she said there is great potential for business opportunities between local businesses and businesses in her native country. She cited the fields of education, environment, and health as potentially fruitful areas for exploration.

Maimouna also was impressed by what she saw of ALG and the cohesiveness of Denver’s African immigrant community.

“It is a great and ambitious nonprofit organization,” she said. “When I went to the gala Saturday I was just so impressed.”

She also said her organization is linked to chambers of commerce in other African nations and can facilitate introductions for interested business owners.

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