U.S., Too, Wants to Bolster Investment in a Continent’s Economic Promise

PRETORIA, South Africa — When Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clintonlanded in South Africa this week, she brought along a hefty delegation of executives from some of America’s leading companies — Boeing, Walmart, FedEx, G.E. — and a message: America is ready to invest in Africa.

But these companies need no introduction to the continent, which is home to 7 of the world’s 10 fastest growing economies. They are already here. Earlier this year, Walmart finalized a deal worth more than $2 billion to acquire 51 percent of South Africa’s leading retailer, MassMart.  G.E. has signed a deal with the Nigerian government to work together on infrastructure and power projects. Six hundred American companies have invested in South Africa alone.

Mrs. Clinton’s trip, expected to stretch over the better part of two weeks and nine countries, reflects the shifting image of the continent and the deepening political, economic and security stakes at play here. There was a time in the not-too-distant past when a trip to Africa by a senior United States official would focus largely on humanitarian aid and development assistance to hopelessly poor, war-torn nations.

No more. These days, the continent is widely seen as the next frontier for economic growth. Politically, African votes are sometimes crucial in the United Nations, particularly South Africa’s. On the security front, alliances with African governments to fight terrorism and piracy are very important to the United States.

“Africa is no longer an object of our fears or hopes or pity,” said Todd Moss, a senior fellow at the Center for Global Development, a research institution in Washington. But “the United States is stuck in a bit of a time warp,” only recently catching up to the changing realities on the ground, he said.

Other players, most notably but not exclusively China, anticipated this shift long ago and have a significant head start on the continent, analysts say.

“China is recognizing the potential, and the U.S. is not grasping these opportunities,” said Peter Lewis, an expert on Africa at Johns Hopkins University. “They are losing the narrative.”

Again and again on her trip, Mrs. Clinton pressed for deepening economic ties, saying — in what was widely interpreted as a swipe at China — that the United States does not simply want to export the continent’s bountiful raw materials and pocket the proceeds back home; it seeks a partnership that will bring broad benefits to all Africans.

“The days of having outsiders come and extract the wealth of Africa for themselves, leaving nothing or very little behind, should be over in the 21st century,” Mrs. Clinton said in a speech in Dakar, Senegal.

That remark prompted a rare rebuke from China in the form of an editorial from the state-run news agency, Xinhua, which said that the implication that “China has been extracting Africa’s wealth for itself is utterly wide of the truth.”

On her valedictory African tour as secretary of state, Mrs. Clinton is visiting a very different continent from the one she came to as first lady in the 1990s.

If a collection of more than 50 nations that is home to a billion people who speak thousands of languages could be said to have a narrative, until recently it was one dominated, fairly or not, by war, famine and misrule.

Those wars have, with a few notable exceptions, largely ended. Even Somalia, the very picture of a failed African state, has begun to turn around. Many of Africa’s democracies have grown stronger, even in adversity and despite setbacks in places like Mali.

On this trip, Mrs. Clinton has taken pains to visit countries that are exemplars of democratic success. She began in Senegal, where a longtime president voted out of power left office peacefully, and also visited Malawi, a nation that had begun to stifle under an autocratic president. His death was followed by an orderly transfer of power to his deputy, Joyce Banda, a political adversary who now gives Africa two female heads of state. Mrs. Clinton will stop in Ghana for the funeral of President John Atta Mills, whose deputy was sworn in peacefully without anyone batting an eye.


Trenton Event Video

President of Seccom International Group, Sam Blango in West Africa

First, let me congratulate all of the Commissioners and Advisers for
your attendance and participation at yesterdays event. It was
marvelous and truly historic.

The folks at Channel 25 sent me the footage of the event (7 minutes)
and I invite you to view if. Just log in to the following link and it
follows the sports coverage. I hope you enjoy.

Mayor Tony Mack’s new commission to build trade relations with West Africa, Caribbean

TRENTON — With a new international business commission created late last year, Mayor Tony Mack is hoping to expand the city’s economic frontiers and build new relationships with trading partners in West Africa and the Caribbean.

Members of Mack’s new Commission on International Business Affairs will be sworn in Friday during a ceremony at the Trenton Marriott. As part of its first official duties, commission members will meet delegates from Ghana, Burkina Faso, Botswana and the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago in hopes of yielding new economic opportunities for city businesses.

The commission was created through an executive order in October.

“Our sole focus is developing trade missions with foreign governments to do business with companies in Mercer County and in Trenton,” CIBA marketing and outreach director Wayne Browne said. “That’s the main thing, to get them to learn about the goods and services that’s available from Trenton-area businesses.”

Ambassadors to the United States from the West African countries as well as a handful of government ministers are expected to attend.

The new commission is co-chaired by city businessman Shelley Zeiger, who helped develop the Marriott project, and Azuka Anyiam, president of the Philadelphia-based African and Caribbean Business Council.



Grand Opening

Sam Blango III invites you to the Grand Opening of his Trenton Office for Global Travel and Tourism of SECCOM International Group, LLC.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012
1369 S. Broad Street, 2nd floor, Trenton, NJ
6:00 p.m. Networking and Refreshments

6:30 p.m. Launching tourism, entrepreneurship and fund generation through Travel Services promoting the Trenton Region internationally.
Learn how everyone can benefit by being a part of the GTT project from the beginning – families, businesses, non-profits, religious groups and more!
RSVP by Jan 10 to seccomsamb9@yahoo.com;

Trenton Readies Its Presence On The Global Markets Stage

The city of Trenton is about to widen its scope and its impact beyond the borders of New
Jersey and the United States of America. In fact, Trenton is poised to become a player of international significance as it steps out on the global stage of trade, commerce, tourism and investments.

Samuel T. Blango III, President of SECCOM International Group, LLC, is widely given credit for convincing public and private leaders to work together for the common purpose of making Trenton generator of jobs and wealth through economic initiatives and cultural exchanges around the globe.

Following his call, in October 2011, Mayor Tony F. Mack signed an Executive Order which created the Mayor’s Commission on International Business Affairs (CIBA). Currently organizing the structure and operations of CIBA, a cross-section of leading Trenton area businesses, organizations and representatives of the public and private sectors came together for a significant purpose – to enhance the economic empowerment of the city of Trenton.

CIBA will make its public bow on January 20, 2012 at the Downtown Marriot in Trenton where Mayor Mack will officially swear-in the 9-member Commission and the advisors to the Commission starting at 2 pm.

Commission co-chairman Shelley M. Zeiger explains the working vision of the group and what the people of the Trenton region can expect through the work of the Commission.

“Our vision is guided by two fundamental principles that provide the foundation for all of our activities: Organizational Excellence and Core Values. The Commission will be known for reliability, honest trade relationships with our partner countries around the world and innovation that will benefit the City of Trenton. Growth, longevity and financial sustainability will naturally follow. We will make this happen in an enriching environment of trust, cooperation and mutual respect,” he said.

Mayor Mack expressed confidence in CIBA and looks forward its work which will hopefully create revenue for the cash-strapped city. “I am very confident that through the fine work of the progressive people I’ve appointed to this Commission, that the people and businesses operating within the Trenton region will not only benefit directly through sustainable trade agreements we expect to develop, but I’m equally confidant that we can create hundreds of jobs for our people as well,” he said.

Later that day, CIBA will host four Ambassadors at the same location who are scheduled to meet with various business members of the Mercer Regional Chamber of Commerce and other business, political and community leaders.

“We will serve as host for Ambassadors representing Ghana, Burkina Faso and Botswana of Africa, and the Ambassador representing Trinidad and Tobago, to engage in preliminary talks aimed at creating working trade agreements,” said Dr. Azuka Anyiam, co chairman of CIBA. “The areas of discussion will center on energy, environment, mining and agriculture. The Ambassadors will work to make a case for trade missions to their countries.”

CIBA hopes the results of its work will benefit the people of Trenton through the creation of short-term and long-term jobs. Stay tuned.

-Advance Advisory- Mayor Mack to Host Economic Development Summit at Trenton Marriott

TRENTON – Mayor Tony Mack will host an Economic Development Summit at the Trenton Marriott Hotel on Thursday, March 31, from 10:00am to 2:00pm. The theme is: Trenton, the center of business, culture, education and heritage – building a prosperous and livable community. This event is organized under the auspices of the Mayor’s office to engage all stakeholders in a discussion about the future of the Capital City and will focus on how to implement the Downtown Master Plan.

“The summit will emphasize my vision for economic development, particularly as it relates to Downtown Trenton, the desirability of the city as a community of choice, the financial tools available for facilitating economic development and the regional collaboration needed to build a prosperous and livable city,” stated Mayor Mack.

This event would not be possible without the collaboration of Council members, the County of Mercer, the Capital City Redevelopment Corporation, the Trenton Downtown Association, the Mercer Regional Chamber of Commerce, the African American Chamber of Commerce, the Metropolitan Trenton African American Chamber of Commerce, the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, the Mercer County Hispanic Association, several government departments and corporate sponsors.

WHO: Mayor Tony Mack, Department of Housing and Economic Development,
Mayor’s Office & Community Partners

WHAT: Mayor’s Economic Development Summit

WHEN: Thursday, March 31; 10:00am to 2:00pm

WHERE: Trenton Marriott at Lafayette Yard, 1 West Lafayette Street
KEYNOTE: Dede Myers, Vice President and Community Affairs Officer

Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia

To Register: Contact Anthony Roberts, 609-815-2183

ACBC and PEC cordially invites you to attend the African & Caribbean Business Council “ACBC Financing Forum”.

Date: April 6, 2011

Venue: African Cultural Center, 5000 Springfield Avenue Philadelphia PA 19143

Time: 8:15 am to 9:00 am

Registration & Continental Breakfast

Presentations: 9:00 am to 2:00 pm

* Governmental Officials
* Financing Agencies/Lenders
* Banks

Since 2002, People’s Emergency Center (PEC) has been committed to growing and increasing the vibrancy of the Lancaster Avenue commercial corridor between 38th and 44th Streets. Our strategy for revitalization includes attracting new businesses, helping existing businesses to expand, improving commercial façades and the streetscape, and promoting public safety. The African and Caribbean Business Council (ACBC) was founded in 2006 with the mission of promoting and preserving the business interests of African and Caribbean entrepreneurs in the Greater Philadelphia area while bridging the cultural divide between member countries and the larger community through education and the encouragement of mutual tolerance.

ACBC and PEC recognize that the fast growing African and Caribbean community is making important contributions to the Philadelphia region’s business sector. Therefore, ACBC in collaboration with the PEC is sponsoring a Business Finance Forum that will address the important issue of accessing capital for the African and Caribbean businesses in Philadelphia. In addition, this forum will discuss the opportunities available in trade and finance through the International business sector.

The goal of this forum is to promote international trade and investments between Africa, the Caribbean, and the Greater Philadelphia region. As well as propagate the perspectives of African and Caribbean entrepreneurs with respect to global policies that affect their ability to conduct business. Finally, make available necessary infrastructures for the development and maintenance of a viable African and Caribbean business community in Philadelphia.


Azuka Anyiam Ph.D

President, ACBC

“Trade and Financing Forum”

“Trade and Financing Forum” by The African and Caribbean Business Council (ACBC) and The People’s Emergency Center (PEC) on April 6, 2011 from 9am -2pm

(PHILADELPHIA) (March 5, 2011) — The African and Caribbean Business Council (ACBC) in association with the People’s Emergency Center (PEC) will host a Trade and Financing Forum on Wednesday, April 6, 2011 at the African Cultural Center on 5000 Springfield Avenue, in West Philadelphia.

The Trade and Financing Forum will address the important issue of accessing capital for the African and Caribbean businesses in Philadelphia. In addition, this forum will discuss the opportunities available in trade and finance through the State, National and International business sector.

The objectives of ACBC are to promote international trade and investments between Africa, the Caribbean and the Greater Philadelphia region; propagate the perspectives of African and Caribbean entrepreneurs with respect to global policies that affect their ability to conduct business; organize global & local training workshops and events as well as engage city, state, and federal government officials, through partnership and advocacy, to make available necessary infrastructures for the development and maintenance of viable African and Caribbean business communities.

The objectives of PEC are to Nurture Families, Strengthen Neighborhoods and Drive Change. Since 2002, PEC has been committed to growing and increasing the vibrancy of the Lancaster Avenue commercial corridor between 38th and 44th Streets. Their strategy for revitalization includes attracting new businesses, helping existing businesses to expand, improving commercial façades and the streetscape, and promoting public safety.

The ACBC President Dr. Azuka Anyiam said “Providing our underserved business community access to capital is an important goal of ACBC and it is for this reason that ACBC is on the march for the establishment of the first African and Caribbean Credit Union in Philadelphia”.

Seccom International Group,LLC and Bullocks Sales Corp in New Jersey

Seccom International Group,LLC and Bullocks Sales Corp are to facilitates some local housing development in several Cities in the State of New Jersey. The value of these contracts range from $2.5 Mill to $39 Millions. Mr. Dave Bullocks, president of Bullocks Sales Corporation said he is very excited to be working with Seccom on these projects in Somerset County, and Burlington County. These housing projects will be slated for Affordable Housing and Senior Citizens