African Women Entrepreneurs Leave the U.S. Empowered and Inspired

African Women Entrepreneurs in the AWEP Program


Friday, August 9th saw the conclusion of the African Women’s Entrepreneurship Program, more often referred to by its acronym, “AWEP.”  30 women business leaders from 28 countries in sub-Saharan Africa bid farewell to the Meridian and State Department program planners, and to one another.  This concludes their three weeks of professional meetings, workshops, cultural activities, participation in volunteer activities, and networking in Chicago, Portland, Ore., Seattle, Los Angeles, Albuquerque, Santa Fe, and Washington, DC.  The participants of the program are leaving the United States with a set of experiences and contacts that will contribute to the advancement of their respective careers and business ventures.  They are heading back to their countries with a renewed sense of urgency and empowerment, as well as friendship and solidarity between themselves and the Americans with whom they engaged during their U.S. visit.

We were especially moved when Ms. Talle Amaou, an artisan and small business owner from Togo, shared a poem she had written about her visit to Santa Fe, a place in which she found comfort in its natural beauty and the warm welcome she received by its residents.  Her poem is shown below in French, with an English translation.

Poème à Santa Fe

“Poem about Santa Fe” by Ms. Talle Amaou from Togo, 2013 IVLP participant of the African Women’s Entrepreneurship Program (AWEP)


Santa Fe je veux te revoir

Santa Fe I want to see you again


Santa Fe tu porte mes espoirs

Santa Fe you bear my hopes


Santa Fe de mes trêves
Santa Fe, the place of my long-awaited rest


Santa Fe, le nid de mes rêves

Santa Fe, the nest of my dreams


Santa Fe m’a adoptée

Santa Fe adopted me


Santa Fe mon éternité

Santa Fe my eternity


Santa Fe soi sanctifiée

Santa Fe may you be blessed


Ainsi soit-il

So it will be




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