African Women: Leaders in the Economy and Society

Expanding markets. Ensuring quality control. Accessing supply and value chains. Broadening networks. Addressing management challenges. Showcasing women’s leadership. And yes, advocating for change. These are topics that a dynamic group of African women entrepreneurs are focusing on during their visit to the U.S. as part of the African Women’s Entrepreneurship Program (AWEP). AWEP was launched, in conjunction with the 2010 African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) Forum, as part of the U.S. Department of State’s International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP). Every year, U.S. Embassies in Sub-Saharan Africa nominate leading women entrepreneurs to participate. While in the U.S., the group...


Expanding the Impact of Women Entrepreneurs in Africa

Each year U.S. missions nominate leading women entrepreneurs from sub-Saharan Africa to participate in the African Women’s Entrepreneurship Program (AWEP) as part of the U.S. Department of State’s International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP). AWEP was launched in 2010 to bolster the economic impact on women entrepreneurs during the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) Forum. This post was written by Elizabeth Barry and Mark Rebstock. Continue  

My Most Exciting Moment? Meeting U.S. Secretary of State, John Kerry, of course!

Teta Isibo of Rwanda visited the United States this summer as a participant of the International Visitor Leadership Program’s (IVLP) African Women’s Entrepreneurship Program (AWEP).  She is the Managing Director and Founder of Inzuki Designs – a company that specializes in handmade jewelry, accessories and interior décor, fusing traditional craftsmanship with contemporary design.  


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

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.