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Western Union, USAID to launch new marketplace for African Diaspora

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Global money transfer Services Company, Western Union and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) have announced the launch of a new business initiative for US-based African Diaspora known as the African Diaspora Marketplace (ADM) in the fourth quarter of 2011.

In a joint statement issued and copied to ghanabusinessnews.com on May 19, 201, the two organizations said the ADM is to encourage sustainable economic growth and employment in Africa.

“The ADM encourages sustainable economic growth and employment by supporting US-based African Diaspora entrepreneurs with innovative and high-impact ideas for start-up and established businesses in Sub-Saharan Africa”, the two announced at the US Secretary Clinton’s Global Diaspora Forum on May 17, 2011.

The new marketplace, the organizations say will incorporate key learning from the first ADM, by focusing grants toward priority, high-impact sectors in Africa, including agribusiness, renewable energy, and information and communication technology (ICT).

According to Western Union and USAID, they will invite small business investment funds and technical assistance mentors to participate in the effort to engage Diaspora entrepreneurs.

For instance in 2010, the ADM awarded more than a dozen matching grants of $100,000 each to winning business entries in seven countries, the statement said.

“With the ADM, Western Union can leverage its expertise providing services to small-medium businesses and its vast network and resources to help create lasting social and economic impact” said Hikmet Ersek, Western Union President and Chief Executive Officer.

The Administrator at USAID Dr. Rajiv Shah noted that “Entrepreneurship can be a powerful tool to enhance economic opportunity and empower communities, and Diasporas often play a powerful role in starting businesses and mentoring emerging entrepreneurs, so we are pleased to work once again with Western Union on ADM-II.”

By Ekow Quandzie

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