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After a series of approximately four radio shows, where Professor Margaret King, the Founder and President of the Global Institute of Planning and Sustainable Development, together with Mr. Revin fellows, the Institute’s Executive Community Liaison and Advisory Board Member, and State Representative, LaShawn K. Ford were guest speakers, the institute held her annual well-attended vibrant US-Africa Global Trade and Sustainable Development Forum at Cougar Cove of the Student Union Building at Chicago State University on October 18, 2018. The Global Institute’s dynamic team had all hands on deck to organize the program in collaboration with the Institute’s Global Students Association and CSU’s International Studies students, with participation of another students’ club, United Nations Association.


At this well-packed occasion, was across-the-board spectrum of people from all walks of life, involved in university-community engagement. It was spectacular to watch the level of unity that permeated the group with the mixing and mingling of aspiring entrepreneurs that seemed motivated by Black Multi-Millionaires in the hall. In attendance, were representatives from the US Federal Government’s Small Business Administration, the State of Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunities’ International Trade Office, Legislator, University Administrators, Faculty, Students, Entrepreneurs, Vendors, Community Residents, Civic Leaders, Great Speakers and Panelists. In an electrifying passionate mode, everyone had a chance to introduce themselves and pitch their businesses and professions to reveal the skills set, products and services that are available in the community. The well-selected cream-of-the-crop speakers and panelists spoke very eloquently to educate and inform the very moving audience, as business connections were established. The visiting Nigerian Professor Gideon Onuekwesi, from Michael Opera University of Agriculture, in Nigeria, nailed it with his power of persuasion regarding the strong bond among technology, entrepreneurship, and sustainable community development in the Nigerian context.  


The pleasantly charged atmosphere was further inundated by Illinois State Representative Lashawn Ford, the Luncheon Keynote Speaker, amidst the audience’s enjoyment of authentic African cuisine of Jellof Rice, Fried Plantains, Mixed Vegetables, African Sautéed Chicken, and other accompanied side dishes and beverages. The inspired State Rep invigorated participants and encouraged them to join the movement of Diaspora and Continental Africans working together and doing business in African countries. As the Chairman of Banking, Finance and Credit Union, as well as the Vice-Chair of Tourism Committees, he pledged to support the movement by working with the Global Institute to create about twenty (20) millionaires by taking them to do business in Africa.


Commenting with satisfaction, Professor King and Dr. Gale Frazier, the Institute’s Advisory Council and National Black Agenda Chair, articulated that the main aim of the forum was to bring Global Africans together to have an honest conversation about how to work together to promote sustainable community development through Global Trade with Africa. Also fulfilled was an orientation on preparing serious-minded entrepreneurs to go on Global Africa Trade Procurement Conference to Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria, scheduled for December 8 -15, 2018. With lots of interest generated, participants devised various measures to get support for a sizeable delegation to travel to Nigeria.


Pictures and videos are posted and circulated for viewers’ pleasure. What a great event!

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