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African country looks to connect in Carolinas
Gabon delegation aims to build development ties
Published Wednesday, June 26, 2013 1:46 pm
by Herbert L. White

The central African nation of Gabon is looking to develop economic ties in the Carolinas.

A partnership between the Gabonese government and U.S. firms aims to develop strategic sectors in Gabon, where President Ali Bongo has created a plan of economic development.

In May, Katchi International hosted a delegation led by Gabriel Tchango, Gabon’s minister of water and forestry.  The group attended workshops and made site visits across the Carolinas, including Metrolina Greenhouses, Metrolina Recycling, Charlotte Douglas International Airport’s recycling facility, Clemson University’s College of Agriculture, Forestry and Life Sciences and UNC Charlotte’s Education Exchange program.

According to Katchi International President Dr. Koffi Kouadio, “the May workshops brought together private and public businesses and government entities to help foster economical and educational ties between the U.S. and Gabon.  The two countries working together will translate into practical projects in the sector of water and forestry with cutting edge technology.”

The plan of bringing economic and infrastructure development projects to Gabon will take some time.  Larry Williams of L.W. Associates says the project, called “Gabon 23” focuses on how to take specific, practical steps in strategic sectors to help Gabon leapfrog into the 23rd century.  Some of the projects include information and communication systems, water and eco-system technology transfers and carbon emission reduction.

Ted Whitwell, Clemson’s associate dean for academic affairs, said the Gabonese delegation’s tour was “a good visit with great potential” adding “there is interest in collaborating on forestry and water resources as well as a faculty and student exchange program.”

Katchi will continue to build the global connection with an International Workshop for program exchanges and for the development of private and public partnerships in Gabon on Aug. 13-15.


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