Liberty University Brings In African Leaders, Will Host Summit On Business And Faith

Equity For Africa Summit
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Faith-based business leaders will meet with government officials and business leaders from Africa on Liberty University’s campus during the upcoming Equity For Africa Summit, driving for-ward business partnerships built on shared Judeo-Christian business principles.

Starting on Tuesday April 13, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will address the summit. The event will serve as a catalyst for American CEO’s working across major business sec-tors to connect and network with leaders in Africa looking to pitch opportunities for their home countries according to Dave Brat, dean of Liberty’s School of Business.

After the idea for the event was pitched by an international student, Brat and the Standing for Freedom Center laid the groundwork, hoping to provide a unique opportunity and “optimis-tic vision” for Africa win-win opportunities.

“We are reaching out and opening a way for African countries to pitch their opportunities in different sectors like infrastructure, roads, technology, agriculture and energy,” Brat said. “We are not going to solve all issues in two days, but we are setting up a network of friends in the faith that will have lasting impact.”

U.S. participants include Congressmen Ted Yoho, creator of the $70 Billion development fund called the Build Act, Frm. U.S. World Bank Director Erik Bethel, President of Hobby Lobby and Chairman of the Board of the Museum of the Bible Steve and Jackie Green, and niece of Martin Luther King Jr. Alveda King. 

Among the African guests flying in are President of the Republic of Ghana Nana Akufo-Addo and Vice-President of Liberia Jewel Howard-Taylor, along with other major leaders from Nigeria, South Sudan, Kenya, DRC Congo. Former President of Malawi Joyce Banda, the first female president in Africa, will also appear virtually. 

Over 50 student volunteers, including two international students from Africa, have come alongside the summit’s efforts to see optimistic change and investment into the continent of Africa. Student members of the International Business club and the Students of African Descent also partnered with Brat and the Freedom Center for the two-day event.

American and African pastors will also join the discussions, furthering the goal to promote faith-based principles in the world of business. After appearing on many global stages, Dr. For-son Swanzy, originally from Ghana, West Africa, will help co-host the summit, leading the charge for pastoral involvement.   

“Faith and shared values are worth something in business terms. Trust matters. These truths and values we share are real and that has economic and business value,” Brat said. 

Nigerian billionaire businesswoman Folorunso Alakija will speak virtually to the summit attendees, addressing why incorporating her faith-based principles in business is important is so important to her.

“We should give God first place in our endeavors,” Alakija said in a video. “We cannot ignore the God factor in our lives if we wish to succeed.

After kicking off the summit Tuesday night, African leaders will take the stage sharing their pitches and opportunities to engage in relationships with the business leaders in attendance in a variety of sectors. The summit will provide panels and breakout rooms to further network the various parties together, according to Brat.  

Anyone wishing to engage with the Equity for Africa Summit may watch virtually through the event website.

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By Hattie Troutman, Editor-in-Chief
Follow her on Twitter at @hattrout

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