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Diplomacy in Action

United States-Sub-Saharan Africa Trade and Economic Cooperation Forum Women's Meeting

Reta Jo Lewis
Special Representative for Global Intergovernmental Affairs 
Kansas City, Missouri
August 4, 2010


Good morning. It is a pleasure to see you again – this time in Kansas City. I would like to thank Comptroller Darlene Green, Alderwoman Marlene Davis, Pam Curtis and all the entrepreneurs, partners, and guests for the hard work you do day in and day out for the advocacy and promotion of women throughout the global business community.

Our last meeting was filled with so much enthusiasm and dedication to working towards a better future for yourselves, your businesses, and your countries. I look forward to building on those accomplishments today.

I am so honored to be in the presence of such a talented and dynamic group of women who, through their careers, have been and will continue to be role models for girls and women in their communities.

Still, women face obstacles such as limited opportunities, lack of individual confidence, and setbacks unique to women trading their goods and growing their businesses. By providing women with the tools to overcome and eliminate these hindrances, we are empowering a new generation of business contributors.

Today we will discuss the many opportunities available for businesses and their hardworking women representatives to educate, network, and make connections to benefit all of you here today and those in your communities who aspire to reach the same levels of success. The connections made and ideas shared today will begin to build the framework for future engagement in the trade industry.

Furthermore, integrating gender dimensions into policy dialogue can reduce gender barriers, unleash the productive potential of women, and broaden both the economic impact and sustainability of policy interventions. The advances women business leaders make will resound the world over, showcasing these magnificent women entrepreneurs and the great things they can achieve.

Again, I would like to thank everyone here for your dedication and hard work, and wholeheartedly look forward to the contributions to your effort this meeting will provide.

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