GLOBAL FUSION: FROM RWANDA TO OKLAHOMA

Mr. Larry Edwards was the first foreigner to attend the annual Rwandan governmental retreat, where he endeavored to market technologies in Oklahoma and highlight the benefits of an economic relationship between Rwanda and Oklahoma. Edwards is the  CEO of AEon Group of companies, with offices at the ICT park here in Kigali. He also heads the Global Fusion Foundation (GFF).  This year the Global Fusion centennial business conference took place from October 7th to October 12th in Oklahoma City with the objective of organizing opportunities and partners to invest in countries like Rwanda, Kenya and Tanzania. 

Attended by a variety of entrepreneurs, government agencies, investors, service providers and non-profit institutions, this foundation, created in 2005, is involved in export promotion and import assistance and global sourcing of products and services for member countries. This singular event showcased Oklahoma to the world as the Gateway to the U. S. Market and, conversely, the Gateway to the world for Oklahoma and other U. S. companies. 

As part of the week-long conference, the ambassador of Rwanda to the United States, H.E James Kimonyo gave a presentation at the Gaylord Hall  at the Oklahoma Christian University coined “The Rwandan Renaissance”. The theme for the dinner was actually “The Singapore of Africa-The Rwandan example” and was attended by the ambassador of Kenya to the US, HRH Joseph Dubois, US senators, the president of Oklahoma Christian University, representative from Rwanda’s private sector, and American businessmen. 

Rwanda was portrayed as the ideal investment setting in Africa. The ambassador highlighted the improvements Rwanda is making in Transport and telecommunications, education, customs procedures to ease work for investors and tourism. GFF is organizing a visit to Rwanda for American investors to ‘test the waters’.  

During the visit, the investors will meet presidents Paul Kagame and Mwai Kibaki as well as US ambassadors Michael Arietti (Rwanda) and Michael Renneberger (Kenya). The foundation will also hold conferences in Nairobi and Kigali with delegates from all over the region.  

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