Minister, Director of the President’s Cabinet
Members of the Senegalese Alumni Association
I am delighted to be here with Minister Youm to officially open this event. Minister Youm, thank you for being here.
I would also like to thank the dedicated alumni of the Senegalese Alumni Association who first approached the U.S. Embassy with this great idea to hold an alumni expo. Their idea was simple and striking; to show, during Global Entrepreneurship Week, how alumni of U.S. government exchange programs are contributing to economic prosperity and giving back to their communities through their businesses and social projects.
The business and community leaders gathered here represent a diverse range of sectors. They are eager to meet with you, to give advice on how to launch your own endeavors, and to explain the positive effects of their exchange program experiences in the United States.
These alumni are contributing to economic growth. Of course, long-term economic growth is not possible without an investment in education, so it is appropriate that Global Entrepreneurship Week is also International Education Week. To that end, U.S. Embassy staff are present and eager to talk to you about educational opportunities, such as exchange programs and studying in the United States.
Investing in young people and promoting economic development are goals that the United States and Senegal share. Along with Senegalese partners, we support economic growth in many ways. We work with the agricultural sector to boost productivity and increase access to markets. We are also committed to expanding trade and investment opportunities through AGOA—the African Growth and Opportunity Act. U.S. companies in many sectors – from technology to energy to services – invest in Senegal’s future and create jobs for Senegalese.
Whether you are interested in learning more about entrepreneurship, or studying in the United States, or both, I hope that this event will be useful for you, that you will expand your networks, and be inspired.
As the entrepreneurs and project leaders here can attest to, starting a business or launching a new career is not easy. It takes dedication, determination, and a strong network. I encourage all of you to keep up the hard work you are doing and to keep pursuing your goals.