T: (305) 948-8063 ext. 201
- Business and civic leaders attend June 18th press conference in Jacksonville -
(BLACK PR WIRE) – JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A standing-room-only crowd, including former Florida Senator Tony Hill, joined representatives from international corporations, media and local government for the Winds of Change Economic Empowerment Partnership press conference. The event, held on June 18, 2012, at 4 p.m., was hosted by CEO Rhodes Robinson at his Environmental Services, Inc., offices in Jacksonville, Florida. The Most Rev. Thabo Makgoba, Anglican archbishop of Cape Town and metropolitan of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa, provided the keynote address, officially launching the partnership in the U.S. and introducing key players in the initiative.
“On this momentous occasion, we begin to forever change how business is done in Africa and with the Diaspora around the globe,” said Archbishop Makgoba in his remarks. “Stewardship of a community’s resources and engagement in entrepreneurship can lead to economic independence and a better quality of life. Unfortunately, much of Africa has lacked the leadership and opportunity to accomplish this. We will use examples from successful communities to empower indigenous people across Africa and the world.”
The Royal Bafokeng Nation of South Africa will serve as a model to roll out the initiative in other African countries. By reinvesting proceeds from a profitable platinum metals mining enterprise on their traditional land (reacquired over years of incremental land purchases), the nation has achieved self-sustainability and established Royal Bafokeng Holdings (RBH), a sovereign fund, $5-billion, 100 percent black-owned investment company. RBH will join with African Business Development Group (ABDG), the American, majority black-owned Diaspora company leading implementation of the Archbishop’s global strategy.
“Our faith-based company will bring leadership, technical expertise and financial acumen to the imitative,” said Julius Jackson, Jr., executive partner at African Business Development Group. “We will create sustainable and profitable economic development through ventures with Africans and U.S. businesses first, which will help us accomplish the archbishop’s goals. Community reinvestment through this partnership will enable poverty reduction, education improvement, improved health care and positive social impact through job creation, professional development, business mentoring, and ownership opportunities.”
Partner organizations will use owned timber, agricultural land and other assets to create sustainable projects. These will include vertically integrated farming of food grain and milk products, and timber harvesting and replanting. Longer-term infrastructure projects are also being planned to include electricity generation and distribution, affordable housing, solar power initiatives, water treatment, and even light rail to facilitate transfer of food and health products deep into the interior. The Bafokeng's current operating and management system will serve as the model for expansion into other African countries.
Juneteenth, the national celebration marking emancipation from slavery in Galveston, Texas (June 19, 1865), was chosen for the announcement as the occasion marks the end of indigenous Africans in the U.S. being used as economic resources but not for their own benefit. The Winds of Change Economic Empowerment Partnership is a key component to the national celebration, renewing a commitment to black freedom through economic emancipation.
The partnership is actively seeking interested individuals, corporations and organizations to invest time and resources in the effort. Please email Bernadette Morris of Sonshine Communications at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call (305) 948-8063 ext. 201 if you are interested in receiving more information.
**Media note: Archbishop Makgoba, representatives of Royal Bafokeng Holdings, Rhodes Robinson, Julius Jackson and Tad Timbrook, president of African Business Development Group, are available for one-on-one interviews with selected outlets for a limited time. To request one, please contact Bernadette Morris at (305) 948-8063 ext: 201, via cell at (305) 450-0942, or email email@example.com.**