2018 Smith School EMF: Practitioner's Panel
Welcome. And thank you once again for being here at this 8th annual emerging, markets forum, I'm. Rebecca Bellinger I'm the executive, director of the Center for Global Business here at the Smith school and I'm delighted to be with you here, all today and especially with my esteemed, panelists. Before, you go ahead and introduce our panelists. I'd like to frame a little bit about what we're going to be trying to do in this final, session of of, the, day so, for most of the day we've been talking about really a macro, outlook for the continent, and what we'd like to do is shift a little bit take the conversation about investment, in policy, and try. To explore, what that means on a day to day operational. Basis, for US companies that are actually operating. Currently. In the African continent. So. Here, to talk, more about, this. Specific. Topic I'm joined, with dr. Kimberly Brown. Kevin. Ten zola and Jeff, Corolla so. There, are BIOS on the website and an interest of time I'll just have some very very, brief introductions. And then ask, the panelists to to give us some more information in context, so. Kimberly. Is the founder and CEO of amethyst, technologies, she, was appointed by the Secretary of Commerce to the president's, Advisory Council, for doing business in Africa in 2016. She. Also serves on the Board of Advisors for the University, of Maryland's, Clark School of Engineering and is a member of the external advisory board for Maryland's, chemical, and biomolecular engineering. Department, and she's. A Terp she. Completed her PhD in, MS and chemical engineering at the Clark school next. To her is Kevin, Kevin, is the vice president of, financial, operations, for the Middle East and Africa region, at Marriott, International. He. Currently resides in Dubai and oversees, finance, operations, for the over 300. Marriott hotels in the Middle East and African continent, and. What's more he's also a Terp he, completed his MBA, from the Smith School at Maryland, and I do have to say that that Kevin receives the award for, traveling, the farthest to be with us today I believe just a matter of four hours or so he got off a plane from Dubai, to be here so thank you for being here. And. Last. But not least certainly, is is Jeff, Krol Oh Jeff is the vice president for global policy, and government affairs at cosmos energy, in, 2016. He was instrumental, in, engineering, the agreement between the governments, of Senegal, and Mauritania, leading. To the 1 billion, dollar partnership, between cosmos, and BP, Jeff. Is a lifetime member of the Council, on Foreign Relations and, a member of the Atlantic, Council and the United States Trade Representative, trade Advisory, Committee on Africa, he, also sits on the board of directors for Africa, he, holds a JD not. From Maryland, but from the Georgetown, University Law Center. Will. Make you an honorary term, today. So. There are five main, topics, we'll cover today first. Being the experience, of our panelists, what has the experience been, in Africa we'll look at misconceptions. Of doing business in Africa we, look at competition, opportunities. Challenges, and, risks so. My first question for all of you is tell, us a little bit more about your backgrounds, especially.
The Nature of your businesses, and your, experience, in Africa and Kimberley. Why don't we do ladies first. Thank. You very much thank. You everyone it's a pleasure to to. Be here today and to talk about doing. Business in Africa, so. My. Company focuses. On setting, up laboratories. Improving the quality of healthcare delivery in, the. US Africa, Middle East, so. Just. To tell you a little bit about how we ended, up in Africa, we. Were working, with US. Army Walter, Reed was, our first client, in, 2007. And, we. Were we. Had a contract, to support. Quality. Assurance, for vaccine, manufacturing. At. Walter, Reed and, the project, went well and one. Day we were approached by our contract, officer. And. We. Were asked are you interested in going to Tanzania, and, as. A. Small business right. We were probably five or six people, never. Really thought about doing, business in Africa but we were given the opportunity and. Of, course I said, yes sure, why, not and, so. We were given a contract, to run Walter. Reed's malaria, research program in Tanzania. To, work with 21, healthcare facilities. Tanzanian. Military, healthcare. Facilities. And improve the quality of malaria. Diagnostics. To support u.s., army vaccine. Trial, and. The. Project, went very well it, was an eye-opener. You know as a small business, you, too can look, at ways to export. To grow to. Make a difference, not, only in, your, community, or in the US but looking. At you know the global opportunities. And, we ran that project, for seven, years, and. It, opened up other countries. Other opportunities. Other. Markets, for, amethyst. Technologies. Thank. You great. So. Thank you very much great to be here, seeing. Many of you and be always be back in the States is always a good time I do live in Dubai and, just came in this morning so it's a I, appreciate. The Arabic themed lunch that we had today. Thought, I was back home and Dubai for a moment there so. A little bit about Murad international, in particular. Where. We operate hotels. In, Africa, right now we have, a hundred and thirty seven hotels, operating. On the continent, of Africa, it, crosses about 20 different countries, and. If we think about Marriott, International having. 30 different brands out there we have 12 of those 30 brands today. In Africa, I do, oversee, the Middle East and Africa so I am probably the new kid on the block up here I've only been in my position, in Dubai for about 3 years but. I can tell you having visited many of the countries and hotels, interacting. With a lot, of the associates, at those hotels, it is a fantastic, and very exciting place to do business I, will, tell you the first trip. I took to Africa. Having. Just, come from our London office was. We, went to Cairo as. My first inauguration, into Africa and to. Get the experience, of the sights and the sounds and the people and, most importantly, the traffic, in that city if, you haven't been there it is something that you can really appreciate. Being. Back here in Maryland, in DC and. So that hotel was actually, Marriott's first hotel that it opened in Africa in 1983. And for those. Of you that may know Marriott. And Starwood came. Together about a year and a half ago almost two years ago now Starwood, was actually, in Africa, about. 12 years earlier with, the Sheraton, Cairo there, I just, recently, reopened, if, we go into the sub-saharan, portion. And. Talk about hotel development there it took Marriott. 2016. Is when we opened our first Marriott, hotel in, Rwanda. In Kigali, so, again you talk about being on the continent, for several years but yet we're still newcomers. Into that. Sub-saharan. Space so, certainly a lot to learn but. Great to be here thank you very much.
Great. And thanks again Rebecca. And thanks for having me here the University of Maryland I and properly, ashamed it not being a perfect but I. Will. Say on a Marilyn. Related note I just had a meeting with our, outgoing US, ambassador, to Gabon, and South, Tomei who was a very proud Terp and we, were talking. About the good old days I'm a Georgetown grad we were talking about the good old days of Maryland, in the ACC, and in, Georgetown and the very different, Big, East and the great rivalry, we had with both our teams were very good at basketball which, seems like a very very long time ago now so. As. Rebecca. Said I'm with cosmos, energy, and we're a fairly. Small, by industry, standards oil, and gas exploration company. We're about a three billion dollar company, we're based in Dallas Texas but. On the African, continent, where we do have most. Of our work we're, most well known for having found the oil and gas reserves in Ghana which, unlocked, a huge part of the Ghanaian economy, we, also as, Rebecca. Had said we recently. Found. Large. Gas reserves, natural gas reserves off the coast of Senegal, and Mauritania. And we're also operating. In south Tomei and. Equatorial. Guinea so. These are challenging, places but we. Go where the oil and gas is and we could talk more about that later but we've had a great experience, we consider ourselves an African. Company because we work there so often or, so, forth so in, so many places in, terms of my own background just to give you a quick snapshot I've, been working in Africa about twenty five years now, my. First exposure, after graduating, from Georgetown where. I did study African. Studies was. Working and then apartheid, South Africa I, lived, in a hut I talked, school out in the bush you, know when I tell people that especially. Young students, they say you know I sound like a dinosaur, you know like I was cutting through the bush with Livingston, and Stanley, but, it, actually wasn't all that long ago for those of us that have worked on Africa, for decades and it was a great exposure first, exposure to Africa. From. There I went, worked on Capitol Hill for about a decade working on Africa policy, and also just in the you know sort of in the political, mix, and then, as. A I've, been on the continent, and working. On African, issues both as a military officer, government. Official I went over the State Department with Condoleezza Rice worked, on a lot of African initiatives, there helped negotiate the Darfur peace agreement, if you can remember that and. And. Then ultimately over, the last nine years have been in private in the private sector so in many ways my own experience, both in, terms of development, professional. Government-to-government, and now private, sector, reflects. The changing, nature of the African, economy, so I feel particularly well-positioned, to talk about the changes at least I've seen and certainly, learn from the other panelists, but thanks again for having me here today thank, you thank you all for being here you've. Each mentioned, or touched on this a little bit this idea of why Africa, so, there was a contract, that was, the first thing they brought to you into the continent, and then Jeff, you go where the oil and gas is but, you're, all very different companies, doing very different things. Why, Africa. What. Keeps you there. So. I guess I'll start. So. For. Us. As a, small business our, market, in the u.s. is saturated. In many, instances, we have to compete against, large, organizations. We're. One of the few small businesses. That provides, technical, assistance in, health and laboratories, so going.
To Africa, offered. Us an opportunity where. There. Were not viewed as a small business reviewed, as these. Are the services, and resources that, we provide we're first seen as a US company and there's, a demand. For, us services. Us, goods because, of the quality, of what we do, our. Commitment. To making. Sure we leave something behind and. We improve. In any community, that we work in is something that is is quite part. Of every, business in, the u.s. so. Just. You know the demand and, with, our company, working in Tanzania. For us our me as. A small business, that gave us a, leg, up because, we were known as defense contractors. We. Deliver, we get the job done, and. The. Government's, appreciated, that so, going. To Ghana so we start off in Tanzania, we were able to go to Ghana we. Interacted. With the Ghana Armed Forces talked. About the work we do to support the, health of the warfighter, and then. Any. Country, that went to we were able to just, lead with that. And that gave us. Credibility. And that also really, helped us expand. Into private. Sector opportunities working. For like the government of Kenya. Hired. Us to help build capacity for, cancer diagnostics in. Wilmette. County and. Working with USAID, Department. Of State and other organizations. So, for. Africa, for for us in Africa we currently have offices, in Ghana and Tanzania and, about, 75% of, our business is done on the continent, so, going. From a small business where all of our work was at Walter e-4 Detrick Aberdeen, to, now 75%, of our work is in Africa, shows, you the opportunity. About. Marriott yeah I think for Marriott it kind, of goes back to what. A doctor Cigna is --slide had and it wasn't just that line on food and beverage that we're going after I I think it was really talking about that growing, middle class that young population. Certainly. The. Demand. And the need for travel. And certainly, quality, travel in accommodation. When we think about going into some of these countries where. A lot of people are going for the first time and be that for business or be that for leisure they're, looking, for that element, of yes. I know I'm going there for the first time but I have all the resources and respect, of a global. Brands such as Marriott, I know what I'm getting when I go there I, will, say that you know for for, Marriott we were thinking about expanding, our African footprint, probably. Back in, 2013. And. For those of you that know probably, more around South. Africa, Protea hotels. Had. About 116. Hotels, at the time and. Marriott purchased them back in 2014. And that really, put us on the map in. Terms of getting that footprint, because, as you'll hear, certainly. The competitors, are out there they're, looking to grow they're looking to expand, in hospitality, and so, with that that put us as the largest operator in the African continent for hotels ok. Great. Well I I was half, joking when I said we go where the oil and gas is I mean that's certainly the case but. In terms of why working in Africa, I think some of the slides I mean I think that Kevin. Made a good point some of the slides that Landry. Put up were very informative. About just.
Reminding, Me why we're working on this continent, part of it is you've, got the challenges, of sort of overcoming, misconceptions. About the challenge, about how difficult, it is to work in Africa and, then. Secondly, you've got the great opportunities, you've got this competitive, index that shows there's a map there's massive opportunities. To be had on the continent, now we're not a consumer, well I mean ultimately we're, a consumer good but in the in terms, of our efforts what the cosmos. Will go in we, will, procure. A block, an offshore, block we. Will do an exploration. Program. Over a couple of years and then if we find oil or gas we will then sell, what. We found off to one of the big companies one of the IOC s you know Chevron or in, this in this case I think BP we've got a strong partnership so. What. That means is we have a lot of interactions, with the government's and. With, the people I think you know one of the reasons we pride ourselves on being an Africa, company and one of the reasons I love working for Cosmos after spending so many times so many years on the continent is, the. The government, so the people are very open very. Keen on investment. And in partnerships, and, and. If, you're a company that's willing to you, know take the time to spend and spend, time. In these countries and really get to know the cultures know that it's just not one big country it's it's very diverse, countries. Economies, cultures, fascinating, places I think you can really succeed there so I think that's why that that in term in addition to been going where the assets are where. The resources are is why we work on the continent so you fact made pretty, good cases, as to why your companies, are in Africa and yet the other side of that is there aren't that many US. Companies doing business in, Africa I think the kasaya mentioned earlier that the the engagement, the investment, of US companies into, the continent, is on the decline so. What, are some of the misconceptions that. You find either among your peers and the service, industry, or health, industry hospitality, what. Is it that that you're facing when you're talking to your peers about misconceptions or doing business in the continent. So. For, amethyst. We're focused, on health. Care developing. Building. Laboratories. Urgent, care facilities. Throughout. Africa. And one. Of the misconceptions, that. We often, hear is there is no market, for. Healthcare, services. Delivery. Currently. Many countries, depend on eight so. USAID. And, if it and, jaiku. But. If you, look at the amount of out-of-pocket expenses. That, are. Incurred for, example, in Liberia, and Sierra Leone. 2010. There were 100 million. Dollars, plus of out-of-pocket health, expenses. 85%, 95, percent of all health, expenses, are out-of-pocket so. There's. An opportunity, in. Those two countries where, there's less than 200 doctors combined. Currently. Liberia. 25. 50. Doctors. Sarah, Lyon under Hunt under 100, doctors so. People. Are spending money how, are they spending healthcare dollars they're spending it on medications. Medications. That, may not be what. They need because they haven't seen a doctor. There's, few labs providing. Proper, accredited. Diagnostics. So. There's. A tremendous, opportunity, in healthcare. If, you, look at what happened with Ebola, in, 2014. In Liberia, where. Failure. To strengthen, the health care not only does it impact. Health. But it impacts, business, companies. Most. Companies, shut down with the exception of the hospitality, industry which. Was supporting, all of the donors, and everyone who was coming into the country to. Help. Eradicate, the, disease so. Health, care is a critical. Critical need, and there's. An opportunity for private sector investment. Earlier. We saw the data with the growth a number, of young people the. Growth of the middle class, so. That's. One of the things as a challenge, for us is really trying, to define, a market when there's not a lot of data not a lot of research. Not. A lot of hard figures, on market, analysis, and healthcare I. Think. For for hospitality, you know it's it's really and, we got to step back for a minute and understand, the model of hospitality.
So Marriott. Like Hilton like Hyatt has what they call an asset, light model, meaning, that you have a third party ownership, that, actually owns the building and the land and Marriott. Or Hyatt or Hilton comes in to manage, that asset for the owner and so when we start looking at Africa and you hear about those misconceptions. Certainly. It raised, Challenge, is about a US company can, I get my money out can, I get my, fees that I collect for running that hotel can. I find the talent and the staffing down there you, know in some countries we go into we, have to spend. A lot of time training and that means you have to bring in expat. Workers, to, do, that training, and that can be difficult and challenging and. More, so I think with the individuals, especially if they haven't been to a certain country they, have that perception. Of safety security. You. Know being able to have, a family down there while, I'm helping train and build this hotel and, so I think those are the realities, of what, we have to deal with in that perception. When we go into a market, especially if we don't have the experience there, that, would that we have in the hospitality, industry. Jeff. Let me ask you a more pointed question, along those lines of misconceptions. We heard earlier in the day this idea of talking, about extraction, industries, so, there's this idea when people a lot of people think about the African continent, they think about extracting, natural resources. For profit, from foreign companies gold. Oil. Certainly. Cocoa, diamonds, this kind of thing but, I'm guessing there's a lot more to the story today than maybe there was 50 years ago can you speak to that sure, well I think you, know being now three years in the oil and gas industry, I'm not. Necessarily an expert I've, learned a lot more than I knew going in and the. Industry, gets a bit of a bad reputation and, I'd say rightly so for a behavior for, decades especially many years ago where you know if you had, to sign off from the hilum you know from the president you could go in and do whatever he wanted in countries, in terms, of resource extraction. Of. Resources and, I think that the industry is really. Is. Really much more sophisticated than it used to be and I'm, happy about that because one of the reasons I joined cosmos, is because we have a commitment to transparency to. Business ethics I think, you, know when I hear the story about extracting, resources from. Africa, I think, it tells such a small, part of the story because I'm partnering, with governments, that we are paying massive taxes, and royalties to and in. A perfect world those resources, will trickle to through to. The the citizens who will benefit now it's not always the case, you know I worked when I was at the State Department I was the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Human Rights so. I I heard horror stories all, over the world and especially, focusing, on if' a course in, Africa, was particularly sensitive to stories that I was hearing on the continent, but, I would say over the last several decades and especially the last I'd say decade, we've. Seen a great, deal more commitment. To transparency. We. Are part of something called the extractive, industry transparency. Initiative, so all of our contracts, are published, online I would. Say some of our government partners. Don't always love that but, I think for. Us it's a great way to communicate, to, the citizens, in these countries just, how much we're paying in terms of taxes in term and and, journalists. Civil society. Concerned. Citizens, can follow the trail and see you, know how much resource, the, government has benefited, from and hopefully that will see its way to to, infrastructural, projects, and other ways in to citizens, in, create improving the lives of citizens there, so I think transparency has, changed, a lot that's. That's headed off that concerns, about corruption both in Africa and with the companies working that had been working in Africa and. I'm. Very proud to see that I'm proud to see that there's been a lot more commitment, to local communities, in areas, in which we're working, a lot, of the corporate social responsibility. Enthusiasm. Is increased over the over the last decades. And I'd say right now we have an extremely, robust. CSR, plan that, works to engage in with, the communities in which we're working whether, we're working offshore in, Senegal.
Mauritania, We're working with the fisherman communities, there you. Know we were working in Cameroon, in a community, that lacked access, to clean drinking water, we went, and talked to the community talked, about their biggest challenges and we're able to address those in ways, that really increased, and improve the lives of the of the communities, and those living in the community so I'm really happy, about that because that has been something that's changed significantly I, will, say another misconception, to, your earlier question not, necessarily, related, to oil and gas is the. This sort of false narrative, that exists in the u.s. about, Africa. And and I would say even I. It's across the board in a number of different areas but even getting down to physical, security when, I talk to you, know folks at our headquarters it's not necessarily folks that spend a lot of time in Africa but they say whoa, you just got back from country, X you know how do you, know how, was it you know and, they you know it sounds really dangerous and I say you live in Dallas you. Know like you want to talk about like that you have a much better chance I have a much better chance of getting shot in Dallas than, I do in Monrovia, or Brazzaville. Or Dec car so, I think it's a very on. The media still, has a very unsophisticated. Narrative. For Africa, it's not helpful and, it's, changing. Slightly, but. When I hear educated, people asking, these silly questions like that you, know I take a moment to explain, the irony, especially, something like you know am I gonna get shot in place X Y or Z but I, think, it's not helpful it needs to change I think panels, like this are helpful I think having you know education. At colleges, and high schools and, certainly, in the mainstream press is very helpful but it's gonna take time and it's sad to me that 25, years after this. When I started working to kind of I'm still having these silly, conversations. But it's important, yeah great, thank you let's, turn the conversation a little bit more toward competition, so, I've heard recently this, this idea of or this phrase of new. Scramble, for Africa I think there have been a couple of op eds and we talked about this and we were preparing for the panel. And. If we think about a Scramble. For Africa we, think you know China is the winner so far China's been investing, over seventy five billion, dollars. U.s. in the African continent, on an annual basis, so, who are you all finding, as your main competitor is either foreign or local. Or national in, each of your industries, and income and why don't we we start with you perhaps yes. Sure so I think all the the major US hotel. Brands, are down in Africa, for the most part I would say probably our closest, competitor, from that standpoint is Hilton, Hilton, has about 40 hotels down there and if, you were paying. Attention back, to BER of last year they, announced a 50 million, dollar investment plan, to get their portfolio, size up to 100 hotel.
And Certainly, when you start to think about that where they put their resources where they put their developers, to. Go into these countries and, find, a third-party, owner to. Manage their asset, for them that. Creates competition and that's a good thing I think it, keeps it. Keeps the industry, transparent. Certainly. There's no one major player down there and. And then that's just the u.s. side of it when I look to the other global operators. In. Hospitality, a core is probably. Only. Second, to us from the number of hotels that they have again being a French company they. Have 96 hotels on the continents, across. 19, different countries and their pipeline, again very robust, over the next several years is, to, grow and develop their, portfolio, and scale so, it's certainly a landscape. Out there that we're very, keen to make sure that we stand up resources, we have offices in Cape Town and, Dubai, where we service the continent, from and. When we think about it you know some of our other competitors are actually pulling their offices back they're, going back into Europe and back into Asia, and. And when you start to think about that you think that gives us an edge being, in, the continent, and being able to make those connections which. Are so critically, important, in any business slowing down there okay, what. Do you see in terms of competition for amethyst, so. Primarily. Companies. From India, when. It comes to laboratories. And, health a, lot, of the African, governments. Will send samples, to India for testing. Also. You see, that many, of the medications are, coming, from India, and. To sub-saharan Africa. So. The. Opportunity. For US companies, is, now. To really, get engaged and, look at local. Partnerships, and. Look. At ways to really. Improve. The quality of health for example. For. PEPFAR the HIV. Program, that's, sponsored, by the US they, purchase. Approximately, five billion, dollars, worth of. Drugs. For AIDS, annually. And. Seventy. To eighty percent of, those drugs are manufactured.
Either By, companies. In China, or India. None. Of those drugs are purchased, on the continent, so. There's a tremendous opportunity, when. It comes to pharmaceutical. Manufacturing. In healthcare if, you look at the population, growth sixty, percent of the world's population, will reside, in Africa by, 2050. And. Drugs. Aren't manufactured. There they're. Imported. So. Looking. At those US. Companies, where, there's a market that's pretty much untapped, when it comes to pharmaceutical. Laboratories. And healthcare in many cases, we. See that as an opportunity okay. Great. Jeff, what do you think about this this. New Scramble, for Africa. I've. Got a lot of thoughts, first. An, apology, though I'm not sure if any of you noticed I've been checking my phone sporadically. I hate doing that as a panelist but my wife and I are expecting a daughter any day maybe any hours so so, I'm sorry if I, don't. Yeah. If. I'm gone when it happens BLB. In the dog house but anyway so that's why I'm a little distracted, so apologies, first in, terms of competition on the continents, I you. Know cosmos. Energy is a deep. Offshore, oil. And gas exploration company. So we have some very sophisticated technology. And, I will say we don't have a lot of competition. From countries, that have, generally, been mentioned, as those, that are giving American, industries. Are a run for their money on the continent, with there, really isn't a Chinese or Indian company. That doing, the the deep offshore work, that we're doing presently, I mean it doesn't mean there won't be some, time soon, but but where we work, tends to be very specific very. Targeted but I will say our industry, and I, have seen also in other industries, that the, challenges, of other. Companies. From other parts of the world challenging. American, companies but I don't, see I mean, I don't lose a lot of sleep about this not just because I make cosmos. I see, American, companies being some of the best in the world at what they do what. Does make me lose sleep is, when. There, isn't a transparent, bidding process, for some of these efforts and. When there is still, corruption, on the continent and as you saw from Landry's, slides there's corruption all over the world, but I don't think we should ever just talk about corruption in terms of Africa but I'm an African estai work in Africa and corruption, in Africa bothers, me and it's. Of concern because I see contracts, going to not always the best player, in a, given bidding. Process, whether it's our industry, or others so that, is a challenge I but. I will say in a transparent, process, where you've got companies, from different parts of the world competing, on a level playing field and doing, good work whether they're building roads or hospitals, or Parliament, Buildings I welcome. That when, I'm in country X and I'm driving on a road I don't know if it's built by a Chinese, company or a German. Company or a South African company I just, want there to be a road there and I'm happy there's a road there so I think sometimes. That that. Fear. Of Scramble for Africa is, a little overblown I think. There's enough needs on the continent, that honest, ethical, players, business. Players are welcome in all the countries in which I've worked I've worked in 41 countries in Africa and I can. See a lot of needs and every single one of them so, I worry. Less about a Scramble, for Africa in, terms of who's gonna be there but, I do think. It's important, for us to make sure the processes, there are. Transparent. And ethical, and that, corruption, is is stamped.
Out And I think we're seeing progress in that way interesting, interesting commentary, on this I think. Thus. Far we've been talking really about Africa, as a continent, and other speakers I think every, speaker up and until we, have taken the stage has, reminded. Us that Africa. Is not a monolith, that there is individual, individuality. Across, nations, in. In culture, society, and economics. As well so. For example IMF, has predicted, that Ghana will be the third fastest, growing economy, in the world with growth rates of over 8% I, see someone waving to us you must be from Ghana. Congratulations. And, this, growth rate is even meant to outpace India, and Ethiopia which. Has really been the the largest growing economy, in Africa over the last decade. So, first. What are your companies doing in Ghana to to harness this growth, this opportunity. And if, not Ghana where else are you seeing at a nation, state level, opportunities. So. Amethyst. We are building, two, facilities, right now in Ghana one is a tuberculosis. Isolation. Center in contempo, for. US. Army Corps of Engineers. The. Second project we're, building a laboratory in Accra, that. Will provide. Pilot-scale. Pharmaceutical. Manufacturing. Testing. For health commercial, sectors AG sectors, and also. Repository. Where you can safely securely, store, samples. So. We, see Ghana as a. Great. Place to do business, from. The people I think, one thing that I've. Heard a lot, is the people, so. Going, into a country where. People. Are. Embracing. Your. Company, embracing, your business, where it's a pleasure to work with them where, you, can you, know interact. With universities. And there's. So. Much young talent. So. That's what we see particularly. In Ghana, the. Roads I, started. Going to Ghana in 2012. I spend, about 50% of my time in Ghana I just came back Monday, so I'm there every other month I spend we, have office, in. Accra, so. I see a big difference in the roads when I first started going to Ghana in 2012. The, traffic, on. The. Road from the airport, the. Road to be Trude. You. Can see that there's a lot of progress when, it comes to reducing, traffic which. I think is very important. You, also see a commitment, to standards, on working with the Ghana FDA, they.
Become, Accredited to ISO in. Most of their laboratories. They, are, instituting. A new power cease to, ensure. That the, imports, meet certain standards so. In Ghana I've seen quite, a bit of progress. More. So than many of the other countries that that, we work with. I. Mean. I love Ghana I could talk about Ghana forever, the. Ghanaian people I think Kimberly made a great point it's a wonderful, place to do business it's a wonderful place to go. My. First trip to Ghana was in 2001, I was on a congressional, delegation with, John Lewis and JC. Watts and there. Was a new president elected, President John Kufuor, you. Had him in a key sort, of democratic. Transition, you had a, quote you, had Kofi, Annan at. The UN I mean it was really Ghana's, starting to really come into its own and. So. So that was two, lifetimes, of go for me but, ever, since then I've seen Ghana I've seen ghanaians taking, leadership roles across the continent, in terms of NGOs, not, just the UMP but the highest levels of the UN but, also you know the the NGOs that are doing valuable. Invaluable work all throughout the continent I've worked with Ghanaians and in Zimbabwe. In, in, Sudan, in DRC. I mean just a wonderful, country, and wonderful, people but. Let's. You know there's also the good, with the bad in terms of the growth it's been an amazing story but I've got Ghanaian friends that remind me older, friends, who say you know back when during independence our economy, was about the same size as South Korea, so. For all that Ghana recently. Has really risen up he said you know I sometimes look. At what's happened in South Korea and I think that, could have been us now, that doesn't mean it's not gonna be because, things are really moving up you've got six of the 10 fastest-growing, economies. In Africa but these are relatively small economies, that have grown significantly and, and, we hope I certainly hope that they continue to do so so it's a great story. Story's. Not over but, the story so far is very promising, especially over, the last decade. So Ghana. Is a great place cosmos energy has, been has really enjoyed working there we've, got there's a president there president who fought oh really. Sharp. Guy he's got a terrific team. Around him his, finance minister can, afford gotta really. Sharp you know internationally, recognized. Experts. And I think you've got a real. Sharp, team leading. Cosmos. Initially. Had done a lot of you, know has had a lot of luck exporting. Oil. And. Gas but now you've got domestic, consumption to to to, keep pace for, the economy to keep pace you've got a lot of domestic, needs so, whether it's oil or natural gas you're, seeing the. The resources, are there now, the government, has has, risen to the challenge and now the economy, has has great. Potential and potential to continue at that growth rate going, forward so I'm jealous I think Kimberly spends a lot more time in Ghana than I do but as you can see I'm very happy. With that the black star soccer team just amazing, although, this year both the US and Ghana, not making it the, World Cup, sad, sad. And a bit of an aberration, at least for Ghana maybe not for the US but, a great place to work a great place to visit and very, welcome okay, what about Marriott, plans, in in Ghana or other countries, sure continent, yes so we have one hotel operating, there today under. Protium, we're getting ready this year to open our first Marriott, and Accra, so that's that's exciting, we also have in our pipeline probably. One more lame, already in hotel from. The Starwood portfolio, that will be opening there as well so we're looking forward to that I think, when we start to look across, other countries. Certainly Kenya, is a. Country that we're very interested in and have some great, deals coming, up in there Mozambique. Uganda, Liberia, all, mentioned, today Botswana, Tanzania. And. Then we talk about North Africa, and the continuation, of, South Africa, as well so certainly, there's. Probably, more countries out there that I'd like to list in terms of growth and development but our developers, are doing a fantastic job, like, we said we see this as a really. Untapped, market especially when it comes to hospitality, and. Getting our hotels, and brands, into those countries, great. And as, as Marriott is a large, company global, brand one, of the things that we work with and with our students, is this idea of as you're entering new markets. How. Do you how. Do you maintain, your brand pillars while at the same time meeting the needs and are adapting, to the culture or local needs of wherever.
It Is that you're entering sure, so, it's, it's it's a great point it's a great question, because as. I mentioned earlier Merritt has 30 brands globally, 12. Of which are on the African, continent, and this, really comes down to the education. When we go into a marketed, when or when we're looking at a hotel Merritt. Has very what I'll call uncompromising. Standards. When, it comes to, the, physical layout of the hotel or the size of the room or you. Know the the certain things that you expect, to be there if Jeff goes to the bar he needs to have his drink of choice at, the bar and that's very important, in terms of making sure that we can deliver on those standards that customers, expect to do there's, a hundred and ten million, loyalty. Members with Marriott Rewards ritz-carlton, and rewards in SPG those. Members, when they travel, and they do travel to Africa they expect, certain things to be done at the hotel so part of our developers, job is they're meeting that owner to, talk about running their hotel, is to, educate them on that aspect. And that element now, that said I think where we can get into the African experience and. Really take that hospitality. In that warm welcome and that, produce, that Africa, is is certainly, known for and those flavors in the food and the the soya in Nigeria, and introduce. That into the customer, is really. When they entered the door and that's, where again we go back to hiring local talent, making sure that they're trained, but, yet they can share their stories their experiences. And really, give that African, welcome that we're looking for and our customers. Are looking for okay, and Kimberly. From from your point of view you working one of the most highly regulated, industries. In the United States really, healthcare essentially, can, you compare working in this industry in the US with any.
African, Countries. It's. Very different and it's been a learning experience, so, in, the, US where Quality, Assurance compliance. And healthcare, is it's. A requirement many. Of the countries we work in they have an immature quality. System. Where. They may have a, system, in place that's, not enforced, completely, or, in some instances they don't have a system in place so. You have, to really look at what you're marketing, what you're selling, and who you're selling to in each country. That. We work in is very very different, so. Initially. We would go in you know our company we provide support. For ISO. Accreditation. And. We're. Talking to countries, that may. Not have a laboratory may, not have standards, in place so. They're, not at the point where they're looking at accreditation. So. We really had to, contain. Our pitch look, at our services, and look at our offerings, and change the way we, approach, Quality. Assurance and compliance, but, one thing across the board every. Country that we've dealt with they, have a need for they. Understand, the. Need and the importance, of the. Services, that we offer which, is the, first step. So. I have one final question for you all this has been a really fantastic, conversation. Before I turn it over to the audience for questions and, I'd like to focus selfishly, on the business of the center for global business, we are in the business of, training. Students training, students and preparing them to be the next generation of global business leaders, so, if you had any tips or guidance, maybe, one from each of you two to. Inspire any of the students in the audience who are interested, in working in the African continent, what what would that piece of advice be. Jeff. Well. I think sometimes. I speak. It on panels and folks, will read my bio and someone. Will come after up to me afterwards this be like wow you had such a great plan you know you knew that you'd be doing this this this and it looks like it all plan came together but there there was no plan like.
I Think the, students. Don't listen to that, okay. Let's say there. Was no plan. Sentence don't say, that how about that because. I you. Know even when I came back from Africa I thought oh that was great I spent a year there great. Experiences, wonderful. People and I sort of closed, that chapter on, my, life but then. You know I had many opportunities over, the years to continue to stay engaged in Africa, and a, certain point I became I hate, to use the term expert, but let's say experienced. Working, in Africa and, because. And because I always. Kind of was nimble, and kind of kept my eye open for the next great, opportunity. While trying to do, the best at the things that I was where, I was at the time I had. A very varied, career but it always it sort of built, you know the career was Beach job was built upon the previous jobs I had so keep, our eyes open for great opportunities, don't. Be set in your ways I took I had a couple of degrees here and there they've been helpful I went to law school not that I'm recommending, that to anyone but it's you know it was a useful degree, I. Spent. Some time in the military which helped not only shape me but but shape my worldview but also help. Get the military better experience. And. Expertise. In terms of Africa, in terms of my role there but I would say have a plan but be flexible and, there's. A great number of opportunities there, across, various, industries sectors. Government. NGO. Private. Sector it's just it's a it's a wonderful place to work but just keep your eyes open okay great, thank you Kevin, so. I completely. Agree with Jeff you, got to be flexible you know in hospitality, we're, looking for that spirit, to serve right you've got to want to help someone out and. That's certainly very. Very important. For us as a company, and certainly the industry as a whole you. Know the one, thing I will say and I'd be remiss if I didn't bring up a good example that we did in Rwanda. So the Aquila Institute. For women. Is actually, a college, down, in Rwanda, that gives, hospitality. Degrees and so, in, 2012. Now, keep in mind we just opened our first hotel there in 2016. So 2012. We partnered with them and. Actually, took. Their graduates, from the hospitality, and we brought them to our hotels, in Dubai and Doha to. Work there and to get that hands-on experience so. Fast forward to 2016. When, we opened the Kigali, Marriott, we, actually, had 25. Of those, graduate, students, working in managerial, and supervisory. Rolls and that, to me is something that you really have to embrace. The local talent yet, if you're sitting here in this room and thinking about you, know do I want to have a job or career in hospitality I'll, tell you it's more than just food, and beverage or cleaning rooms or checking people in at the front desk, there's HR, there's IT there's. Finance, and accounting so many many disciplines can, certainly have in a very adventurous, career and, like Jeff said you know keep an open mind be, flexible, and go, for the adventure, it is quite rewarding okay thank, you thank you really so. For, companies. That are interested in. Getting. Involved in regulated. Markets, Africa. Offers, a unique opportunity because. Of the ease. Of getting. Drugs. Through, medical. Devices approved, so for example, we've. Worked with small businesses, with large businesses, in the u.s. that. Instead. Of going first for US FDA approval, which takes a, decade. And, thirty, million, dollars, or plus, depending on what it is you're doing. We've, helped them get into, Ghana. Market, where. You may be able to get approval, in a, matter, of months a much. Lower cost. You know under a hundred thousand, dollars so. Definitely. Look at Africa, as, an opportunity, for regulated. Markets. Also. Be, prepared, be. Prepared have. A local partner a. Lot, of what was mentioned as challenges. If. You, have a local partner you can mitigate many. Of the challenges, so, working. With the US government. Department. Of Commerce offers. Free, and low-cost, resources. For US businesses. We. Use them all the time so. Get, involved. Meet. With them find, out what resources they have help, them help. You identify, qualified. Local. Partners, is. Key and be patient. Have, resources. Have. Resources, that, we'll, be. Able to last the. Long haul, be. Committed. Don't. Necessarily, expect that where something may take two years here, it might take five. Years or more there. We've. Been working. On our lab project. For this I guess our six year and. We. Meet large, organizations. Small organizations. That have been working on projects, for a decade, so. They've had to go through numerous changes of government. So. Definitely. Be. Prepared to. Deal with that be committed, to. Really. Invest. In Africa, okay. Thank, you thank you very much to to the panel and with that.
Well. Open questions, to the audience and as a reminder there are two floor mics so you are welcome to to head to the mic to adjust, your question. I've. Been dying to ask it for for. Each session my. Name is Yvonne captain, I teach amid. George Washington, University, I teach Latin, American, and international affairs. And lately. My, research has been on South, South, relations. Between, Latin, America and Africa and, I. Didn't hear Brazil. Come up I didn't hear Argentina, come up but. When you were talking about. Competitiveness. And the. New Scramble, for Africa, ten. Years ago I would have bet that Brazil. And. Well, particularly, Brazil and the Lula and Argentina. Would have given both. The United, States and even China a, run, for their money, now. With the political setbacks, economic. Issues, you know maybe not so much in Latin, America, but they are they're. Bringing. They're bringing. More embassies, they're bringing more consulates. They're, bringing their businesses, there so, I'm wondering, if any of you, feel a sort of a competitiveness. With. Latin American. Countries. And. Governments. Who. Wants to take it. So. For. Example in Ghana you see Brazil. Companies. Or more. And more active, construction. Projects. You see that infrastructure. But. In. Ghana. Definitely, see the dominance, of, China. Lebanese. As. Far, as a. Lot. Of the commercial sector they. Typically. The. Grocery, stores most. Most of the stores are Lebanese owned so. I. Don't. Know. To. That question, I. Think. It'd be great to have more Brazilian. Companies. I mean Brazil's a massive, economy, they've got some very sophisticated corporations. Especially. There's five Lusa phone countries in, Africa, not to limit them to those but you know it's it's challenging, for American businesses, to work in Angola. In. Guinea Bissau laws particularly in getting us out but you. Know in são thomé where my company is working. It's, is a challenge the language culturally. Is not that big of a deal but I mean it's challenging, every word you know your different cultures all over the continent over the world but, the language is particularly challenging so having brazilians I worked, in I started, an office in Angola and Mozambique I was happy to bring in Brazilians, to work. In those offices because they had the language and Brazilians. Are awesome anyway right I mean they're always lively. And and. Always fun to have part of any operation, but I would, say we particularly, valued. Their language, abilities as well as their professional demeanor so, once. Again I'm not somebody that wants to exclude other comfort other countries, and. Competition. I think is a good thing this country is a lot of benefits because of our competitive, nature. Of our economy and I, think to share that in Africa is is a blessing, for the continent, so I say bring, on everybody, as plenty of plenty of work to be done. Thank. You any. Other questions. Please. Good, afternoon, my name is Jennifer Jo I'm a visiting scholar from, the Institute, for African Studies at GW. So. My question is actually to, the Hermitage, technology. You, said a lot about what, you do in helping bring us. Companies to have with a particularly. In the healthcare sector, so, my question, is how to use to were the opportunities that, Africa, provide, for you responsibly. So, I'm sort. Of acting, back to the Pfizer issue in Nigeria, way back in 1990, where there were a lot of healthcare. Equipment. And, medicines. That was shipped to northern and give you by US companies but. The. Effect of that is still ongoing for, decades later so, there's opportunity, in Africa but I. Would. Like to hear about responsible. Stewardship of those opportunities. So. Our, focus on, laboratories. We see labs as an area that is very. Overlooked. Because. Labs, are required, to. Test products, so to test drugs that are coming into the country the government needs, to have labs so, they can do testing, they, also need to have standards, which, they test against so. Our, core, business is really addressing exactly what you mentioned because strengthening. The governance, of the government's, ability to do testing, making. Sure that they have proper protocols, in place so, that no substandard. Drugs will get into their market, is you. Know the, reason why we're building a lab in Ghana so. I think you. Know the. Public-private. Partnerships, are opportunities. To address those types, of, concerns. But. Also really. Strengthening. The, government, government's. Ability to actually. Enforce. Develop. And implement, standards, is key and then, getting more US, companies really. Involved, competition, because. When you have, competition. Then, substandard. Products. It's it's, more difficult for them to get to the market when you have fair practices. For bidding. Where. Drugs. Get to the market based on a competitor.
Bid Process where. Organizations. Are audited, the government, should be going and auditing, companies. That are actually bringing drugs into their, countries, so our. Core business is really addressing those types of things, we. Work a lot with malaria, there was a study in 2012. Where 70% of the antimalarials. And Ghana were counterfeit, and. Malaria. Is the number one disease. Threat, for the, u.s., u.s., military, for African, militaries, it kills more children than. Any other disease, so, and if you think of the number, of substandard. Drugs. So, there's, a tremendous, opportunity for. US, businesses to. Really, address those. Type of concerns, there, are several businesses, that are working with I think Pfizer and some other, pharmaceutical. Companies to develop technologies. Using like. ICT, technologies. Where they're, actually tracking counterfeit. Drugs. And, making. Sure that drugs are. The. Proper strength, so. I think does that answer your question. And. Maybe we'll do one more question if there is a brief one. Okay, well here a fun question. Business. Coaching and consulting company, and I, am also a Terp but, I graduated. From the Business School before it was a Smith Business School, and. And. I'm also a former Marriott, employee okay, so what, I'm curious, about, I've been reading Tom Peters, newest book the excellence, of dividend, and I'd also gone, through Erik, Ruiz the startup way and, in, both of those books they're encouraging. Us to stop using, terms like human, capital, and human resources, because, we tend to look at people as objects. They're, suggesting. For leadership, in the coming years, we create. Processes that, encourage, people to develop themselves to, develop their own strengths. So I'm just curious whether, any of you guys and your companies are looking that shift the leadership, in, that perspective. Happy. To try, and take a stab at that one. Of. Course so so, people are probably. Number one resource obviously, again being asset light we, invest in our contracts, and we invest in our people and and mr. Marriott's, motto is take, care of your associates, the associates take care of the the guests, who then return and bring, money. To the business to, make, it successful, and so you, know I do appreciate a different, look at how, do you. Change. The investment. Into, the, individuals, right because, to give them more freedom more flexibility. And one of the things that we would typically do in a core, training class as we said everyone in this and we put, up a bunch of powerpoints, and we tell them here's what you need to know you, know whereas today you can go on youtube and watch a 15-second. Video about how to do something and so, that really is changing how, we think, about training, and delivering. That education, to our associates. And so, that's one of the things that we're undergoing, is to get rid of kind of those past practices, and, to start embracing some, new technology, because again today so, we saw on the slides a lot, of people have a phone right, it's very easy to get access and to watch a simple video on how to do something and let, them make their own choices, versus. Telling them it must be done this way so, thank. You for asking, and. With. That please join me in thanking once, again our panel.