Press Release

Under Secretary Lago Travels to Africa with U.S. Companies to Lead Global Diversity Export Initiative (GDEI) Trade Mission

Tuesday, August 1, 2023
Contact: Office of Public Affairs
Phone: 202-482-3809

WASHINGTON – From August 6-15, 2023, Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade Marisa Lago will lead a Global Diversity Export Initiative (GDEI) Trade Mission to South Africa, Ghana and Nigeria to connect U.S. businesses from traditionally underserved communities with the business communities in emerging African markets. The delegation is comprised of African diaspora-owned and veteran-owned companies from the U.S. automotive, information and communications technology (ICT), and consumer goods industries.

From August 6-8, Under Secretary Lago will be in Johannesburg, South Africa, where she will meet with the Minister of Information and Communications Technology; the Minister of Trade, Industry, and Competition; the Gauteng Province’s Member of Executive Council for Economic Development; and the Governor of the South African Reserve Bank. She will lead the delegation’s participation in networking events and a luncheon discussion among South African and U.S. companies about doing business in South Africa. In honor of South Africa’s National Women’s Day on August 9, she will meet with South African tech entrepreneurs at WomHub, a pan-African incubator for female founders in STEM. The participants will discuss opportunities for start-ups in the United States through SelectUSA Tech, a Commerce Department program that connects early-stage and startup technology companies to prospects for advancement in the U.S. market. She will also host a lunch with local women business leaders to learn from their experiences and successes in the South African market.

From August 9-12, Under Secretary Lago will be in Accra, Ghana, where she will hold bilateral meetings with the Minister of Finance, the Minister of Trade and Industry, the Deputy Minister of Energy, the Director of Diaspora Affairs, and the Mayor of Accra. She will give keynote remarks at the first U.S.-Ghana Business Expo, under the theme “Leveraging U.S.-Ghana Trade Relations for Growth and Prosperity.” This Expo is organized by the American Chamber of Commerce in Ghana, in collaboration with the U.S. Embassy in Ghana and the U.S. Department of Commerce. The Under Secretary will also participate in roundtables with business chambers representing underserved groups from both Ghana and the United States addressing cybersecurity, environmental technologies and the expansion of electric vehicle use in Ghana. 

From August 13-15, Under Secretary Lago will travel to Lagos, Nigeria, for several private sector engagements to discuss digital infrastructure development, health care, and female entrepreneurship. She will meet with the American Business Council to hear insights from local businesses on the Nigerian market. She will host an armchair discussion focused on ways to empower female leadership in the startup community. She will participate in an event with relevant stakeholders to discuss ways to unlock the potential for electric vehicle use in Nigeria. Under Secretary Lago also plans to meet with government officials from the Federal Republic of Nigeria and Lagos State during the trip.

“Leading the GDEI Trade Mission to Africa demonstrates our support for underserved U.S. businesses that are seeking to expand their presence in global markets. This trip also builds on our trade and investment commitments that were announced during the 2022 U.S.-Africa Leaders’ Summit,” said Under Secretary Lago. “South Africa, Ghana and Nigeria present excellent opportunities for U.S. exporters to deepen commercial partnerships that will create jobs and promote inclusive economic prosperity for people across the continent and in the United States.”

This is Under Secretary Lago’s fourth visit to the African continent this year to strengthen U.S. commercial and economic relationships across the continent. In February, she visited Tanzania and Zambia for a series of bilateral engagements. In May, she visited Egypt to co-host the first-ever U.S.-Egypt Joint Economic Commission. In June, she  traveled to Abuja as a member of the U.S. Presidential Delegation to the inauguration of the President of Nigeria Bola Ahmed Tinubu.


About the International Trade Administration
The International Trade Administration (ITA) at the U.S. Department of Commerce is the premier resource for American companies competing in the global marketplace. Operating in more than 100 U.S. locations and 80 markets worldwide, ITA promotes trade and investment, assists U.S. businesses and workers to export and expand globally, and ensures fair trade and compliance by enforcing U.S. trade laws and agreements. For more information on ITA, visit

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