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President Larbi Speaks at WPI-West Africa Conference 2013-USA

WPI-West Africa Conference 2013In light of fostering community propelled projects for the development of West African Sub-Region, Professor Arthur Gerstenfeld of WPI School of Business, and Co-Founder of WPI-Namibia Project Center, teamed up with a group of West African Immigrants in the Worcester County, Massachusetts to plan for this conference. Leaning on the vast experience of this Professor who has dedicated so much time and thought for some key developments in the southern regions of Africa, the conference aims at inspiring progress in West Africa through small business initiatives, and to enhance opportunities for technological and project based learning for educational endeavors and community developments.

The objectives of the conference are outlined as follows:

  • To provide the West African community in the U.S. with links to the vast resources at their disposal for their respective country’s development. 
  • To organize people with business concepts to form sustainable coalition for aggressive development in their individual countries.
  • To facilitate collaborations between West African and U.S. Higher institutes of learning. 
  • To facilitate business partnerships and connections between West African and U.S. businesses.
  • To initiate an annual forum for exchange of ideas, capacity building, and to develop personal relationships with one another.
  • To establish a resource center to liaise or facilitate international business connections.


This year’s conference focuses on four main areas listed below:

  1. University Education: U.S West Africa Project Based Learning
    • Educational goals
    • Consulting with educational advisors
    • Project based learning vis-á-vis theory based
  2. Promotion of Small Business Investments in West Africa
    • Know the right business
    • Where and how to gather information and the right resources
    • Meeting the right people: Savvy Businessmen/women, Entrepreneurs, Investors
    • How to deal with failure, frustrations, and build your confidence
  3. Public Health and Health Care Delivery 
    • New technologies
    • Understanding the healthcare delivery system
    • Innovations and creativity
  4. Opportunities and Future Directions
    • Getting connected with the right people for the right reasons
    • Responsibilities and Rights
    • Where and how to secure grants and/or loans
    • Legal implications and rights


Conference participants will benefit from a variety of things including but not limited to:

  • Our goal is to have savvy small business owners who can share ideas and other forms of assistance with West African businesses. 
  • To link up with venture capitalists 
  • To have access to new innovations, and entrepreneurs for collaborative technology
  • To know the right agencies to acquire loans and grants for international and local use
  • To gain access to the WPI model for the benefit of our universities 
  • To promote and encourage business owners to create new business opportunities in the West African sub region. 
  • To partner with innovators to market their product in the West African sub-region

RECOMMENDATION: This conference recommends the book “AFRICA—The Next Decade” by Professors Arthur Gerstenfeld and Raphael J. Njoroge, New Canaan, CT: Business Books International, 2005 to all African participants. It is insightful, educative, and above all a comprehensive useful educational tool for anyone interested in the development of Africa.


WPI Conference Details

WPI Programme Outline