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Whitman Partners with New York State for New ‘Africa Business Center’ to Promote International Trade

The Whitman School of Management at Syracuse University and Empire State Development (ESD) announces a new partnership to launch a state-wide “Africa Business Center” focused on developing markets and enhancing international business performance for New York State companies interested in the growing markets in Africa.

By leveraging the academic and institutional knowledge at the University and combining it with the assets deployed around the world by ESD, the center promotes and informs New York businesses of opportunities in Africa and provides them with relevant information, contacts, and skill sets to compete in the global economy.

Further, the new partnership provides focused training programs to New York State businesses to increase their ability to do business with African countries. Whitman School faculty provide expertise and Whitman students offer support to assist businesses as they build relationships with African countries. To buttress SU’s contribution, ESD’s international division has created an “Africa Desk” staffed to focus on servicing the needs of interested companies. All the resources of the international division including its overseas office in South Africa are leveraged to support finding opportunities for N.Y. firms, particularly the needs of small- to medium-sized business.

“The establishment of this partnership links the expertise of the Whitman School at SU and ESD’s international trade specialists to identify and promote trade opportunities for New York State businesses in Africa,” says New York State Governor David A. Paterson. “By educating, encouraging, training, and assisting our local businesses, we will undoubtedly promote the trade ties between New York State and Africa, resulting in a more educated and engaged business community. Let this be a model for institutions of higher education, state government and the private business sector working together successfully.”

“This is exactly the kind of public-private-nonprofit partnership that Syracuse University strives to catalyze as an anchor institution in our community—indeed, in New York State,” says SU Chancellor and President Nancy Cantor. “We’re leveraging the strengths of SU, ESD, and participating businesses to build a whole that is much greater than the sum of its parts, helping assure New York’s global competitiveness in the next economy.”

“This new partnership with the state is a natural extension of the Africa Business Center in the Whitman School and of Export NY, a successful international business education program Whitman has been running for twelve years,” says Melvin T. Stith, dean of the Whitman School. “The partnership is a great step towards enhancing the economic vitality of the state with an increasingly attractive international emerging market. Whitman is proud to be the only business-school pioneering this type of collaboration with the state.”

Spearheaded by Peter Koveos, the senior director of international programs and the Kiebach Chair in International Business Studies in the Whitman School, and by Pierre Yourougou, clinical associate professor of finance and managing director of the Africa business program, the partnership seeks to increase the number of New York companies doing business with Africa.

“This unique partnership between SU and ESD will ensure that New York remains competitive in the global economy by fostering investment and job creation between international business interests and local businesses in New York State,” says Dennis Mullen, ESD chairman and CEO. “ESD and Whitman’s expertise and resources will certainly advance the export prospects and global competiveness of our New York firms. I applaud the Whitman School for working with ESD to advance our goals.”

“The African continent is a promising emerging market that New York State companies cannot ignore,” says Sam Natapoff, ESD senior vice president of international economic development, who also serves as the Governor’s senior advisor on international commerce. “Africa has been actively reforming to encourage business activity and now is the time to promote New York’s trade opportunities with the country. I look forward to working with SU to ensure New York’s success in the global marketplace.”

Empire State Development is New York’s chief economic development agency, committed to being recognized on a global scale as the economic development engine driving job growth, strategic investment and prosperity in New York State. ESD is intent on paving the way for New York State to become the leader of the innovation economy and one of the most business-friendly, productive and competitive economic development climates in the world. ESD also oversees the marketing of “I LOVE NY,” the State’s iconic tourism brand. For more information, visit

The Whitman School of Management at Syracuse University is a state-of-the-art business school in both programming and facility, which reflects both SU’s commitment and history of innovative business education and the Whitman School’s role as a cutting-edge, experiential learning environment. The Whitman School continues to be ranked among the nation’s top business programs. US News and World Report ranked Whitman’s undergraduate program 40th in the nation and Bloomberg Businessweek ranked the same program as 47th in the nation. US News and World Report ranked the Whitman MBA program 59th among the nation’s business graduate programs. The Whitman independent study program, iMBA was identified among the top AACSB-accredited online graduate programs, by the US News special report on e-learning and by the Financial Times. Whitman’s entrepreneurship program has been ranked nationwide by Entrepreneur magazine/The Princeton Review; Fortune Small Business; and US News & World Report. Whitman’s supply chain management program was recognized as one of the top programs for operations by Entrepreneur Magazine/The Princeton Review and by AMR Research.

For more information, contact Laura, public affairs specialist, Empire State Development, at (716) 846 8239 or, or Amy Schmitz, director of communications, Whitman School of Management, at (315) 443-3834 or

Amy Schmitz | Newswise Science News
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