Washington, DC — The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and The Corporate Council on Africa (CCA) will co-host a unique program honoring three African Heads of State at the Exchange's historic Wall Street headquarters on Friday, September 22, 2006. President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia, President Armando Guebuza of Mozambique, and President Jakaya M. Kikwete of Tanzania will participate in the event. The presidents are being honored due to their outstanding commitment to promote development and investment opportunities in their countries.
Previous African Presidents to have rung the bell include former Zambian President Frederick Chiluba, President Thabo Mbeki of South Africa, and President Festus Mogae of Botswana. The event marks the first time that three African Presidents will visit the Exchange in unison and it underscores Africa's rising importance in the global economy.
President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Africa's first democratically elected female Head of State, is currently leading her country through an important economic transition. Liberia is keen to attract investors to develop the country's abundant natural resources and to rebuild key infrastructure such as electricity, transportation, and telecommunications. Tanzania was recently highlighted as one of the top economic reformers in the world by the World Bank. Tanzania's political stability, resources, and location make it a strategic investment destination in Africa. Mozambique's economy has grown by 8 to 10 percent annually over the last decade. Mozambique has also made strides in strengthening its business environment and has significant potential for investment in natural resources, infrastructure projects, agriculture, fishing, and tourism.
The three Presidents will begin their visit with a private meeting with the NYSE's senior leadership and a tour of the Exchange floor. The Heads of State will then participate in the famous closing bell ceremony-an event that is seen by an estimated 120 million people worldwide. The closing bell ceremony will take place promptly at 4:00 pm
The New York Stock Exchange began operations on May 17, 1792, and is the oldest and largest stock exchange in the world. Over 2,780 companies are listed on the NYSE, which has a market capitalization in excess of U.S. $20.8 trillion. International companies account for over U.S. $7 trillion. This event marks the first time that the New York Stock Exchange will place such a high profile on investment opportunities in Africa.
CCA, established in 1993, is a nonpartisan 501(3) (c) membership organization of nearly 200 U.S. companies dedicated to strengthening the commercial relationship between the United States and Africa. CCA members represent nearly 85 percent of total U.S. private sector investments in Africa. Visit CCA on the web at www.africacncl.org