For Mali, a landlocked country in West Africa, it’s an uphill battle to grow its economy, said Noel Dayara, deputy head of Mission Mali.
“Mali is a land of opportunity not only in natural resources and agriculture, but also in ITs,” said Dayara, who has invested heavily in the development of the technology industry in a new building.
Diarra visited the Port of Philadelphia as part of the country’s trade mission, but is not considered a major trade partner by the International Trade Administration. In 2021, remittances from Mali to the US reached $3.3 million, up from $2.2 million in 2020.
This does not mean that there is no significant business activity from other African countries.
State Senator Sheriff Street serves on the African and Caribbean Commission on Immigrant Affairs in Philadelphia.
According to Street, few people know how much import business Philadelphia does with African countries.
“We bring four to five billion dollars worth of cocoa from Africa at the Port of Philadelphia,” he said. “We also import shea butter and other natural resources that are essential to the production of a wide variety of products.”