Angelle Kwemo is a Cameroonian businesswoman committed to building the bridge between Africa and the United States and promoting inter-African trade. She is the founding president of « Believe in Africa », African Women in Agriculture and Art (AWAA) and CEO of Astrategik Group. She also worked for seven years in the US Congress as legislative director and counsel for two members of the House of Representatives, William J. Jefferson and Bobby L. Rush.
In 2012, after spending 7 years in the US Congress, she founded Astrategik Group, a firm that provides strategic advice to entities, institutions and companies willing to engage in Africa and emerging markets. Located in Washington DC and Nigeria, the company brings together lawyers and experts with an in-depth understanding of energy, agriculture, trade, finance, public relations and foreign policy of the US, as well as of emerging economies from Africa, Asia and Latin America. She also advises several African heads of states and leaders on these issues.
Angelle Kwemo has developed her expertise in political strategy and international trade thanks to her experience as legislative counsel on these matters in the US. From 2005 to 2012, she advised two congressmen on issues related to foreign policy, international trade, energy, agriculture and healthcare. She also played a key role in congress in shaping US trade policy during Barack Obama’s administration and passing legislation to increase trade relations between Africa and the US. She contributed to the re-authorization of the African trade law commonly known as « AGOA » and to the drafting of the « Africa Investment and Diaspora Act » which aims to give more visibility to the African diaspora in the US. She also coordinated non-partisan parliamentary groups on Africa and founded the «Congressional African Staff Association » whose mission is to promote positive progress in Africa among members of Congress, senators and their staff.
« Believe In Africa » : a commitment for the private sector and women in Africa
In 2013, she launched « Believe in Africa » (BIA). An organization that promotes African solutions to African problems and the role of the African private sector in the development of the continent. BIA works to include the voice of the African private sector in decision-making in Washington. In 2018, the organization partnered with the US Agency for International Development to formulate and promote « Prosper Africa » program launched by the administration of President Donald Trump to facilitate economic exchanges between the United States and Africa and promote the African Continental Free Trade Area (ZLECA) within the diaspora.
Angelle Kwemo is also devoted to the cause of women. In 2017, thanks to the support of the Moroccan group OCP, « Believe in Africa » hosted the first Congress of African Women in Agriculture which led to the creation of the « African Women in Agriculture and Art » (AWAA). A plate-form that aims to support African rural women move from subsistence to commercial farming, drawing inspiration from the Moroccan model of promotion of local products. AWAA trains women in Cameroon, Central African Republic, Ivory Coast, Equatorial Guinea, Benin and Niger. Established in Morocco and Nigeria, the social company already has more than 500,000 women. Its coming congress will be held in Marrakech from June 18 to 19, 2020.
Angelle Kwemo holds a DEA in Business law from the University of Rouen in France and a LLM in International trade and Human rights from the Washington College of Law of the American University in the US.
She has received several recognitions for her commitment and leadership, including the DC government ‘s public service Award and a citation from Maryland’s Governor.
Minority business magazine, Inspire Africa and Africa 24 named her as one of the « 50 most powerful women in business and leadership », « the most inspiring African personality » and one of the « World’s most influential Africans in the Diaspora ». In order to inspire young people, she also published a book entitled « Against all Odds: how to stay on top of the games » which gathers practical advice from her personal experience.