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January 01 2007

Bank of Zambia Governor Caleb M. Fundanga Addresses Roundtable at Operation HOPE Headquarters

Discussion focuses on enhancing business opportunity in Zambia

Los Angeles—May 9, 2007--- On April 26, the Black Business Association of Los Angeles (BBA) and Operation HOPE (HOPE) hosted Dr. Caleb M. Fundanga, Governor of the Bank of Zambia to discuss ways of enhancing economic activities between African Americans and .  During the three hour meeting at the world headquarters of Operation HOPE, Fundanga outlined opportunities how individuals and small businesses can develop profitable relationships and capitalize on the growing economy of Zambia .

“I appreciated the opportunity to meet Dr. Fundanga and gain insight into achievements he and others in similar positions have made to strengthen the economy of Africa,” said Earl “Skip” Cooper II, President and CEO, BBA. “His interest in meeting with African Americans indicates that it is time for us to reciprocate and work to link the economies of Africa and African America for our mutual growth and advancement.” 

The Bank of Zambia is Zambia’s central bank. It is the banker to commercial banks and the Zambian Government. It advises the Government on monetary and financial affairs. The bank recently implemented financial policy that allows anyone operating legally in and paying Zambian taxes to transfer profits out of the country without restriction. Fundanga has been traveling to promote the new policy to the world business community and encourage trade.

Individuals attending the meeting included:  Philip Falese, Attorney at Law; Hakim Hooks, Charisma Reel Estate; Nikki Legesse, President, Ethiopian American Chamber of Commerce; Professor Dr. Chipasha Luchembe; Simphiwe Mdingi, Vice Consul, South African Consulate General’s Office; Lasandra Stratton, Black Business Association; Ben Mekuria, Blenum Global Ventures; Mwelwa Mulenga and Dr. V. Nyirenda.

Zambia became an independent nation in 1964, has a land mass slightly larger than Texas and a population of 11.5 million, 80.6% of whom read and write English.  The country’s economic reform program has gained momentum as President Levy Patrick Mwanawdsa is committed to pursuing policies that maintain a stable macroeconomic environment to attract private sector investment.  For his efforts in achieving the economic stability, Governor Fundanga was recognized as the Central Banker of the Year 2007 by The Banker Magazine, which annually acknowledges the world’s best central bank governor.

Bill Walbrecher, chief operations officer of HOPE who hosted the meeting said, “The meeting was profound, as Dr. Fundanga and the central bank have opened up dialogue for the and Africa to forge stronger alliances by expanding cooperation in trade, investment and technical assistance. Walbrecher also noted that eradication of poverty is still one of Africa’s goals and that HOPE may be able to help by offering financial education to young people through our Banking on Our Future Program.” 

Periodically, Operation HOPE hosts the roundtable as a part of their mission to promote opportunity and encourage entrepreneurship in underserved communities globally.

Those interested in more information about opportunities in , are invited to visit  for more details.