July 17, 2023 -- Mayor Turner is leading a three-country trade mission to West Africa from July 17 - July 25th visiting three African countries: Nigeria, Cote d'Ivoire, and Ghana.
This trade mission marks the Turner Administration’s second official visit to Africa following the mayor’s visit to South Africa in 2016.
The delegation accompanying Mayor Turner consists of a diverse group of individuals including Vice Mayor Pro-Tem Martha Castex Tatum, City Councilmembers Tiffany D. Thomas and Karla Cisneros along with members from various sectors and industries including the Texas Medical Center, Chevron, Haliburton, Port Houston, East End Maker Hub and the Ghana-Houston Chamber of Commerce.
The mission will focus on further strengthening the existing political ties between all three countries and Houston by:
"As the most diverse city in the nation, Houston treasures its international connections and the knowledge and expertise they bring into our community,” says Mayor Turner. “Nigeria's position as an energy powerhouse aligns perfectly with Houston as the energy capital of the world. We share many synergies, which is why we have corporations like Chevron and Haliburton joining us. This trip demonstrates our dedication to strengthening links between Houston and Africa."
Houston is home to one of the largest Nigerian populations in the country and is Africa’s second-largest urban trade partner in the United States. Mayor Turner understands that this mission will help bolster Houston's position, strengthening economic ties and expanding opportunities for collaboration with Africa nations.
"It makes sense for us to do everything we can to cultivate relationships with these countries and that is what we aim to do." says Mayor Turner.
This mission will also build upon the six years the City of Houston has celebrated Africa Day and last year’s first-ever Houston Africa Energy Summit, which brought Energy Ministers and Presidential Advisors from nearly 20 African countries to discuss powering Africa’s future with Houston’s energy leaders.
“We recognize the immense value that African nations bring to our community, and we are committed to further strengthening our business ties with the continent," says Mayor Turner. “This trade mission to Africa serves as a pivotal opportunity to nurture existing relationships, forge new partnerships, and deepen our cultural exchanges. Quite frankly, when people on the African continent are looking towards the United States, I want their first impression to be Houston, Texas and for that to happen, Houston must travel there. And what better time to go than when the city has an African American mayor leading the way. This trip is more than just political or cultural; it is also deeply personal."