PARIS — Armed with a 100-million-euro investment fund and a vast network, Ghanaian entrepreneur Roberta Annan is eager to leapfrog Africa into the burgeoning global luxury market.
“I’ve appointed myself as an ambassador — nobody has appointed me — to really position people that are doing things so we can rebrand and reposition how people view Africa,” Annan told a gathering here Tuesday organized by investment bank Ohana & Co.
“She is probably one of the best ambassadors for Africa,” Karine Ohana, managing partner of the firm, said by way of introduction, going on to note that the population of the African continent is expected to rise to 2.5 billion by 2050, making it a key trade partner for Europe.
Guests including designer Olivier Theyskens, former French minister Philippe Douste-Blazy and industrialist Laurent Dassault heard how Annan was supporting entrepreneurs like Menaye Donkor, a former Ghanaian beauty queen who presented her cosmetics brand, She-y, at the event. The line, made in Italy, uses ethically sourced shea butter from Ghana and algae from Senegal, with a portion of the proceeds going to the Menaye Charity Organization, which provides education for underprivileged children.
“These are the types of success stories we want to project outside, because the
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