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ICC Elects first black global board executive

Information technology guru and founder of West Blue Consulting, Ms. Valentina Mintah, has been elected to the Executive Board of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), at the recently held virtual 2020 World Council Meeting of the organisation.

Mintah, internationally recognised for her expertise in trade facilitation and business process automation, would be the first black woman to hold the position.

Having established West Blue Consulting in 2012, Mintah led her company to successfully develop and deliver a national single window platform for Nigeria, significantly optimising and improving trade facilitation in the country, leading to savings of $25 million per month for the government of Nigeria.

In 2014, West Blue Consulting further harnessed its customs modernisation expertise to develop and implement a national single window platform for Ghana. Within two years of implementation at ports across Ghana, the platform had saved the Government of Ghana about USD 500 million.

This resulted in Ghana rising through the ranks of the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business” index, becoming a vibrant hub for continental trade.

Speaking about her election, Mintah, who serves as Vice Chair of ICC Ghana said: “Despite the current global health and economic crisis, Africa cannot and should not be overwhelmed. It is therefore vital that intra- African trade is strengthened in line with the goal of the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).

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“Therefore, leveraging on the growth opportunities for sustainable intra-African trade is an objective that should be supported for the benefit of the African economy. In addition, focus should be on ways to empower and support small business owners to survive and thrive in the era of covid-19 and beyond, using digital technology and innovative business practices.”

ICC Secretary General, John Denton said: “ICC is delighted to welcome Mintah to its global executive board. Throughout her career, Mintah has championed international trade facilitation both in her home region of West Africa and in a number of transitional economies across the world.

“With her additional role as Vice Chair of ICC Ghana, she is uniquely placed to promote the strengthening of commercial and trade ties within high growth global markets.

The new ICC Executive Board is chaired by MasterCard CEO Ajay Banga, while Maria Fernanda Garza is first vice chair. Aside Mintah, other new members of the executive board are: Sheikh Khalifa Mohammad Al-Thani (Qatar); Sebastian Escarrer (Spain); Dario Gallina (Italy); Shinta Kamdani (Indonesia); Takeshi Niinami (Japan), and Jane Sun (China). Patrick Obath (Kenya) and Harshi Pati Singhania (India) were re-elected to serve second terms on the executive board.

The newly constituted ICC Executive Board has a two year term which began on July 1, 2020.

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