Who We Are
Founded in 2003 by Rosa Whitaker, the first ever Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for Africa under the Administrations of Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton, TWG operates at the nexus of US-Africa economic policy, trade and business development. With offices in Washington, DC, and Accra, Ghana, and strategic partners across Africa, we provide unsurpassed access to opportunities and leaders across the continent.
Rosa Whitaker and the TWG team are at the forefront of the Africa business and investment landscape – not as spectators, but as participants helping to shape the continent’s rise on the global stage.
Our mission is to promote private sector-led growth and business solutions that alleviate poverty and develop local economies in Africa. TWG has a demonstrated record in developing mutually beneficial, “win-win” solutions for global clients, African governments and people across the continent.
Dedicated to a collaborative process, TWG works with clients to create a shared vision of success, and then works to deliver the results. We not only help clients achieve a greater footprint in Africa, but also to build their businesses sustainably while contributing development dividends to countries and the continent as a whole.
We are proud of our unequaled reputation for conducting business with the utmost integrity and personal responsibility. Training in and strict adherence to the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and the U.K. Bribery Act is a requirement for all TWG staff.
Our reputation speaks for itself – more than 85% of TWG’s business has emerged from referrals.
What We Do
- Strategic Counsel
- Investment Facilitation
- Regulatory Navigation
- Government Affairs and Corporate Communications
- Opportunity Identification And Vetting
- Introductions To Key Interlocutors To Make Deals Real
- People And Institution Mapping
- Identification/Mobilization Of Project Financing
- Crisis Management And Negotiations
- Development Of Sustainability Initiatives
TWG’s infrastructure development initiative mobilizes global financing, operators and developers to expand Africa’s infrastructure, from airports, maritime facilities and rail lines, to power, and ICT networks. TWG executes this initiative through a consortium of global developers. We currently have USD $3 billion in projects under development. We continue to broaden our base of partners to address the region’s need for $100 billion in annual infrastructure investments.
Directing Technology-Driven Innovation. Recognizing the massive opportunity for the continent through enabling and disruptive technologies, TWG is investing in innovative local companies that are making a difference for businesses and consumers. We are also introducing global technology firms to Africa and helping them navigate and expand their footprint.Partnerships with Investment Firms. As Africa continues its rapid growth, the continent is becoming increasingly attractive for private equity investment. TWG is actively developing a partnership with a private equity firm that shares its passion for transforming of the African continent’s economy.
What We Deliver
- TWG successfully helped to ensure contract award and to secure required funds.
- TWG supported in key phases of the process, providing strategic advice and assistance with negotiations.
- TWG provided business and competitiveness intelligence and strategic counsel based on unique expertise in the local economic, political and business environment.
- TWG designed and developed an Economic Transformation Initiative which included a local content strategy, creating thousands of jobs and maximizing general economic flow-through from the investment.
- TWG facilitated Presidential-level meetings to discuss and resolve key issues.
- TWG developed the company’s strategy for negotiating with the government, emphasizing the company’s unique value proposition.
- TWG facilitated CEO-Prime Minister introductions and high-level visits for corporate executives.
- TWG brokered a settlement that resulted in a strong commercial partnership.
- TWG negotiated with government officials to get approval for the company’s priority location for the facility.
- TWG successfully secured a reduction in the country’s tax investment code to maximize potential return on investment.
- TWG built local recognition and acceptance of company brand through sustained engagement with government officials and civil society.
- TWG conducted an in-depth analysis of import tariffs and benchmarked against comparable African markets.
- TWG identified a manufacturer able to package the company’s product locally, allowing tariff free status and improving the company’s overall socioeconomic impact in-country.
- TWG successfully raised the company’s profile with Government officials and within the market to prioritize issues, reduce operating costs and safeguard the investment.
- TWG facilitated ongoing high-level engagement with key ministries.
- TWG smoothed regulatory issues to get duty claims processed.
- TWG raised the profile of the investment and its transformative impact in the local and regional press to build reputation of brand.
- TWG successfully helped establish and maximize impact in chosen markets.
- TWG provided analysis of government procurement structures and decision-making processes.
- TWG developed a training module for the company’s sales representatives.
- TWG brokered partnerships with government agencies, nongovernmental organizations, and procurement entities that advanced client needs.
News and Views
“The Whitaker Group is no ordinary business consultancy”, says Salt, a new UK-based magazine and website that explores compassionate business thinking in an inaugural issue profile of Rosa Whitaker.
“This evening I was honored to be among those joining President Barack Obama at the White House to celebrate the renewal of the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act in strengthened form for an unprecedented ten years.”
The AGOA of the future should be a central pillar of a multifaceted and integrated engagement between the United States and Africa where trade and investment are the principle drivers of development on the continent.
Rajiv Shah knew that if USAID was to a truly effective partner, it was going to have to change many of the ways in which it did business. He pushed through many imaginative and badly needed reforms on his watch.
Meddling with such a massive source of income for the decrepit Congolese economy is more than an economic gamble — it is an ethical lapse. “I think a lot of the NGOs really have to examine their own humanity,” – Rosa Whitaker
TWG in Action
At TWG, “We Work Until You Win”
The TWG team collectively brings almost 50 years of experience working in Africa, and possesses a record of excellent execution, successful delivery and proven integrity. We adopt unique approaches and customized solutions for global and diverse clients to facilitate market entry, investment and business expansion in Africa. TWG’s credibility, expertise and privileged network of trusted contacts throughout Africa are unparalleled.
CEO and President
Rosa Whitaker is recognized as one of the world’s foremost experts on African trade, investment and business. Named in 2010 as one of Foreign Policy Magazine’s top global thinkers, Ms Whitaker served as the first-ever Assistant United State Trade Representative for Africa under the administrations of President Clinton and President George W Bush.
Rosa Whitaker is one of the hands-on architects of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), America’s first comprehensive trade law with African countries. AGOA provides duty -free access to the US market for essentially all African-made products. AGOA continues to be the center-piece of US-Africa economic policy.
As the lead US negotiator for bilateral and multilateral trade agreements, she was the prime mover behind a series of unprecedented initiatives to enhance US trade, investment and economic cooperation with African countries. Ms. Whitaker also served as a career US diplomat specializing in African economic matters.
In 2014, she was the first American to be given the “Africa Economy Builders” award which complements numerous honors recognizing her 30-plus years of demonstrated achievement in forging investment and trade ties with Africa. In 2003, Consumers for World Trade inducted her into the Hall of Fame for Trade.
Ms. Whitaker is a Vice Chair of the Executive Board of Mercy Ships, a global faith-based charity operating the largest private hospital ship in the world. She also served on the Board of the Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE), the Center for Global Prosperity and she previously served as Vice Chair of the US-South Africa Business Council.
Ms. Whitaker is regularly featured in the press on Africa trade issues and has lectured at the National Defense University, MIT and Carnegie Mellon University. Ms. Whitaker holds Master’s and Bachelor’s degrees from the American University in Washington, D.C. Rosa Whitaker is married to Nicholas Duncan-Williams, the Presiding Archbishop and General Overseer of Christian Action Faith Ministries (CAFM).
“I bring to my work the values I live by – integrity in action, excellence in execution, steadfastness in faith.”
Tony Annan is Senior Advisor to The Whitaker Group. Tony is the former Group CFO of leading pan-African Bank Ecobank Transnational Inc. where he provided financial leadership for operations in 35 countries. Tony built his deep expertise in international finance at the IMF, serving as Deputy Division Chief for Procurement, Budgeting, and Strategic Management, leading a team of 30 in the Technology and General Services Department. Before working at the IMF, he was a Vice President and Manager of Finance at Citigroup from 2004 through 2009. As a native of Ghana, Tony held various management positions in both the private and public sectors, including working as Treasurer at Standard Bank Group and First Atlantic Merchant Bank in Accra.
Tony concurrently serves as an adjunct Professor of Finance and Strategy while pursuing a PhD in Finance from EDHEC Risk Institute. He holds an MBA in Finance from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and an MSc in Operations Research and Mathematics from the Warsaw School of Economics.
“Never accept the status quo. Improve on whatever falls into your hands.”
Senior Advisor – Global Engagement and Communications
Simon Barber is the principal and founder of Izwi Communications LLC, a public relations, reputation management and nation branding consultancy. He was the Washington-based US Country Manager for Brand SA, an initiative of the South African presidency, from 2002 through 2014, working to position South Africa as a competitive business and investment destination. He assisted TWG and its clients with communications in the firm’s early years. He was previously a highly regarded correspondent and columnist for South Africa’s leading financial newspaper Business Day, for which he continues to write a regular column.
“Be heard. Not herd.”
Chief Administrative Officer
Gedeon Topacio is Chief Administrative Officer at The Whitaker Group. Gedeon has experience in all facets of leadership and business fundamentals. He is a seasoned leader with an unwavering passion for people and business. Prior to joining The Whitaker Group, Gedeon was an Office Manager for 12 years with Golden Construction, Inc. a privately owned General Contracting company based in the Northern Virginia area. He joined The Whitaker Group in 2011 as Executive Assistant serving in several positions and disciplines throughout his tenure. Appointed as Chief Administrative Officer, Gedeon oversees all aspects of The Whitaker Group’s day to day operations. Gedeon holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Civil Engineering from Mapua Institute of Technology, in Manila, Philippines. He is bilingual in English and Tagalog and a dual citizen of USA and Canada.
“No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.” Aesop
Senior Director for International Projects and Operations
Katarvia Taylor is TWG’s Senior Director for International Projects and Operations. Previously employed in the Technology & General Services Department at the International Monetary Fund, Katarvia is an experienced and multilingual administrator with particular expertise in IT, cyber security, and change management. She leads TWG’s Operations and Technology teams, ensuring that our internal processes are as efficient as possible and that we leverage technology effectively and securely. She also manages multiple projects in Africa to enhance the impact of TWG’s work on behalf of our clients and Africa as a whole.
Katarvia holds a Master of Science degree in Information Systems Technology from the George Washington University in Washington, DC., and a BA in French, German, and Latin American Studies from Georgetown University, also in Washington, DC.
“Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.” Benjamin Franklin
Country Liaison, Nigeria
Chine is a young, dynamic citizen of Nigeria with a passion for entrepreneurship, who combines experience working in marketing in the U.S. with a deep understanding of business in Africa. He has held marketing, research, and business engagement positions at SilverBird, one of Africa’s largest multimedia entertainment companies; the Global Adaptation Institute and the Corporate Council on Africa, both NGOs based in Washington, D.C.; and Henry Schein, Inc., the world’s largest supplier of office-based equipment for medical, dental, and veterinary offices. While studying at Boston University, Chine was also very active in the Miracle Corners of the World Youth Leadership Organization which awarded him the Mentor of the Year.
Chine holds a BA in Sociology from Boston University.
Stephen serves as an Analyst in the TWG Accra office. He received his Bachelor’s Degree in computer science and management and is credited with ten years of experience in research and ICT. Prior to joining TWG, he managed research projects for the Noguchi Memorial Institute and Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research (ISSER) while providing ICT support services and training to a number of renowned Ghanaian companies. Stephen’s expertise is leading economic field research projects addressing important data gaps in commercial due diligence and feasibility studies. He has conducted research in a number of African countries at both the grass-roots and institutional levels. He is passionate about his work and believes that impacting others is a key purpose for life.
“Whatever you have to say, God has time to listen if you have time to pray.”
Ms. Eyram Agbemava works as an Associate in the Ghana office of The Whitaker Group. She is responsible for the smooth running of the administrative and operational functions in Ghana. She has 4 years of Post Graduate work experience in Research, Administration, Operations and General Management with a number of International and Governmental Organizations notably the US Embassy in Ghana, the Constitution Review Commission of Ghana and the Lincoln community school in Ghana. She holds a Master of Arts degree in International Affairs and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from the University of Ghana. Her drive is to be a meaningful contributor to the growth and development of the African continent.
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” Philippians 4:13
Finance and Accounting Associate
Lamica Burnett is currently Finance and Operations Associate at The Whitaker Group. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting and has over ten years of professional experience. Prior to joining TWG Lamica held managerial, administrative as well as operational roles with NASDAQ, American Speech Language Hearing Association, and Rain Away Construction, among other companies. Throughout her career she has learned the benefits of shared success through team effort and has developed the ability to adapt to quickly changing priorities in a fast paced environment. Although Lamica is comfortable working in a variety of corporate as well as not for profit settings she most enjoys the fact that her daily work at TWG directly affects and positively impacts the lives of others.
“The words you speak become the house you live in” Hafiz
Africa Business & AGOA Resources
AFRICAN GROWTH AND OPPORTUNITY ACT
Rosa Whitaker was a hands-on architect of the African Growth And Opportunity Act (AGOA), a landmark legislation that provides duty-free access to the US market for essentially all products produced in Africa. AGOA continues to be the center-piece of US-Africa …Read More ›
Global Reach, Local Impact
1701 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW,
Washington, DC 20006
Tel: +1 202-349-1472
Fax: +1 202-293-1410
1 Dulles Court, Joggis Street
Mailing: PMB 366, Cantonments
Tel: +233 302 824163
Fax: +233 302 824162
WORK WITH US
Dynamic, innovative, entrepreneurial – these are the watchwords TWG lives by.
At TWG, we offer individuals with intelligence, business acumen and a passion for driving Africa’s economic development opportunities to create enterprising solutions to some of the most challenging and complex global issues.
For inquires about open positions, please email us along with a cover letter, resume, and writing sample.