New England - Africa Business Conference Convenes at Worcester Polytechnic Institute Brings Together U.S. and African Governments, Businesses, and Educators

Contact: WPI Media Relations, 508-831-5616

Worcester, MA - April 26, 2002 -- Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) will host the New England-Africa Business Conference on Tuesday, May 21, bringing together ambassadors and consul generals from numerous African countries, U.S. government representatives, and leaders in business and education.

"We've planned this conference to bring together people who can make a difference in both Africa and the United States, and hope the outcome of this meeting will create firm links with the emerging economy on the African continent," said Linda Looft, Director of External and Government Affairs at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. The conference is expected to create opportunities for New England business leaders and entrepreneurs to interact with corporate and government agencies.

"The business climate in Africa has never been more favorable for U.S. companies," said Ms. Looft. "Two-way trade between the United States and Africa totaled $20 billion in 1999 and is expected to keep growing."

In attendance will be heads of state from African countries; executives of leading African companies already engaged in business activities with the U.S.; executives of leading African companies seeking to establish links with the U.S., leaders of major universities in Africa; executives and legislators involved with African policy; U.S. government financing organizations, including the U.S. Export-Import Bank and the U.S. Trade and Development Agency; the Corporate Council for Africa.

WPI is hosting the conference in conjunction with the Corporate Council on Africa. Information about the conference is available at http://www.wpi.edu/News/Conf/NEABC/about.html.

Registration is $125 and includes breakfast, lunch and conference materials.

About the Corporate Council on Africa

The Corporate Council on Africa, established in 1992, is a membership organization of more than 180 American corporations dedicated to strengthening and facilitating the commercial relationship between the United States and Africa. CCA members represent nearly 85 percent of total U.S. private sector investments in Africa.

About WPI

WPI is a pioneer in technological higher education, and is recognized as one of the leading outcomes-oriented undergraduate programs preparing people for success in our technological world. Since its founding in 1865, WPI has broadened and perfected an influential curriculum that balances theory and practice.

This innovative and unique combination of educational methods, learning environment and a worldwide network of project centers is located in Worcester, Massachusetts, WPI supports the academic and research pursuits of over 2,500 students and 200 faculty pursuing opportunities to blend technological research and practice with societal needs, delivering meaningful real-world benefits.

For over a century, WPI has awarded advanced degrees in the sciences and engineering disciplines, as well as the management of technology and business. Our alumni include Robert Goddard, the father of modern rocketry; Harold Black, inventor of the principle of negative-feedback; Carl Clark, inventor of the first practical airbag safety system; Dean Kamen, inventor of the first wearable drug infusion pump; and many others who contribute to the transformation of our technological world.