South African Archbishop unites U.S. and African corporations to announce the Economic Empowerment Partnership

-Archbishop in Jacksonville on June 18th, 2012-

Jacksonville, FL, June 16, 2012 : In the first-ever global business initiative of its kind, The Most Rev. Thabo Makgoba, Anglican archbishop of Cape Town and metropolitan of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa, will come to the United States to officially announce the Winds of Change Economic Empowerment Partnership. The event will be held on Monday, June 18, 2012, at 4 p.m. at Environmental Services, Inc., located at 7220 Financial Way, Suite 100, Jacksonville, FL 32256.

The Winds of Change Economic Empowerment Partnership press conference is the official announcement of the partnership between Royal Bafokeng Holdings, a $5-billion, 100 percent black-owned investment company, N.G. Wade Investment Company, a Jacksonville, Florida, based family holding company with strong expertise in silviculture, agriculture, dairy and real estate, and African Business Development Group, the majority black-owned Diaspora company leading implementation of the Archbishop’s global strategy. The partnership will be used to employ sustainable and profitable economic development through business ventures with an African, community-based character, and uses specific strategies and tools that will allow for massive poverty reduction, education improvement, better health care and positive social impact.

“On the eve of Juneteenth, this moment will be another turning point in history for the African Diaspora in the U.S. and abroad,” said Archbishop Makgoba. “The Bafokeng Nation created a template for how pooling a community’s resources and engaging in capitalist ventures leads to economic independence. We will take their example and implement it across the globe, so black-owned companies and communities have access to foreign investment and ample resources.”

The Royal Bafokeng Nation is an internationally recognized sovereign monarchy in northeast South Africa. Their land is home to the richest known deposits of platinum group metals in the world. By collecting royalties from companies allowed to mine the metals, the nation has gained considerable wealth, enough to establish a fund – Royal Bafokeng Holdings – charged with growth of the country’s economic interests.

Through the Winds of Change Economic Empowerment Partnership, the partner organizations will use owned timber and agricultural land, along with other assets and expertise, to generate profit. They’ll do this through harvesting, earning carbon credits through forest preservation and producing food, then converting profits from those ventures into sustainable business enterprises that provide jobs and meet social needs. The Bafokeng's current operating and management system will serve as the model for expansion into other countries.

“We are proud to be developmental partners with African Business Development Group and N.G. Wade Investment Company,” said Rhodes Robinson, chief executive officer for Environmental Services, Inc. “The Winds of Change Economic Empowerment Partnership is an incredible opportunity to grow financial impact abroad and empower communities to self-sustain. We look forward to joining Archbishop Makgoba and Royal Bafokeng Holdings’ efforts, and encourage other U.S. companies and businesses to do the same.”

Juneteenth, the national celebration marking emancipation from slavery in Galveston, Texas (June 19, 1865), was chosen for the announcement as the occasion marks the end of indigenous Africans in the U.S. being used as economic resources but not for their own benefit. The Winds of Change Economic Empowerment Partnership will be a key component to the national celebration, renewing a commitment to black freedom through economic emancipation.

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