Senior U.S. Commerce Official Discusses Trade and Entrepreneurship with U.S. and Ethiopian Businesswomen

Press Release
U.S. Embassy
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Senior U.S. Commerce Official Discusses Trade and Entrepreneurship with U.S.
and Ethiopian Businesswomen, and Encourages Prosperity through Mutually

Beneficial Commercial Engagement

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, March 11, 2021 – U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary (DAS) of Commerce
for Middle East and Africa Global Markets Camille Richardson participated in a Women’s
Empowerment Through Trade Initiative Coffee Chat Series (“The Series”) on
March 9. The event occurred during Women’s History Month. The virtual meeting featured
speakers and panelists from the private sector and government from Ethiopia and the United

The panel featured two Ethiopian female entrepreneurs, Felekeche Biratu and Sara Yirga,
and Business Development Specialist at the Export-Import Bank of the United States (EX-
IM) LaTaunya Darden.  Felekeche Biratu is the co-founder of the Yenae Collection and a
member of the Association of Women in Boldness/Business. Sara Yirga is the founder of Ya
Coffee Roasters and Ethiopian Women in Coffee. Both shared valuable perspectives on
opportunities in Ethiopia, female entrepreneurship, and potential for business relations between
women-led businesses in the United States and Ethiopia. LaTaunya Darden outlined the
important role that EX-IM can play in supporting U.S. exporters.

The Ethiopia Coffee Chat was the second of ten such engagements planned throughout the year
by the Office of Middle East and Africa at the U.S. Department of Commerce. “The Series” is
one component of the Women’s Empowerment Through Trade Initiative, which will
include another webinar on March 31, 2021 organized in conjunction with the President’s
Advisory Council on Doing Business in Africa, and which will focus on women’s
entrepreneurship throughout the African continent. “The Series” will culminate in a multi-region
event in Dubai in conjunction with Trade Winds Dubai, in March 2022, that will coincide with
International Women’s Day 2022.

This Ethiopia Coffee Chat reflects the high priority that the U.S. Department of Commerce
places on the commercial relationship between the United States and Ethiopia. The U.S.
International Trade Administration also maintains a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)
with the Ethiopian Ministry of Finance and Economic Development. This MOU was signed in
2018 and is intended to facilitate information-sharing and collaboration on commercial
opportunities in priority sectors.