Category Archives: Economy

Africa as a Trade Partner

Unfortunately, most of what we hear in the news about Africa has to do with war, famine and strife.  But on the afternoon of Thursday, May 7th, a panel of experts will talk about Minnesota’s trade relationship with African nations.  

Assignment:  Attend this event, record the speakers, do interviews,  and produce a report about Minnesota’s trade with Africa.

As Ambassador to Ghana, Donald Teitelbaum led a major effort to build a special partnership in counter-terrorism. Now, as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, he has the responsibility of overseeing such efforts across Africa.

Deputy Assistant Secretary Teitelbaum is a graduate of the University of Virginia with a degree in Foreign Affairs. He had early postings in Guyana, the Dominican Republic and Lebanon. African postings have included Somalia, Sudan, Uganda as Deputy Chief of Mission, South Africa as Deputy Chief of Mission, and Ghana as Ambassador.

He has worked in the Department of State’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research, and has served as Director for African Affairs at the National Security Council with portfolios for Central Africa, East Africa, South Africa and HIV/AIDS. His tenure as Ambassador to Ghana immediately preceded his current position of Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs.


Donald Teitelbaum, Deputy Assistant Secretary of African Affairs, U.S. State Department

Her Excellency Oliver Wonekha, Ugandan Ambassador to the United States
Eric Schwartz, Dean of Humphrey School of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota
Sri Zaheer, Dean, Carlson School of Management, University of Minnesota

Minnesota, U.S. and African companies invited as panelists will address Africa’s fastest growing markets, technology as market drivers, agribusiness, and more:

Tom Gitaa, Kenyan expat, MShale Publisher and President
Asratie Teferra, Ethiopian expat, Zebra Consulting LLC
Mike Essien, Nigerian expat, Essien Law Office
Dr. Mary Curtin, former U.S. State Department and current Humphrey School Diplomat in Residence
Steven Clarke, International Development Consultant

Conclusion: Paul Hansen, International Trade Representative, Minnesota Trade Office

Doug Stone
Doug Stone Communications, LLC
651-698-9390 (office);  651-336-9907 (mobile)


Ebb & Flow – Minnesota’s Population Future

The Minnesota State Demographic Center issued a report last week that details how people are leaving Minnesota for other states.  

The birthrate keeps us moving forward economically with a growing population, in combination with immigrants moving here from overseas.   

Note:  A recent national report says immigrant entrepreneurs boost the economy, here in Minnesota and elsewhere.

As the baby boomers leave the workforce, the state, and eventually, the planet, Minnesota’s birth rate will not be able to keep up and maintaining growth will be a bigger challenge.

Assignment:  File a report or do a series of interviews on the Morning Blend about this new demographic information and  its ramifications.


The State Rating Game

It feels like every day I get an e-mail from some organization that has rated our state or one of our major cities as the best place to order pizza for children or the most bike-friendly or the most emotionally insecure.

Right now I have two in front of me – Politico magazine says Minnesota is the best state in the Union.  

Meanwhile, another blog, 24/7 Wall Street, says Minnesota is among the Worst states in the union for Black Americans.   And by “among” they mean the real worst, second only to Wisconsin.

Why such different views of the same sets of data?   And why so many ratings?   Do we really feel better if we think we’re better than Mississippi?  Do we really believe it if someone says we’re actually worse?

Assignment:  Talk to opinion leaders about the truth and/or value of these state ratings.  What motivates us more – pride or shame?


Immigrant Entrepreneurs and Economic Growth

On January 14th, the Americas Society and the Council of the Americas will release a report on Immigrant Entrepreneurs and Economic Growth: How Immigrant Small Businesses are Supporting Main Street.

Minneapolis is one of the metro areas examined in the report.

There will be a presentation and panel discussion at the AS/COA offices in New York, along with a live webcast.

One of the panelists is Mihailo Temali of the Neighborhood Development Center. 

Assignment: Schedule a live or recorded interview with Mihailo Temali or a representative of the Americas Society about the details of this report.

Contacts at Neighborhood Development Center:
Mihailo Temali, Founder & Chief Executive Officer

Communications & Development
Emily Blodgett, Director of External Communications

Soon-Young Oh, Communications & Resource Development Coordinator

Contacts at the Americas Society:
Adriana La Rotta | | 212-277-8384