Feature Article of Saturday, 31 January 2009

Columnist: Cool, Joseph P.

Reflections of my trip to Ghana

- thoughts from Kwadwo Paul USA-G - Joseph P. Cool

Hi to all my Friends that I met during my trip to Ghana in February 2008 and to those I relayed information about my successful trip,

With the international holidays of December past us all – there are many throughout the global marketplace, my reflections are being focused on my trip to Ghana in February 2008. It has been nearly a year since my trip and I have so many recollections in my memory of the many good, intelligent and industrious individuals I met and spoke with that I feel compelled to send this email. I just wanted to share a few items that you may be interested in. I vividly remember our many meetings and discussions and I wish to express my sincerest thanks for the assistance and respect which everyone showed me during my trip and follow up. I trust all received copies of the videos and photos that were taken during specific events.

I wanted to share an article in the recent 1to1 Magazine regarding an interview about my experiences in Africa including my Business/Marketing business model for success in the global marketplace. The article provides information on how to market/sell and develop potential business contacts/opportunities in the global marketplace and I was interviewed for the portion of the article regarding Africa. I have included at the end of this email the Africa portion of the interview. The complete article can be found at http://www.1to1media.com/view.aspx?DocID=31235 &m=n

I also wanted to share a recent interview by Metromode Media reference my recent Press Release through Automation Alley (SE Michigan’s largest technology consortium) regarding my employment with Biomin International, Inc. as International Business Development/Export Director for global expansion of its product line; patented oil & water separation/filtration materials and systems. The complete article can be found at http://www.metromodemedia.com/innovationnews/biomininternational0093.asp x I have no doubt there are many opportunities for introduction of this product line into Ghana initially and Africa in general and I met individuals in Ghana who could easily become involved.

I must say that my 2 week trip to Ghana had one of the most profoundest effects on my life and that says quite a bit as you know, Ghana was #55 country for me to work in during my career. The many key contacts made during the trip showed me that there is a great deal of potential for the exploration and development of international business opportunities for many market sectors in Ghana. I strongly believe that AGI (Association of Ghana Industries) is a “gold mine” awaiting timely introductions to various decision makers throughout the global marketplace.

One area that is “near and dear to my heart” was the opportunity afforded me to make a presentation at three Universities during my 2 week trip. I will never forget the Akwaaba Dance which was afforded upon my arrival at All Nations University in Koforidua. Valley View University and University of Wisconsin at Legon certainly afforded a very comfortable atmosphere for interaction with the students. At least once a month, I view the 12+ hours of video tape that was taken of all aspects of my visit including the University presentations and the many videos of just traveling from event to event. Speaking of Akwaaba, upon my return I immediately posted on my website www.cool-associates.com the photo of the many young children and myself in Tema waving Akwaaba to the global marketplace. I have received countless favorable comments about the photo from many countries on this planet we call Earth.

I also vividly remember the honor to have been presented a beaded necklace by the Queen Mother of the Village of Akwamu while traveling to visit Boataama Batik in Apekesu for the African Batik Exchange. I wear that necklace to many events including the monthly African Caribbean Chamber of Commerce meeting in which I am a member. Ebenezer Siaw-Sappore and Peter Ashanti were key in developing this meeting which unfortunately to date has not been finalized for working with an African-American Women’s Sewing Club here in Detroit. The goal of that meeting is to “connect” an African American Sewing Club in Detroit with an African Sewing Club in Apekesu for the development of a business enterprise that would be win-win for all concerned on both sides of the ocean. I strongly believe this could be established quite readily with appropriate exposure and backing. From the 1200+ photos that were taken during my trip, I have developed a 62 slide Power Point presentation providing a day-by-day “story” of my trip and the many Friends that I met. I am in contact with the local African Media Network in Detroit to “transform” the presentation into a 20 minute movie with the potential to be broadcast on local media. The presentation provides a “visual story” of how one can adapt to a different culture and have fun doing so. As a note, on Thursday (4 Dec 08), I was invited by a local Middle School here in SE Michigan for the complete day (6 classes in total) to make presentations to 7th and 8th Graders titled “Going Global: Keys to Global Success”. I included 4 slides from my trip to Ghana to show the students daily life in Ghana. The city in which I presented – Madison Heights, MI is highly multicultural with many cultures represented in the Middle School classes. When I showed the photo of me shopping at the Shoprite Store in Tema and successfully purchasing Diet Pepsi, several of the students saw the similarity of shopping in our local grocery stores. Several of the students said “That looks like Meijers down the road”. The message is that anyone can be successful throughout the global marketplace through adaptability and flexibility. The Press Release can be found at Wilkinson Middle School Students introduced to Global Economy Press Release is also available on my website. I vividly remember the discussions regarding the installation of a small antenna system in the village of Atimpoku bringing education to the students alleviating the need for them to get in the blue boat daily and cross the Volta River for education. Why not bring education to the student instead of the student going to the education?

Lastly and by far not the least, I wish to thank Mr. Paul Adotey (Kwadwo Paul Ghana) of Paulson Ventures Ltd. in Tema for all his efforts in making my visit successful. It was amazing that we were both born on Monday so of course, we are both named Kwadwo in the Akan language! By staying at his residence during my entire trip, I was honored to have spent all my time “in the local culture” and not at a local hotel with tourists! Paul and I have been in contact about the possibility of me returning to Ghana for follow up meetings and development of business. I was introduced to Kwadwo Paul Ghana by Kofi Wisdom Annorh who I met here in SE Michigan a few years ago. Also, I met Kofi’s Mother and Father during my trip – at the Boataama Batik Exchange in Apekesu. Additionally, I met Kofi’s son, Henry who traveled from Nigeria.

Initially, I see Robotics in the mining industry and pre-fabricated housing in the construction industry as “ripe” for exploration. Pre-fab housing was discussed with many individuals during my trip based on the massive construction currently being experienced in Ghana. .Another area to be explored is Entrepreneurship as many University students asked about it during my presentations. Also, with the discovery of oil during the first week of my trip, my background in Telecommunications in the oil & gas market sector (Saudi ARAMCO, Esso Malaysia, Qatar Petroleum and GUPCO) would be of value in the development of the oil fields. Additional discussions centered on rapid transit systems from the agricultural fields to the Port City of Tema for export purposes. The 5 hour trip to Eastern Ghana provided a real-time view of the problems cocoa bean farmers are having getting their product to port. Warehousing was also discussed to provide short-term storage as a means to “speed up” the process.

As a follow on to my previous trip, I would be honored to be scheduled as a temporary Adjunct Professor at one (or more) of the Ghanaian Universities to provide presentations to Engineering/Business Students with practical anecdotal stories and visuals based on my successful experiences during my career. As an example, for Engineering Students, a series of lectures providing the detailed methodology (including calculations of system performance and reliability) of Telecommunications system design from Extremely Low Frequency to Light wave (Fiber optic) Communications.

For Business Students, a series of lectures describing various portions of business from a practical, anecdotal viewpoint, e.g., Program Management from a Global Perspective, Market Sector Synergies in the Global Marketplace or Phases of Entrepreneurship in the Global Marketplace. Another area “near and dear to my heart” is speaking to local Chambers of Commerce and Service Clubs, e.g. Rotary, Optimist and Kiwanis providing information on how to identify “synergistic markets” for local Ghanaian businesses in the global marketplace using the concept of TRIZ. Another area for investigation would be possible Entrepreneurship Workshops in various geographical areas of Ghana which was also discussed during my trip.

I have delivered a presentation to several international groups entitled “Global Telecommunications: Infrastructure vs. Implementation of Infrastructure” which could easily be developed to present to both Engineering students – Infrastructure Design and Business students – Business applications through Implementation of Infrastructure Design. What a revolutionary thought to bring both disciplines together and learn to communicate?

I will stop for now but I just wanted to “relive” the memories of my trip with the many good Ghanaian Friends I met. As you can imagine, I could go on for hours. It is my most fervent wish to return to Ghana with the goal to assist in the education, exploration and development of international business opportunities for the Ghanaian people and development of business opportunities between Ghana and SE Michigan, the area of my birth. I still have in my mind the introduction of Robotics into the mining industry of Ghana including Bauxite, Manganese and of course, Gold. We have several Robotic companies here in SE Michigan. The introduction of the Biomin product line would greatly assist water reclamation with the goal of converting waste water to drinking water for both industrial areas and municipalities.

And of course, we cannot forget Basketball – one of the areas which we spent a considerable amount of time exploring to develop Ghanaian Basketball Players into world-class athletes. This is still on my list of to-do items.

Once again my many thanks for all your efforts in making my much-too-short trip to Ghana such a pleasant and memorable experience. It is one of my most fervent desires to return to Ghana and work with the Ghanaian people for success on both sides of the ocean. My memories are very vivid indeed. Please feel free to pass this to colleagues and friends for development of possible synergies.

Best regards.

Joe also known as Kwadwo Paul USA

Joseph P. Cool

President Cool & Associates, Inc.

921 Village Green Ln Ste. 1068

Waterford, MI 48328 248 683 1130 jcool@cool-associates.com www.cool-associates.com