Sara Engleka

Acting Director

Sara EnglekaSara Engleka joined the Trade Hub in January 2012 as Deputy Director. A private sector development specialist with more than 12 years of experience in marketing, business management and legal diplomacy, Ms. Engleka has provided technical support to multiple USAID-funded projects implemented by CARANA Corporation in Latin America, the Middle East and Africa across a range of sectors, including agriculture, aquaculture, tourism, forestry, stone and marble, ICT and specialty foods. Prior to joining CARANA, Ms. Engleka served in various marketing and product management capacities in the tourism industry and for the consumer package goods firm Kimberly-Clark, and coordinated international extradition cases through the Office of International Affairs at the U.S. Department of Justice. Her areas of expertise include value chain research and analysis, competitiveness strategy and product marketing. Ms. Engleka holds a Master in Business Administration from The Ohio State University and a Bachelor of Science in Languages (Spanish and French) from Georgetown University.

Niels Rasmussen

Transport Infrastructure Director

Niels Rasmussen joined the Trade Hub in July 2009 as Director of the Transport Infrastructure program. Prior to joining the Trade Hub Rasmussen worked eight  years for the United Nations in Europe, Asia and the Middle East as an expert in Trade and Transport Facilitation, and more than 20 years with the Canada Ports Corporation  in a variety of senior port management positions.  Rasmussen worked on the development of international standards for electronic business as an official representative for the Canadian transport industry.

Roger Brou

Business and Finance Director

Roger T. Brou joined the Trade Hub as the  Business & Finance Director. Brou began his career as a teacher in his home town of Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire, he taught mathematics, physics, chemistry, and natural sciences. He continued his education in the U.S., earning a a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and an MBA with a concentration in finance. Roger has worked since as a project director for the Corporate Council on Africa in Washington as a financial analyst for HSBC Equator Bank in Glastonbury, Connecticut. He continued as an investment officer and then regional manager for HSBC in West Africa and was based in Abidjan. Roger brings the Trade Hub expertise in agribusiness financing, project finance and bank-to-bank finance. Before joining the Trade Hub, Roger was running his own agribusiness and transportation company.

Dr. Sola Afolabi

Business Environment Director

The former director of the ECOWAS Community Computing Center, Dr. Sola Afolabi, has joined the USAID Trade Hub as the director of its Business Environment component. Dr. Afolabi has been collaborating with the USAID Trade Hub for several years and championing the Borderless initiative from within ECOWAS prior to joining our team.

Abou Fall

AGOA Services Manager

Abou FallMr. Fall joined the West Africa Trade Hub in August 2005. Previously, he managed the USAID-funded Global Trade & Technology Network (GTN) in Senegal, the main goal of which was to promote business linkages and technology transfer. He also helped design and coordinate projects for the Digital Freedom Initiative, aimed at promoting economic growth for small businesses and entrepreneurs through information and communication technologies. A Senegalese citizen, Mr. Fall holds a bachelor's degree from Clark University in the US and a master's degree in globalization and development from the University of Warwick in the UK. He is fluent in English, French and Wolof and speaks conversational Spanish.

Joe Lamport

Communications Manager

Joe LamportMr. Lamport, a journalist by training, was the assistant director of a housing law services organization in New York City before joining the Trade Hub in May 2008. He also wrote about housing issues and lectured in communications in New York City. Mr. Lamport has produced a documentary film and informational films, produced and hosted radio programs, and worked as a reporter and editor for daily and monthly newspapers. Lamport lived and worked in Togo as a Peace Corps Volunteer and independent development consultant from 1995 to 2001. He is a graduate of the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and originally hails from Lansing, Michigan. Mr. Lamport is fluent in French and native in English.

Makhtar Thiam

Enterprise Development Advisor for Fish and Seafood

 Makhtar ThiamMakhtar Thiam joined the West Africa Trade Hub in November 2007. He has more than 20 years of experience in the fish and seafood trade and export of African specialty foods, including managing his own company, which specialized in fish and seafood exports to Europe, and conducting delegations to international trade shows in Europe and Africa. For 17 years, Mr. Thiam managed and coordinated UPAMES (Fishmongers and Fish Exporters Association of Senegal). A Senegalese citizen, Mr. Thiam holds a master’s degree in physics and chemistry with a specialization on water and air pollution from the University of Paris-Jussieu in France and received training in business management and food quality systems including HACCP. He is fluent in French, English, Spanish, Wolof and Pular.

Afua Eshun

Transport Specialist

Afua EshunMs. Eshun joined the Trade Hub's Reduced Road Transport Costs team in August. She has worked in the transport industry for eight years, specifically with Maersk Ghana Limited where she was involved in customer service, logistics, exception handling and streamlining of processes and procedures to enhance service delivery. Ms. Eshun has a Bachelors of Science degree in Business Administration from the University of Ghana in Legon and is also a member of the Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers (London).  

Ben Coleman

Communications Expert

Ben ColemanBen Coleman works at the Trade Hub as a Communications Expert. He previously managed grassroots projects focused on indigenous communities in Guyana. More recently, in Bolivia he worked for ACDI/VOCA to coordinate the implementation of the U.S. Ambassador's special development activity fund and assisted as a communications specialist. Previously, he has worked as an English teacher in Spain and tour leader in Central America and the Middle East. He speaks Spanish and is also a freelance web designer.

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