Dallas Community Gathers at Summit to Promote Global Peace, Find Economic Solutions in Afghanistan and Rwanda

Jun 18, 2010, 11:03 ET from Institute for Economic Empowerment of Women

DALLAS, June 18 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Top American business professionals, international leaders and government officials will meet with Afghan and Rwandan entrepreneurs Monday and Tuesday to discuss ways to create jobs and promote economic expansion in developing countries at a global conference.

Twenty-three female business owners from Afghanistan and Rwanda have undergone business, leadership and public policy training as part of the PEACE THROUGH BUSINESS program, and now they are preparing for the International Women's Economic Summit on June 21 - 22 at the AT&T Center for Learning in Dallas, Texas.

The summit is a two-day conference focusing on the strength and contribution of women entrepreneurs in Afghanistan and Rwanda, the obstacles they face and free-economy solutions to peace.

Speakers include foreign policy expert and diplomat Ambassador Paula Dobriansky, Monica Luechtefeld, executive vice president of e-commerce and direct marketing for Office Depot, AT&T executives, and Afghan Ambassador Said Jawad.

The conference will conclude on June 22 with a graduation ceremony, featuring dignitaries, including Ambassador Jawad and AT&T Chairman and CEO Randall Stephenson.

PEACE THROUGH BUSINESS provides long-term business education to women entrepreneurs in Afghanistan and Rwanda. Serial entrepreneur Terry Neese founded the program through the Institute for Economic Empowerment of Women.  

Neese, a member of the U.S.-Afghan Women's Council, says the summit is a way to collaborate with people from across the globe and focus on key issues these women are working on in their countries.

"It is our responsibility as world citizens to promote global peace," she said. "This is an opportunity to see things from each other's eyes and set our sights on a common goal."

Afghan student Rahela Kaveer said she will use the training to promote the critical issue of healthcare for women in Afghanistan.

"It's good to know that people all over the world care about the well-being of our countries," she said. "What I've learned here will empower me to be more of a leader in healthcare in my country."

Rwandan businesswoman Micheline Muhumpundu says she has a feeling of accomplishment from participating in the program.

"I know that this experience is making me better," she said. "I have learned so much. I can't wait to pay it forward when I get home."

Becca Colbaugh



SOURCE Institute for Economic Empowerment of Women