U.S.- South African Partnership for Supplier Diversity

Joset Wright and Matthew Govender
Joset Wright, NMSDC president and Matthew Govender, Chairman of the board, SASDC, signing the affiliation agreement at the event

S.A. Supplier Diversity Council and U.S. National Minority Supplier Development Council Sign Affiliation Agreement

For Immediate Release

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

JOHANNESBURG - The South African Supplier Diversity Council (SASDC) and U.S. National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC) have signed an affiliation agreement formalizing a global link between the Councils at an event held at one of its corporate members’ offices, Barloworld in Sandton.

The SASDC is modeled on the NMSDC, which provides technical assistance and advice. SAIBL, a U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) supported business linkages programme, together with the NBI (National Business Initiative) facilitated the establishment of the SASDC, a corporate-led, non-profit organisation, made up of member corporations committed to working together to leverage resources and share knowledge, experience and practices in supplier diversity.

Chairman of the SASDC Board, Matthew Govender said, 'Today marks the beginning of a new partnership between the SASDC and the NMSDC. The SASDC will be using tried and tested NMSDC best practice, adapted for local conditions, to create a foundation, a solid base of SA and US corporates with many more in the pipeline who are all committed to transforming the SA economy by leveraging the procurement muscle of the collective Council members to provide more opportunities for certified black suppliers.'

Delivering his keynote address at the event, U.S. Ambassador to South Africa, Donald Gips, said, 'Economic development is the greatest challenge facing both our countries. This partnership is a win-win, and it's incredibly exciting to see this coming together.'

‘With this business opportunity mission, we are not only reaffirming our commitment to increase business opportunities between American minority-owned businesses and black-owned companies, but also pledge that there will be more of these business exchanges to come in the future now that SASDC, our sister organization in South Africa, is up and running,’ said Joset Wright, President of NMSDC.

The NMSDC delegation has also met with other South African business leaders and economic development organizations for an immersion in the general business climate in South Africa, and particularly to forge solid business partnerships. The business mission is jointly sponsored by the U.S’s GlaxoSmithKline, IBM, Pfizer and NMSDC, with South Africa’s Accenture, Barloworld, SAB and Sasol hosting various local activities.

The SASDC supports the development of previously excluded and under-used suppliers, and their integration into supply chains. Founding corporate members ABSA, Barloworld, Cummins, De Beers, First Rand, Foskor, JCI, Rand Water, Sasol, Standard Bank and Unilever, will together with the recently joined SAB as well as recent membership applicants Cisco, Drake & Scull and IBM, promote supplier diversity by opening up procurement opportunities and assisting in supplier development.

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