News: Djiboutian business exchange: Building lasting relationships
Story by Senior Airman Tabatha Zarrella
CAMP LEMMONIER, Djibouti - The Djibouti Chamber of Commerce, Camp Lemonnier and Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa hosted the Djibouti Business Exchange, March 12, at the Djibouti Chamber of Commerce. The DBE was to train local Djiboutian business owners and vendors how to conduct business with the U.S. government.
“The purpose of the DBE is to increase industrial capacity and vendor competition throughout East Africa by educating Djiboutian vendors on how to conduct business with the U.S. government,” said U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Yolanda Brown, CJTF-HOA Contingency Contracting Office contracting officer and DBE contracting business adviser. “The training will enable us to connect Djiboutian providers of goods and services with the U.S. customers aboard Camp Lemonnier in order to meet their needs, while also fostering an enduring partnership between the two.”
The DBE is expected to take place quarterly, and the training will occur in progressive phases.
“During this training they learned what services and supplies they’d need, and also got a chance to practice showing what they can sell us,” Brown said.
The local venders will learn the basic contracting process, including contract development, delivery and performance, payments, solicitation, the different categories of contracts, and registering in online databases.
Throughout the phases of training, the Djibouti Chamber of Commerce will provide the customers with information on the type of business services and products local companies can provide.
The DBE’s goal is to build better business relationships between the U.S. government in the Republic of Djibouti, the Djiboutian businesses and professional communities. The DBE will build this relationship by providing a variety of opportunities such as trade shows, expositions, lunch and learn sessions, social events, as well as visits to Camp Lemonnier and the Djibouti Chamber of Commerce. These opportunities will provide additional venues for camp customers, local businesses and professionals to share and exchange information.
“The DBE impacts the mission here at Camp Lemonnier and CJTF-HOA by giving more availability to services and goods, which help us accomplish our mission,” said U.S. Navy Lt. Cmdr. Antoine Ford, Camp Future operations and plans security manager. “Our current situation is that we deal with contracts several thousand miles away. Having local business and availability makes it easier and faster for us to complete our mission.”