World Trade Centers Association’s 2022 General Assembly “Exploring New Horizons” Attracts Nearly 600 Participants from More Than 60 Countries

Artificial Intelligence-powered matchmaking platform fostered global B2B networking during virtual conference focused on business opportunities throughout Africa
Apr 28, 2022

NEW YORK, NY (April 28, 2022) – The World Trade Centers Association® (WTCA®), an international trade organization connecting over 300 World Trade Center® (WTC®) locations in nearly 100 countries, gathered nearly 600 participants from more than 60 countries at its 2022 WTCA General Assembly (, which was held virtually from April 18-22. Attendees participated in two days of livestream sessions featuring prominent keynote speakers discussing business opportunities in Africa and a full week of Artificial Intelligence (AI)-powered B2B matchmaking opportunities across all time zones. Focused on the theme, “Exploring New Horizons,” the GA demonstrated the strength of the WTCA network, and offered attendees the opportunity to learn from leading experts and to connect with each other virtually.

“Even though our association’s premier global annual event was held virtually again this year, our AI-powered B2B matchmaking platform continued to offer attendees the ability to maximize time spent establishing business connections – with valuable access 24/7 around the world,” said John E. Drew, WTCA Chair, Board of Directors. “During this year’s event, we explored the wide range of industries and sectors in Africa, and the qualities that makes the continent an investment destination. Africa is in a geo-strategic location to support both the Asian and European markets from a nearshoring perspective, and is a viable partner for our members and their global business networks.”

The 2022 GA offered a series of informative livestream events, including fireside chats, panel discussions and presentations on topics intended to showcase the African business community. The keynote address featured Atsuko Toda, acting Vice President for agriculture, human and social development of the African Development Bank, who discussed the acceleration of the African agriculture transformation. Other notable sessions included a fireside chat with Soji Awogbade, Partner and Lead of the International Trade, Energy and Natural Resources and Agriculture Practice Groups at ǼLEX, talking about the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA); as well as a panel discussion on doing business in Africa with WTCA members from Algeria, Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana, Mauritius and Nigeria. 

“This year’s GA uncovered that small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are the crux of the African economy and there is so much potential for global trade and investment,” said Robin van Puyenbroeck, WTCA Executive Director-Business Development. “Our global network of World Trade Center businesses is critical to drive opportunities throughout the continent because each represents hundreds, sometimes thousands, of SMEs. It is through this connectivity and power of our network that our association can help facilitate business on a global scale across industries and sectors.”

Attendees were also briefed on many different updates across the WTCA, including the official announcement of the winners of the 2021-2022 WTCA Champions Awards.

“With a renewed focus on business in Africa, we hope this GA provided a glimpse into the opportunities available at next year’s, which will be hosted in Accra, Ghana by World Trade Center Accra,” Drew announced.

The 2023 WTCA GA will be held from April 23-28.

To view recordings of the livestream sessions from the 2022 WTCA GA, please click here.

Check out our feature in CNBC Africa where WTCA Executive Director-Business Development Robin van Puyenbroeck sits with Fifi Peters on her  “Power Lunch SA” show to discuss key takeaways from the recent 2022 WTCA General Assembly  including how the Association helps SMEs facilitate global trade, business opportunities in Africa and what makes the continent an investment destination. The interview features a great conversation on agriculture, access to financing and the AfCFTA, and can be viewed  here . 


World Trade Centers Association (WTCA)

Chanelle Kasik

Phone: +1 212 432 2644


About World Trade Centers Association (WTCA)

The World Trade Centers Association (WTCA) is a network of more than 300 highly connected, mutually supporting businesses and organizations in 92 countries. As the owner of the “World Trade Center” and “WTC” trademarks, the WTCA licenses exclusive rights to these brands for Members to use in conjunction with their independently-owned, iconic properties, facilities and trade services offerings. Through a robust portfolio of events, programming and resources that it offers its Members, the goal of the WTCA is to help local economies thrive by encouraging and facilitating trade and investment across the globe through Member engagement. To learn more, visit