A member company of the African Chamber of Commerce of the Pacific Northwest (ACCPNW), Targhee Fire Services, LLC, has been awarded the primary sub-contract for training and leadership development in a major project to supply American-made fire apparatus and emergency equipment to the State of Lagos in Nigeria.

The US$15.7-million first phase of the multi-year Lagos Fire Safety Initiative (LFSI), a public/private partnership between Lagos State and Wisconsin-based fire apparatus manufacturer W.S. Darley received loan approval this week by the United States Export-Import Bank.  

Poulsbo, Washington-based Targhee Fire Services was contracted this week to provide emergency services and maintenance training and leadership development for the project.

“The African Chamber played an invaluable role in our ability to provide these services in Africa,” explains Mr. Wright. “They helped us understand Africa and develop the expertise and capacity to do business there by facilitating partnerships with businesses and governments on the continent. This is a dynamic, growing market with many opportunities, but one that demands an understanding of its cultures, politics and people.”

Targhee’s Senior President Edward Wright traveled to Africa as a member of the Chamber’s 2008 trade mission. ACCPNW facilitated meetings with the president of Zambia and top government ministers. In 2009 the Chamber introduced the company’s management to government officials from Uganda and the African Union.

With Chamber assistance, Targhee partnered with the Mayor of the City of Mubende, Uganda to build firefighting and emergency medical services and provide maintenance and operation training.

The Mubende project came to the attention of Wisconsin-based fire apparatus manufacturer W.S. Darley, who was impressed with Targhee’s ability to complete the project despite numerous challenges.

In April 2012, Mr. Wright was invited by Darley to undertake a feasibility study for LFSI in Lagos.

The Lagos Fire Safety Initiative will ultimately expand to include the state’s 57 administrative districts. Training will be conducted to international fire service training and equipment standards and adapted to the unique emergency response needs of Lagos.

The Initiative’s costs are underwritten by the Export- Import Bank of the United States as part of its “Doing Business with Africa Campaign.”

“In so many ways the involvement of my company in this program would not have been possible without the African Chamber of Commerce of the Pacific Northwest in Seattle,” adds Mr. Wright

ACCPNW CEO and President Peter Gishuru encourages Northwest companies to explore export opportunities and business partnerships in Africa. The chamber frequently hosts Africa business networking meetings in Seattle and sponsors trade missions. Participants in its Seattle business forums include a wide variety of U.S. and African businesses, Washington State and federal officials and dignitaries and diplomats from Africa.

“Africa is ‘open for business’ and holds many opportunities for companies willing to do their homework—and that is what we do best. It is the world’s largest emerging market,” explains Mr. Gishuru.

“The Chamber is proud of the role we played in helping this exceptional company to provide valuable services to more than 15 million people of Lagos and jobs in the Pacific Northwest and Africa,” he adds.

The Seattle-based African Chamber of Commerce Pacific Northwest has promoted business opportunities and partnership between Africa and the Pacific Northwest for more than 15 Years.

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