The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) has for the first time in its 100 years of existence elected a Black female as a member of its Executive Board – and she is a Ghanaian technology executive, recognized internationally for her expertise in trade facilitation and process automation.
The new member, Valentina Mintah, joins the ICC Executive Board responsible for developing and implementing ICC’s strategy, policy and programme of action, and for overseeing financial affairs of the world business organisation.
Ms. Mintah is the founder and former Chief Executive of West Blue Consulting, an award-winning ICT organisation. She was a Senior Solutions Specialist at Crown Agents in the UK, having previously worked at IBM. She is also a founding member of the African Performance Institute, an organisation that promotes the advancement of e-commerce and e-government in Africa.
ICC is the world’s largest business organisation, representing 45 million companies and 1 billion employees from all sectors and company sizes in over 130 countries.
The seven-member Executive Board was announced at the 2020 meeting of the ICC World Council, and Ms. Mintah will be on the board with some of the world’s most renowned giants – including Sheikh Khalifa bin Jassim bin Mohammad Al-Thani from Qatar; Sebastian Escarrer from Spain; Dario Gallina from Italy; Shinta Kamdani from Indonesia; Takeshi Niinami from Japan; and Jane Sun from China.
The 2020 meeting of the ICC World Council also announced that it has elected MasterCard Chief Executive, Ajay Banga, as ICC Chairman; and confirmed Maria Fernanda Garza, Chief Executive of Orestia, as ICC First Vice-Chair.
Valentina Mintah, speaking after the announcement said: “It is a great privilege to have been elected to the Executive Board of the International Chamber of Commerce, and the organisation’s most diverse board to date. Alongside colleagues from ICC and its national committees, including ICC-Ghana, I look forward to drawing on my experience of working with West African and other emerging economies to support the promotion of international trade, responsible business conduct, and a global approach to regulation”.
Congratulatory messages have started pouring in from across the world for Ms. Mintah. ICC Secretary General John W.H. Denton AO said: “ICC is delighted to welcome Valentina Mintah to its global Executive Board. Throughout her career, Valentina has championed international trade facilitation both in her home region of West Africa and in several transitional economies across the world. With her additional role as Vice-Chair of ICC Ghana, she is uniquely placed to support the strengthening of commercial and trade ties between several key, high growth global markets”.
ICC Ghana Secretary-General Emmanuel Doni-Kwame said: “ICC Ghana has one of its own on the Executive Board; this is not only well-deserved by a qualified professional but also an honour to a blessed nation and a continent whose time has come. Valentina’s experience in Africa is an asset to the new Board as we strive to make business work for everyone, every day and everywhere”.
Ms. Mintah established West Blue Consulting in 2012, and led the company to successfully develop and deliver a national single window platform for Nigeria – significantly optimising and improving trade facilitation in the country, and leading to savings of US$25million per month for the government of Nigeria.
In 2014, West Blue Consulting further harnessed its Customs modernisation expertise to develop and implement a national single window platform for Ghana. Within two years of its implementation, in 2015 at ports across the country, the platform had saved the government of Ghana US$500million.
This resulted in Ghana rising through the ranks of the World Bank’s ‘Ease of Doing Business’ index, and becoming a vibrant hub for continental free trade.