Ambassador Jackson’s Remarks at the Relaunch of AFAM Concept/JF Labs

Ambassador Jackson joined Second Lady Samira Bawumia and more than 2,000 enthusiastic beauty professionals last week for the relaunch AFAM Concept in Ghana. This American company has been marketing its hair products here for the past 30 years!

The beauty industry in Ghana is showing tremendous growth — which creates jobs and income, but also increases the threat of counterfeit products, some of which are harmful to consumers and the professionals who use them. We’re pleased that U.S. manufacturers and Ghanaian distributors and salons can work together to bring high-quality American products to Ghanaian consumers. It’s just one more example of deepening commercial ties that benefit both Ghanaians and Americans.

Relaunch of AFAM Concept/JF Labs
Remarks by Ambassador Robert P. Jackson
November 28, 2017 | 10 a.m.


Good morning.  How exciting to be here today for this exhibition and relaunch of AFAM Concept and JF Labs products.  This American company has been marketing its products in Ghana for the past 30 years — isn’t that amazing?  Their local distributors ensure that salons and stylists from Accra to Paga have access to quality brands like Hawaiian Silky, Leisure Curl, and Vitale.

As U.S. Ambassador, one of my priorities is to deepen our commercial engagement — and to do so in ways that benefit both Ghanaians and Americans.  We want to create American jobs back home, but we also want to see new jobs created for Ghanaians.  We see that happening, for example, in the restaurant industry.  American chains like Pizza Hut and Pinkberry are establishing and expanding their presence in Ghana.  We eagerly anticipate the opening of the new Marriott hotel near the airport.  Other major American companies are also exploring the possibilities in the Ghanaian market.

The beauty industry is a sector that offers great promise.  The sector has shown remarkable growth over the past few years, with sales increasing more than 120 percent from last year alone.

However, as this industry expands, so does the threat from counterfeit products.  While some of these products are merely substandard, some are downright harmful — to the consumer and to the industry professionals using them.

Choosing innovative, high-quality American products benefits everyone in the supply chain, not just the manufacturer.  The local distributor and the salons reap the benefit of offering products they can stand behind, 100 percent.  The stylists and the consumers can have confidence in safe products that help them look and feel their best.

That’s what American companies like AFAM Concept can offer — a sincere desire to be a trusted supplier for the Ghanaian market, and to have a positive impact on each one of your businesses.

American companies are excited about investing in and doing business with Ghana.  I applaud President Akufo-Addo’s focus on making Ghana a better place to do business.  We appreciate the positive steps already taken, and we encourage the government to redouble its efforts to protect intellectual property, seek out fake goods, and hold accountable those who defraud the public.

There is enough room for both our economies to grow and prosper.  As Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Ambassador Thomas Shannon said recently, “The Trump administration seeks to do business not just in Africa, but with Africa, moving the focus of our economic relationship … from aid to trade and investment.”

I congratulate AFAM Concept and JF Labs on their success over the past 30 years, and I wish them the best as they relaunch their name and their brands.  I look forward to seeing your products in salons and on shelves across Ghana.

Thank you.