For 22 years, Amina Gerba has been the bridge between Canada and Africa. Through her influence and leadership with African and Canadian decision-makers, she has signed multi-million dollar partnership agreements for North American companies
Entrepreneur, Ambassador of Afro-optimism and economic link between Quebec-Canada and Africa
A native of Cameroon, Ms. Gerba is a source of inspiration for women and all newcomers. She arrived in Quebec in 1986 where she obtained a few years later, an MBA from the School of Management Sciences, at l’Université du Québec à Montréal..
In the 1990s, her business acumen led her to establish two personal care product companies. Today, the Kariderm (for skin) and Kariliss (for hair) brands are sold across North America. More than 2,000 women in Africa are employed under world class conditions to produce the key ingredient that is found in both product lines: shea butter.
Convinced that Africa offers a huge potential for development, Ms. Gerba did not stop there. In 1995, she founded Afrique Expansion – a firm based in Laval, which has become the leader in business communications between Africa and Canada. With her spouse, she launched Afrique Expansion Magazine in 1998.
Amina Gerba has a reputation for seizing business opportunities. In 2003, she launched Forum Africa – a biennial event that takes place in Montréal and which attracts business leaders from around the planet. The seventh edition of the gathering will take place in 2015 and it will continue its tradition of highlighting the best of the emerging continent’s business opportunities.
Forum Africa becomes now Forum Afrique Expansion.
Some of my achievements
Creation and marketing
Creation and marketing in Canada of two ranges of personal care products based. Drawing on Africa’s resources in human capital as well as on its biological riches, Laboratoires Kariliss specializes in the production and the distribution of cosmetics that are derived from equitably traded and biologically certified shea butter. More than 2,000 women are employed to process products that are marketed under the Kariderm (hair care) (www.kariderm.com) and Kariliss (skin care) (www.kariliss.com) brands.
Coaching and mentoring
Coaching and mentoring several young entrepreneurs in the realization of their business plans, the creation of companies and the launch of their products / services
Organization of forums
Organization of international economic forums, in Africa and Canada, with a strong participation of African dignitaries and Canadian personalities (www.forumafricanada.com).
FORUM AFRIQUE EXPANSION is the largest biennial gathering of international business leaders in Montréal. The forum brings together public and private sector interests to focus on developing business projects in Africa. (www.forumafricanada.com)
My other activities
- Member of the Board of Directors of Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM) – February 2018
- Member of the Board of Directors of the Armand-Frappier University Foundation – INRS
- Member of the Board of Directors of Femmessor Québec
- Member of the Board of Directors of the Canadian Council for Africa
- Member of the Board of Directors of the African Business RoundTable
- Member of the Board of Directors of the Fonds Afro-entrepreneurs du Québec
- Co-Founder and Director of the Gerba Foundation for Education in Africa
- Member of the Réseau des Femmes d’Affaires du Québec
- Mentor for REPAF – Network of Entrepreneurs and African Professionals
- Member of the Montreal Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce
- Member of the Laval Chamber of Commerce
- Member of the Board of Directors ENSEMBLE pour le respect de la diversité
Prix et distinctions
- Knight of the National Order of Quebec in 2014
- 2012 UQAM Recognition Award
- Entrepreneur of the Year REPAF 2010
- 2010 winner of the 19th edition of Black History Month in Montreal in the category “Business People”
- Finalist of the Prix Femmes d’Affaires du Québec in 2011 and 2014.
- 2006 Chantiers d’Afrique Meritas Award Winner for “Your contribution to the outreach of Canadians of African descent”
- Winner of the Arts et Métiers 2005 Oscar, awarded by the Carrefour des Communautés culturelles du Québec, in recognition of ten years of economic rapprochement between Canada and Africa
- Certificate of Recognition Awarded in 2005 by the Canadian Council for Africa for “Your Commitment to Africa’s Economic Development”
- Flambeau de l’Excellence of the Community Recognition Gala awarded in 2002 in the category “Young Thumb”
- Certificate of Recognition Awarded by the Canadian Department of International Trade in 2002 for “Your Contribution to the Promotion of Canada’s International Trade.”
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