From left to right: Fred Jordan of F.E. Jordan Associates, Princess Omolara Haastrup and Prince Clement Haastrup. Photo by Carla Thomas.
Prince Clement Haastrup and his wife Princess Omolara Haastrup of the gold rich kingdom of Ijeshaland, in Nigeria, want to do business with African Americans.
They are the owners of ENL Apapa Terminal Seaport, the largest port in Lagos. They also own a construction company that can handle projects up to $500 million in size. They say they hope to include African Americans in their home land projects as well as invest in U.S. projects.
Prince Haastrup, a Howard University graduate, sees African Americans as his brothers and sisters and feels combining Africa’s resources with African Americans’ education as a perfect combination. “I see the plights in the African Diaspora and I see also there is a lot of knowledge that can impact the development of Africa. Africa has the resources and some skills, but these skills are not as advanced as our African American brothers and sisters in United States, because of their exposure.”
Prince Haastrup, the former Deputy Governor of Osun State in Nigeria and currently Chairman of ENL Consortium Limited, considers working together as a symbiotic relationship. “We have the resources and they (African Americans) have the skill and putting it together we will be better off as a race.”
Prince Haastrup’s current project is the rehabilitation of 175 miles of road from Shagamu-Benin Highway, a 6 year venture that will begin this year. Dr. Obi Gbabebo, Managing Partner of Cowrie Capital, LLC, has made arrangements through the U.S. EXIM Bank to secure $220 million for the first phase.
Prince Haastrup feels other nations tend to exploit Africa and that he welcomes African Americans to come back home and make Africa great. “Any Afro American coming to Nigeria or any African country is a good homecoming and as our brothers coming back home and coming to help us in the development of our countries.”
During this present economic downturn the Haastrups have also invested seven million dollars in several other American businesses and franchises.
The economic down turn is not slowing the Haastrups down. They recently acquired property near the University of Minnesota and TCF Stadium and will begin construction this summer on a 17 unit condo complex with a ground floor of restaurants and grocery stores. “This area has one of the largest student populations in the nation with about 50,000 students,” said Princess Haastrup.
The Haastrups recently visited MoAD (The Museum of the African Diaspora) in San Francisco and the African American Chamber of Commerce. Prince Haastrup further expressed that he was impressed with bay area Black businesspersons desire to “participate in the emancipation of Africa.”
“We took a risk in Minnesota and we are willing to take risks in the San Francisco bay area as your brothers and sisters in Africa,” said Princess Haastrup.
Prince Haastrup says he plans to aggregate a billion dollar fund and says he has offers from Chinese and British companies. “But I feel real a desire to go with my U.S. brothers to also participate in the emancipation of Africa.”
Haastrup says that with Obama as president, the timing could not be better for African Americans. He said, “If the Germans, Chinese, British people and others are rushing to have their own share of opportunities, in Africa, why not America?” Haastrup said that African nations would want African Americans to succeed and will give then priority status.
“This is the time for all of us to be involved and make this relationship a reality,” he smiled.