I took some extracts from the CNN article on Kase Lawal and used them on this post, I just wanted to get that out of the way so that I don't get accused of plagiarism.
The story of Kase Lawal is a very inspiring adventure truly demonstrating that patience, hard work, focus and perseverance are some of the keys to success.
Mr. Kase Lawal is a Nigerian-born entrepreneur who came to America as a young man, graduated with a BS in Chemical Engineering in 1976 from Texas Southern University.
After working with Dresser Industries and Shell Oil, he established CAMAC, a company trading agricultural commodities initially but later leaped into the energy sector.
Kase Lawal used his knowledge and relationships in Nigeria along with his network in Houston, Texas to leverage his company in an ideal position of link to very large markets.
In 1991 CAMAC made a deal with the oil giant Conoco, agreeing to jointly operate and share production from Nigerian discoveries.
This deal became the "cornerstone of the CAMAC that we know today" as Lawal stated it himself during an interview he told CNN. CAMAC went on to later partner with other major oil players such as BP, Statoil and Eni.
CAMAC is an international firm with offices in London, Johannesburg, Lagos and Port Harcourt, Nigeria that operates in oil exploration, oil refining and trading.
Kase Lawal was awarded the USAfrican Business Person of the year in 1997 and in 2002 CAMAC was named the largest African-American owned company on the Black Enterprise 100s list.
Kase Lawal is heading one of the largest black-owned businesses in the US since CAMAC is generating over $2 billion dollars a year. This African entrepreneur has been able to accomplish this feat in one of the most competitive industries in the world: Oil.
Mr. Lawal has used his unique set of skills to build an empire, he hasn't allowed the obstacles and challenges he faced to stop him or slow him down. Through hard work, discipline and strategic alliances he was able to reach very high goals.
He is creating jobs in Nigeria, in America and in Europe. He is exporting goods and services from the United States, Nigeria and from other countries hence improving the global economy. His activities help expose the riches of Africa and the importance of including Africa in the global market.
We want to thank Mr. Kase Lawal for showing how successful entrepreneurs can be by strategically getting involved in the booming sectors of African economies: energy, construction, water, agriculture.
As stated in many of my past blogs, my readers know by now how adamant I am about promoting exports to Africa and doing business in Africa. Mr. Lawal are showing us how profitable and fruitful a business can be by operating in the African energy sector.
Mr. Kase Lawal is a source of motivation for all entrepreneurs, but especially African entrepreneurs, to realize their potential and utilize their unique set of skills to achieve their dreams.
One important characteristic of Mr. Kase Lawal is that he didn't forget where he came from once he became successful: he gave back to his school (a $1 million endowment to TSU) through monetary support but also with speaking appearances, he employs two of his brothers at CAMAC, he is a religious man. This character is probably the most inspiring trait of Mr. Lawal's personality in my view.
As an African entrepreneur living in America, I am truly inspired by Mr. Kase Lawal and I believe that we all have a lot to learn from his formidable story. Thanks to CNN for broadcasting his story through their network, I would like to bring additional interesting facts on the rise of Kase Lawal to success and will keep you posted on the progress of this search in my blog.
As discussed in an earlier blog, Africa does not have a very good image in the US likewise with the image of Africans in the US. There are many reasons for that but, mainly, these opinions stem from the negative interactions between Africans and Americans. We have to work at building better relations between African and Americans and inspiring stories such as Mr. Lawal's help restore a better image of the African and really, of the Black men.