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The Genesis of Torch Bearers Diaspora, Inc.

the journey

In the beginning

The pioneering architects of Torch Bearers Diaspora, Inc. (TBD) are Dr. Isaac Fordjour, the President, and Dr. Barry Colley, Vice President. Dr. Fordjour, born in Ghana, is a maxillofacial surgeon in Memphis, TN.  Dr. Colley, born in the US is an agribusiness development practitioner in Forrest City, AR.  In March 2002 at a breakfast meeting for strategic thinking about the people of Africa their history and their future, the two friends had an epiphany: Africa has access to a vast amount of human capital across many sectors of the global economy, considering the African Diasporic community, its diversity, and all the friends of Africa which could be motivated to support or participate in the development of Africa.


Current Staff & Board

Torch Bearers Diaspora Inc. became a 501 c 3 non-profit organization in 2007.

Our current staff and Board represents men and women of the African Diaspora in Ghana and the US.  They include a practicing physician, food scientist, lawyers, accountant, pastor, business operators, and commercial farmers

We Build Growth

Business Development Seminars

TBD’s maiden voyage in building a more economically robust Africa by connecting it to the African Diasporic communities started with organizing business enterprise development seminars and workshops in Ghana with the founders personal funds and in-kind contributions.  Since 2003, TBD have organized student groups at universities in Ghana to plan and conduct one or more business enterprise seminars and/or workshops every year.   The first was organized by a Seventh Day Adventist student organization at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Kumasi, Ghana. The keynote address was delivered by Dr. Colley and included the responsibility of University students to play a substantial role in the economic development of Ghana.

TBD is committed to the development of a strong private sector and perceives business development as a facilitator of Africa’s economic engine. Expansion of enterprise development will make a substantial contribution to reduce the brain drain that robs Africa in search of its most talented population, the graduates of universities and other post-secondary institutions.  In addition, businesses planned and operated by students while they are matriculating at the tertiary institution, in an enabling business environment is a long-term economic stimulus for Africa.  The intentional outcome TBD strives for is to build and sustain competent business operators and viable private sector employment.  For example, business supported by TBD follow the above scenario in the food sector (Poultry layer bird enterprises and natural fruit juices) the Health sector (Medical lab services), information communication technology sector and other sectors.

We Build Growth

TBD Business Development Services Provided to Ghana University Students

ACE gave rise to the growing demand for business education at Africa’s post-secondary institution to have a transformational practical real world learning thrust when compared to narrow theory learning.  TBD started a business development service (BDS) in Kumasi Ghana through a memorandum of understanding (MOU) at the Christian Service University College (CSUC).  Included was the provision of office space for TBD Ghana field office on the CSUC campus.


TBD Bridge Builder Services for Student Study and Faculty Exchanges Partnership Building in Africa and America

This recent program service thrust has emerged through TBD participation as a global partner in the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (UAPB) Global River Basin Initiative (UAPB/GBRI). TBD is engaged in supporting the three objectives of this initiative:

1)  To establish a cross-disciplinary working group reflective of the School of Agriculture Fisheries and Human Sciences (SAFHS) and other academic programs that will engage in scholarly and experiential learning activities, focusing on global trends and developments impacting the agriculture sector and rural communities in the Lower Mississippi River Basin, and prepare a white paper outlining internationalization strategies for the university at large;

2)  To establish a faculty led study abroad program incorporating topics relevant to agriculture, the  environmental sciences and rural development in general; and

3)  To establish a sustainable international extension program through the formation of working partnerships, execution of memoranda of understanding and funding/technical assistance for a comprehensive, multi-stakeholder rural development project in the Niger River Basin of West Africa.


Specifically our emerging bridge builder service focus includes but is not limited to:

  • Connecting Africa’s University and Colleges with America’s historically black Universities and Colleges
  • African Business Development outreach
    • Student Study abroad internships
    • Faculty Exchanges
    • Joint Global Education studies and projects
  • Agricultural Development outreach in protective hoop house/high tunnel vegetable production in African Diasporic communities and across the African continent
  • Business Mentoring Services to Africa and African Diasporic businesses and social business
  • enterprises
    • Business tours to ACE Scholar businesses
    • Business to business mentoring
    • Comprehensive Business development services to Africa


TBD Service Expansion and Future

  • TBD field office in Ghana (Torch Bearers Diaspora Ghana)
    • Strengthening program operation, financial accountability and administration
      • New Staff complement and induction training and orientation
      • Outreach infrastructure (vehicles, production supplies and equipment


  • Other TBD field offices in Africa and its Diasporic communities
    • Strategic approaches based on comparative advantage and programmatic alignment
  • TBD Headquarters in US


  • Strengthening program operation, financial accountability and administration
    • New Staff complement and induction training and orientation
    • Outreach infrastructure (vehicles, production supplies and equipment)
  • TBD Board of Directors
    • Board of Director Education
    • Board Study tours
  • Connecting investments for Africa businesses through business development tourism
    • Establish angel investor networks
    • Other investment networks (indigenous and international)
  • Partnerships in financial services investing for applied agribusiness research, extension outreach and training
    • Acumen Fund, non-profit venture capital firm
    • Heirs Holdings Investments,
  • Intra-African information and knowledge exchange platform
    • Internet exchange to enhance trade and business development

Let's make something great together

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