WASHINGTON: Cohen & Woods International recently signed a 12-month, $400,000 contract with the Republic of Congo to facilitate relations between high-level US and Congolese officials and encourage Western investment in the country.
The firm last month arranged a meeting between Republic of Congo President Denis Sassou-Nguesso and President Bush and is working to set up other meetings among US lawmakers and various Congolese officials.
Cohen & Woods' strategic counsel will also cover media relations in Africa and abroad and advice on how President Sassou-Nguesso might win nomination for a Nobel Peace Prize. Sassou-Nguesso, currently president of the African Union, is working to negotiate solutions to conflicts in Darfur and the neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo.
"He's kind of wearing two hats [by] acting as a statesman in this period," said Cohen & Woods President Herman Cohen.
In addition, Cohen & Woods is promoting the Republic of Congo's natural gas production to US and Canadian industrial companies.
"They are a major oil exporter and part of their production is gas, which is now being burned" due to lack of buyers, Cohen said. "So we'd like to get industry to use that gas for productive purposes instead of it just burning and creating pollution."
A former French colony, the Republic of Congo underwent civil war in the late 1990s and its government faces ongoing threats from armed rebels in the southern portion of the country.