Alaffia, a natural body products company based in Tumwater, is being showcased as a model of social enterprises internationally at a summit in Africa this week.

The summit is held annually under the mandate of the African Growth and Opportunity Act, a U.S. congressional act promoting trade between the US and Africa signed into law in 2000. Alaffia founders, Olowo-n’djo Tchala and Prairie Rose Hyde will address attendees of the summit, who will include officials from 17 U.S. government agencies, trade and commerce ministers from 38 African nations and private industry leaders.

The fair trade firm’s success has generated $41 million in economic activity locally, as well as the employment of 750 women and, indirectly, more than 11,000 contractors in Togo and Ghana.

 “Alaffia was founded on the bedrock belief that private enterprise alleviates poverty,” said Tchala, Alaffia’s CEO. Equally important is Alaffia’s business model which is based on Fair trade.  “Alaffia’s embrace of fair trade principles has created employment opportunities and supported self-sufficiency — even prosperity — for villagers in Africa, and Americans in Washington state.”