Washington Travels to Africa For Trade Mission, Documentary to Air on ABC

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Washington Travels to Africa For Trade Mission, Documentary to Air on ABC
We chronicled the charitable endeavors of Isaiah Washington recently as the Grey's Anatomy star donated his time for an auction held by the Jackie Robinson Foundation (lunch with the actor went for $4,550).

Now, he has turned his attention to a global cause, traveling to the African nation of Sierra Leone as part of a Corporate Council on Africa (CCA) mission to explore trade and investment opportunities with the U.S.

"It is our first trade mission to Sierra Leone," Stephen Hayes, President of the CCA, said. "We applaud Isaiah Washington for promoting trade and investment relations between Sierra Leone and the United States."

"I don't want to stop until a McDonald's is in Freetown (the capital of Sierra Leone). The one thing I know is that wherever a McDonald's is, no one is having a war," said a high-spirited Washington, whose portrayal of the incomparable Dr. Preston Burke has won over millions of Grey's fans.

CCA and its partners in Sierra Leone (see map, below) held five days of high-level meetings, including sessions with cabinet ministers. The goal is to investigate all business opportunities in transportation and telecommunications, mineral mining, energy, power and in the health sector.

"A star like Isaiah Washington can help to promote a relatively unknown business destination like Sierra Leone. Business creates employment opportunities and leads to sustainable economic development," Hayes said.

Washington's maternal lineage is to the Mendé people of Sierra Leone, a 2005 genetic test proved. The 42-year old actor remained in Africa after the trade mission to film a documentary that will be aired on ABC upon his return. The documentary will follow Washington on his personal and political journeys into the past, present and future of the people in his ancestral, West African homeland.

"I'm obligated in my own mind and through my own conviction to go back to a country of people w
Sierra Leone
ho have no idea who I am and help them, because I can," Washington said. 

CCA is a non-partisan organization comprised of nearly 200 U.S. companies dedicated to strengthening commercial relationships between the United States and Africa.

Steve Marsi is the Managing Editor of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Google+ or email him here.

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Grey's Anatomy Quotes

[narrating] "At the end of the day, when it comes down to it, all we really want is to be close to somebody. So this thing where we all keep our distance and pretend not to care about each other, it's usually a load of bull. So we pick and choose who we want to remain close to, and once we've chosen those people, we tend to stick close by. No matter how much we hurt them. The people that are still with you at the end of the day, those are the ones worth keeping. And sure, sometimes close can be too close. But sometimes, that invasion of personal space, it can be exactly what you need."

MEREDITH

Did you say it? 'I love you. I don't ever want to live without you. You changed my life.' Did you say it? Make a plan. Set a goal. Work toward it, but every now and then, look around; Drink it in 'cause this is it. It might all be gone tomorrow."

Meredith (closing voiceover)