Africa-US Business Growing 2023

The 15th U.S.-Africa Business Summit in Gaborone, Botswana, from July 11-14 is expected to enhance US-Africa business cooperation. Following up on business promises from the mid-December African leaders summit in Washington. That conference saw President Joe Biden commit $55 billion for African investment.

Washington’s December U.S.-Africa leaders’ meeting and business roundtable underlined Africa’s importance and enhanced connections. Over 40 African presidents and leaders of state attended the three-day event, showing the potential for a stronger and more strategic US-Africa economic partnership.

Florizelle Liser, CEO of the Corporate Council on Africa, a leading American business association, was optimistic about several initiatives for the continent she called “future business partner” and confirmed the summit will host a high-level U.S. government delegation with senior officials from key agencies promoting U.S.-Africa economic relations.

Florizelle Liser thinks Botswana is a great partner and political and economic leader.

U.S. government and commercial sector officials have met with African political and business leaders to address important issues impacting the U.S.-Africa economic relationship.

She said the conference showed Africa’s economic progress in agriculture, manufacturing, technology, health, agribusiness, tourism, and financial services. The US supports young and female entrepreneurs. She thinks these boost US and African economies and jobs.

“Many notable corporate sponsors are interested. Florizelle Liser said, “Seeing the enthusiasm of U.S. and African SMEs energizes me.” SME summits have assisted over half of members.

“We’re seeing more and more American companies looking to expand existing operations into more African markets,” she said. Companies seeking new chances are increasingly aware of African nations’ legislative and regulatory measures to enhance business climate, albeit there is still room for improvement.

An African Union (AU) corporate venture may combine 1.3 billion people in a $2.5 trillion economic union. Commerce, structural transformation, gainful employment, and poverty reduction can benefit. AfCFTA investors profit.

According to reports, Corporate Council on Africa, the leading U.S. business association connecting U.S. and African business interests, has helped the government close over 800 two-way trade and investment deals across 47 African countries worth over $18 billion, and the American private sector has closed $8.6 billion in investment deals in the continent since 2021.

Most U.S. corporations are counting on AfCFTA.

“The next wave of investment in African markets must focus on productive sectors of Africa’s economy to drive the continent’s industrial development in the decades to come,” said African Continental Free Trade Area Secretariat Secretary-General Wamkele Mene.

Mene said 40 countries have ratified the AfCFTA, Phase 1 covering trade in commodities and services is complete, and 86% of the rules of origin were completed at past conferences. AfCFTA has opened value chains for US investment in medicines, cars, agro-processing, and financial technology.

Since all states must act together to tackle climate change, more African nations should adopt the Paris Agreement. Power Africa is a U.S. initiative to increase energy access in Africa.

US politicians, the White House, and organized NGOs have stressed Africa’s views, advocated for qualified African-Americans to handle bilateral issues, and urged economic growth into Africa.

African leaders have strong contacts with their diaspora, particularly with successful persons in sports, education, business, science, technology, engineering, and other sectors that the continent needs to fully realize its potential linkages and achieve development goals. Many industries link the US to Africa.

African leaders may engage their diaspora beyond Biden. They thrive in sports, academia, business, science, technology, engineering, and all the other areas Africa needs to succeed. Developmentally, Africa should accept them.

At the mid-December African leaders summit, the goal was to strengthen and expand the long-term U.S.-Africa collaboration and promote shared priorities, boosting African voices to cooperatively confront this new geopolitical era’s defining issues.

The African Union (AU) helps African governments, Regional Economic Communities, and individuals develop and integrate. The US helps it integrate Africa. Washington manages AU operations. The White House and Biden-Harris administration value multifaceted African relations.

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About the Author: Sanjh Vishwakarma

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