Why is Everyone Talking About Africa?August 5, 2013
Claudia Easton is an intern in the International Trade Administration’s Office of the National Export Initiative and Trade Promotion Coordinating Committee. She’s studying Economics and Political Science at Amherst College.
With the President’s recent trip to Senegal, Tanzania and South Africa, as well as the announcement of two new trade initiatives, the spotlight is on Africa – and with good reason.
While speaking at the Business Leaders Forum in Tanzania, President Obama spoke of beginning a new level of economic engagement with Africa. The Doing Business in Africa Campaign (DBIA) is part of the president’s strategy, and the International Trade Administration (ITA) is proud to join other government agencies to support DBIA initiatives that are helping U.S. businesses compete on the continent.
Trade Africa aims to facilitate expanded trade on the continent. Its initial focus will be on the East African Community (EAC), a market with increasingly stable and pro-business regulations. The plan will support increased U.S.-EAC trade and investment, EAC trade competitiveness, and regional integration. The United States seeks to expand this initiative to other regional economic communities on the continent.
Power Africa is intended to build on Africa’s enormous power potential to expand electricity access to the more than two-thirds of the population that is without power. The President pledged $7 billion in U.S. government support, in addition to $9 billion in private money, over the next five years to double access to electricity in sub-Saharan Africa. Power Africa will help attract investment in Africa’s energy sector, build capacity for reform in the energy sector, and encourage transparent and responsible natural resource management.
ITA partnered with the Millennium Challenge Corporation, the U.S. Trade and Development Agency, and the Overseas Private Investment Corporation to share information about the Power Africa initiative in a Twitter chat in July.
These initiatives will rely heavily on public-private partnerships to succeed. We’re glad to have an excellent partner in the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, who invited Under Secretary of Commerce Francisco Sanchez and other government leaders to speak with businesses about support available under DBIA.
The bottom line is this: Africa is open for business. And with the weight of the president and the administration behind these initiatives, there has never been a better time for U.S. companies of all sizes to take advantage of the enormous opportunities on the continent.
If your business is ready to make Africa a priority, your local U.S. Export Assistance Center can help connect you with federal resources and more information about specific opportunities.
For more information on Doing Business in Africa campaign, please see additional links below:
Doing Business in Africa Campaign: