USA Frica Business Center Annual 2018


February 22, 2019


Download the 2018 Annual Report

Since the U.S.-Africa Business Center (USAfBC) was established, it has been recognized as the leading advocacy group fostering U.S.-Africa business relations in Washington, D.C., and across the continent. As a cogent Africa policy was yet to be defined by the U.S. government in 2018, the USAfBC aimed to fill the void by promoting private sector leadership. Members relied on the center to help navigate changing political environments in various markets and elevate U.S. business priorities across the continent. The USAfBC continues to be vocal about the immense benefits associated with working with American businesses as a partner of choice.

Throughout the year, the USAfBC undertook initiatives across major markets in the U.S. and on the continent. The Chamber hosted Heads of State including President Uhuru Kenyatta in Kenya, as well as a robust United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) series featuring H.E. João Lourenço of Angola, H.E. Nana Akufo-Addo of Ghana, H.E. Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa, and H.E. Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta of Mali. The USAfBC leveraged these high-level engagements to seek greater value for its members and deepen business partnership between the U.S. and Africa. The work of the center’s task forces surfaced and resolved policy solutions in the areas of energy, infrastructure, the digital economy, trade facilitation and health. The center published two reports including Advancing Innovation: How Algeria Can Build a World Class Biopharmaceutical Industry and Digital Drivers: Enabling the Growth of the Digital Economy in Africa as products of task force leadership.

The USAfBC and its local AmCham partners played a vital role in the success of the President’s Advisory Council on Doing Business in Africa’s (PAC-DBIA’s) fact-finding trip to Ethiopia, Kenya, Côte d’Ivoire, and Ghana. The center also endeavored to build a focused and strategic body of work around North Africa, and it began to fortify important relationships with stakeholders in Morocco and Algeria.

While the USAfBC made commendable strides in 2018, challenges persist in U.S.-Africa relations. The widespread notion in Africa that the U.S. government is taking a backseat on its engagement with the continent in an era of increased Chinese and other competitors’ economic activity in the region offers an opportunity for private sector leadership. The center is optimistic about the many opportunities 2019 will bring in light of the passing of the Better Utilization of Investment Leading to Development (BUILD) Act, a newly announced Africa strategy and the new Prosper Africa initiative.

The Chamber is regularly called on to brief members of Congress and the Trump administration and provide counsel on Africa trade and investment policies. These types of engagements are critical to the success of the center and our membership. The USAfBC will continue to be forward leaning in seeking opportunities to engage members of Congress, administration officials, and African government officials on new initiatives and U.S. government policy priorities.

In 2019, the center will focus on launching new products, deepening access and advocacy in growth markets on the continent, expanding its reach outside of Washington, D.C., developing an online-based membership platform, and engaging decision makers at all levels of government to drive the message that Africa remains open for business.

USA Frica Business Center Annual 2018