Recent global crises such as the COVID-19 pandemic and geopolitical tensions between Russia and Ukraine have led to economic challenges including inflation and supply chain shortages. In the face of these uncertainties, global leadership has been tasked with fostering mutually beneficial trade relationships through government policy and a renewed commitment to international cooperation.
At the 2nd Annual Global Forum, His Excellency Macky Sall, President of the Republic of Senegal, joined the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to deliver a keynote address emphasizing the importance of a cooperative foreign trade partnership between the United States and Africa.
Amid Global Uncertainty, Cooperation Among World Leadership Is Key
In the opening remarks of his keynote address, Sall noted the economic uncertainties prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic and exacerbated by the geopolitical crisis between Russia and Ukraine.
“The world is, without doubt, entering an era of uncertainty that accentuates the vulnerabilities of the weakest economies, including those of African nations,” he said.
He added that peaceful international cooperation among world leaders would play a key role in alleviating such vulnerabilities.
“Common sense dictates that we regain control by practicing what is best for the human condition: peace, security, and … cooperation between peoples,” Sall said.
Africa Presents Major Growth Opportunities for Foreign Trade
Sall also sought to dismantle common misconceptions about Africa, underscoring the importance of the continent as a prosperous foreign trade partner.
“Africa represents an opportunity for growth for the whole world,” Sall said. “Every investment in the continent generates more activity, more jobs, and shared prosperity.”
According to Sall, one of the greatest barriers to establishing mutually beneficial foreign trade has been misperceptions about investment risk in Africa.
“Despite a recent underperformance, Africa is continuing its journey in promoting the rule of law and improving the business environment,” Sall said.
“I call upon our partners to look upon Africa and Africans with fresh eyes. It is this paradigm shift that will help create an image of the continent that is more in tune with reality,” he urged.
U.S. Government Policy Will Play a Crucial Role in Stimulating Foreign Trade
Sall also called upon the United States to enact favorable government policies that would help stimulate foreign trade.
“I believe that the United States has a crucial role to play with the Build Back Better World initiative, which offers a great opportunity to strengthen our partnership by stimulating trade and investment in both directions,” he said.
Sall argued that the United States is equipped with the financial and technological resources to grow partnerships with Africa in industries ranging from infrastructure and transportation to agriculture, food, and mining.
“Many of these are already operating successfully in Africa, but in my opinion, it is possible to do more,” Sall said. “Financial institutions … should better promote United States-Africa business relationships by easing African nations’ access to credit and providing further support for American private investment in the continent.”
“I firmly believe in the future of the partnership between the United States and Africa,” Sall added.
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