December 14, 2022
The partnership between the United States and Africa is a vital and enduring one, allowing both countries to help solve global challenges and drive sustainable economic growth. In support of this partnership, President Joe Biden hosted the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit in Washington, D.C. from December 13 to 15, 2022.
The second day of the Summit included the U.S.-Africa Business Forum, for which the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is an official partner. During the Forum, the President reaffirmed his administration’s commitment to developing commercial trade between the U.S. and Africa, announcing multiple investments and initiatives in support of it.
Sustained Commercial Engagement Between the U.S. and Africa Requires the ‘Best Possible Environment’
President Biden began by reminding attendees that “Africa’s success and prosperity [are] essential to ensuring a better future for all of us, not just for Africa.”
He discussed his administration’s ongoing commitment to supporting inclusive growth throughout the continent, from addressing the COVID-19 pandemic to strengthening food security and bolstering democracy.
“Africa’s economic transition depends on good government, healthy populations, and reliable and affordable energy,” Biden explained. “These things [are what] businesses seek out when they’re looking to invest; they attract new opportunities and they launch new partnerships.”
“The United States is committed to supporting every aspect of Africa’s inclusive growth,” he continued, “and creating the best possible environment for sustained commercial engagement between African companies and American companies.”
New Memorandums and Contracts Aim to Support International and Regional Trade
In addition to supporting Africa’s overall sustainable growth, Biden reaffirmed his administration’s goal of facilitating both international and regional trade in Africa. The U.S. government and the African Continental Free Trade Area Secretariat (AfCFTA) signed a Memorandum of Understanding, designed to “unlock new opportunities for trade and investment between our countries,” according to the President.
He also highlighted the Millennium Challenge Corporation’s first-ever regional transport compact with the governments of Benin and Niger.
“This compact will invest $500 million to build and maintain roads, [as well as] put in place policies that reduce transportation costs, making it easier and faster to ship goods,” Biden said.
“The bottom line is simple,” he added. “Trade runs on reliable infrastructure to support and secure resilient supply.”
Private Sector Investment Can Drive U.S.-African Trade and Overall Sustainable Growth
Within the U.S.-Africa Business Forum’s Deal Room, several U.S. and African businesses announced their planned investments to support two-way trade and overall sustainable growth. These investments included $800 million from Cisco and Cybastion to protect Africa from cyber threats, $1 billion from Visa to expand operations and support mobile payment services for African businesses, and $80 million from GE Healthcare and Standard Bank to improve healthcare services across the continent.
“These are long-term investments,” Biden explained. "They’re going to deliver real benefits to people, create new good-paying jobs — including here in the United States — and expand opportunities for all our countries for the years to come."
“This is just the beginning,” the President added. “There’s so much more that we can do together — and that we will do together.”