U.S. Chamber, Investec Asset Management Report Underscores Need for Strong U.S.-Africa Economic Engagement

Monday, August 4, 2014 - 1:15pm

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Africa Business Initiative (ABI) and Investec Asset Management (IAM) today released a report outlining the ways that U.S.-Africa engagement has the potential to grow and deepen. The report, “Africa and the United States: A defining relationship of the 21st Century,” addresses the impact of issues such as regional integration and the youth bulge, and underscores the significance of international investors partnering locally and understanding the different dynamics driving each market.

“To date, we’ve yet to see broad, high level investment from U.S. companies in Africa, and that is largely due to unknown or perceived risks,” said Scott Eisner, the Chamber’s vice president for African Affairs. “The best way to deal with that challenge is for U.S. companies already on the ground in Africa to share their institutional knowledge – the stories of their challenges and how they were able to succeed. If those misconceptions and fears remain, the U.S. business community will miss out on a major opportunity to tap into the rapidly expanding economies in Africa.”

Through interviews with business leaders who have a track record of investing on the continent and policy experts, the report offers analysis of various economies across the African continent, and takes an in-depth look at several government and private sector programs intended to improve Africa as an investment destination.

“At Investec Asset Management, we actively strive to play a constructive role in Africa, both as investors on behalf of our clients, and also as a standard setter and creator of economic opportunities for the communities we serve,” said Hendrik du Toit, CEO of Investec Asset Management. “There is no doubt that Africa, in spite of many well-known challenges, is rising. Foreign investment is an important part of this growth story and we are excited to see a renewed interest in Africa from the United States.”

The report was unveiled at a Presidential Plenary hosted by the ABI, which featured discussions with Head of the Government Abdelilah Benkirane from The Kingdom of Morocco, President Armando Guebuza of Mozambique, and President John Dramani Mahama of Ghana.

An interactive version of the report is available online here.

Investec Asset Management is a global investment management firm serving institutional investors, advisors and individual savers. The firm was founded in Africa in 1991. Today the firm is an international business managing $123 billion for clients based all over the world, with more than $35 billion invested in the African continent. We have major offices in London, New York, Cape Town, Hong Kong, Sydney, Singapore, Johannesburg, Windhoek, Gaborone, Guernsey, Taipei and Luxembourg, from which we serve our clients.

The Investment Institute is the strategic insights and engagement platform of Investec Asset Management. The goal of the Investment Institute is to provide insight on key political, economic and investment trends that impact investment decision-making across geographies and asset classes. We do so by leveraging the investment expertise within our firm and fostering partnerships with a global network of leading thinkers and practitioners.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world’s largest business federation representing the interests of more than 3 million businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions, as well as state and local chambers and industry associations. Its International Affairs division includes more than 50 regional and policy experts and 25 country- and region-specific business councils and initiatives. The U.S. Chamber also works closely with 116 American Chambers of Commerce abroad.