U.S. Chamber Leads Business Delegation to African Energy Ministerial

Monday, June 2, 2014 - 10:30am

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Africa Business Initiative (ABI) will lead a delegation of U.S. business leaders to Ethiopia this week to participate in the U.S-Africa Energy Ministerial in Addis Ababa. The Chamber delegation will meet with their counterparts from African businesses, as well as ministers and government leaders from over 30 countries at a forum for exploring, debating, and identifying collaborative solutions to the energy challenges of the 21st century.

“Access to affordable energy sources and modern infrastructure are two major problems that African economies must contend with to achieve economic growth,” said Danielle Walker, director of the U.S. Chamber’s ABI. “American companies are eager to engage with businesses and government leaders on the continent to identify concrete steps forward for private investment and improvements in these sectors.”

The ministerial, co-hosted by the U.S. and Ethiopian governments, will examine policies and technologies for expanding renewable energy use, improving energy efficiency, developing mini-grids, harnessing natural gas resources, building governance frameworks to enable private sector investment, and identifying financing for infrastructure projects.

“African economies have grown tremendously over the past decade and are increasingly strategic markets for the world’s major trading powers, but these hurdlesinsufficient energy and infrastructurelimit that growth potential,” Walker said. “The U.S. business community recognizes the opportunities available here and is ready to invest in the future of Africa.”

International trade and investment is a key component of the Chamber’s 2014 American Jobs, Growth, and Opportunity Agenda, an ambitious plan to generate stronger economic growth, create jobs, and expand opportunity for all Americans.

The mission of the ABI is to engage the U.S. business community on legislative policies that foster foreign direct investment in Africa, to facilitate trade between the United States and African countries, and to introduce U.S. companies to the continent's vast economic opportunities.

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.