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United States and Africa summit 2024 : Major Objectives

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United States and Africa summit 2024 : Major Objectives

The 16th edition of the United States-Africa Summit returns to American soil from May 6-9, 2024, in Dallas, promising a new era of cooperation between the two continents.

Overview of the summit

The United States-Africa Summit, organized by the Corporate Council on Africa (CCA), aims to strengthen economic, commercial, and political relations between the two continents in key sectors: energy, health, trade facilitation, agri-food, ICT, infrastructure, and finance.

Organization and participants

While the 14th and 15th editions took place in Morocco and Botswana respectively, this edition is held in Dallas, Texas. It is the ninth most populous city in America and home to a significant African diaspora.

The event gathers over 1,500 high-ranking dignitaries from the public and private sectors. Among the participants are African heads of state such as Joseph Boakai of Liberia, Malawi’s President Lazarus Chakwera, and Angola’s President Joao Lourenço. Representatives from the African Union and members of the U.S. government also attend.

Summit objectives

The 2024 summit theme is « Partnership for Sustainable Success.» Discussions will focus on promoting equitable cooperation and mutual benefits, with an emphasis on diversifying trade and strengthening investments. Key sub-themes include :

  • Economic and trade collaboration

Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Joy Basu will discuss strengthening commercial ties through bilateral agreements and private-sector partnerships.

  • Promoting inclusive and sustainable growth

The summit will address sustainable development and energy transition, highlighting the urgency of combating climate change.

  • Digitalization and the Digital Economy

Topics include enhancing digital skills and cooperation in AI, blockchain, and cybersecurity for Africa’s socio-economic transformation.

  • Peace and Security

Efforts in good governance, regional stability, and combating insecurity will be underscored.

Signing of multiple agreements

The 2024 United States-Africa Business Summit is the stage for the signing of several specific agreements, primarily in infrastructure and energy. Moreover, the modernization of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) is on the agenda. This unilateral program allows African companies to export duty-free to the United States.

Joy Basu emphasizes that the Biden administration supports modernizing AGOA. This pact remains an essential support for trade, enabling the U.S. government to optimize its use and impact. The Deputy Assistant Secretary of State encourages African partners to develop strategies to maximize AGOA’s benefits. « And we want to see more companies – both small and large – take advantage of it, » says Basu.

Major agreement with the export-import bank

The Export-Import Bank (EXIM) plays a crucial role in U.S.-Africa trade relations. According to its president, Reta Jo Lewis, this institution creates economic opportunities for American companies and their partners worldwide. Commercial cooperation between this American agency and Africa began in 1942, with its first agreement with Angola.

At the United States-Africa summit, EXIM finalizes three key partnership agreements for infrastructure and international investments in Angola :

  • 900 million USD in financing for the construction of 2 solar power plants
  • 363 million USD for the China and Transformational Export Program (CTEP). This deal supports exporting modular steel bridges and related equipment, made by the small business Acrow Corporation, for bridge construction across Angola.
  • 42 million USD in financial support for exporting FM transmitters, towers, training, and other EXIM equipment. This authorization aims to develop radio communication capacity to cover approximately 95 %.

Additionally, EXIM concludes six other memoranda of understanding with African governments and institutions, as well as several agreements with Tanzania and Côte d’Ivoire. Each agreement aims to facilitate up to 500 million USD in American export financing and strengthen trade relations with these countries.

Millennium challenge corporation projects in Africa

The summit also reviews the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), an independent U.S. government agency. Created in 2004 by President Bush, the institution celebrates its 20th anniversary and is actively working in Africa. CEO Alice Albright highlights that since its inception, the agency has operated in 24 countries.

Of the 17 billion USD invested worldwide, 10 billion USD is allocated to Africa, mainly for infrastructure projects. Currently, the agency manages active programs totaling 3 billion USD on the continent. This includes initiatives like projects in Cape Verde and the restoration of the Mocuba bridge in Mozambique.

Moreover, the MCC places great importance on inclusive growth in Africa and primarily intervenes through various reforms. For instance, the agency helps amend laws in Lesotho to allow women to own property.

In partnership with Microsoft, the institution is also launching a program in Côte d’Ivoire to enhance digital skills for women entrepreneurs. Additionally,

the MCC announces the launch of its 79th program, with 359 million USD in Malawi. This partnership agreement aims to support farmers in marketing their agricultural products more profitably and efficiently.

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