Word from Washington: June 2019

Categories: Featured , IGD News , Member News

This week, more than 1,000 U.S. and African public and private sector leaders have gathered in Maputo, Mozambique this week for CCA’s U.S.-Africa Business Summit. Along with several African Heads of State, a few key U.S. government officials are on hand to speak about their development agenda on the continent.

Among the issues addressed by the representatives in attendance has been one that the Trump administration has made a point of emphasis: Africa’s increasing reliance on China for resources and aid at the expense of the United States.

The new “Prosper Africa” initiative represents the shift in the White House strategy when it comes to Africa, aiming to turn around a recent drop in U.S. interest. While Africa has been growing exponentially over the past decade, offering numerous economic ventures and opportunities to global investors, U.S. exports to the continent have dropped by 33% since 2014.

Prosper Africa will be a $50 million fund to help American entities enter African markets by educating them on local bureaucratic systems, connecting them to financing, and reducing trade barriers in an effort to capitalize on the fertile economic landscape.

The second session of the United States-Tunisia Joint Economic Commission was convened in Washington, D.C. on June 14. The Tunisian Minister of Finance, Mr. Omar Belhi, chaired the Tunisian delegation comprised of Tunisian government officials and private sector leaders. In Washington, they met with U.S. government representatives to explore areas for future U.S.-Tunisia investment and trade opportunities.

Sectors of focus for the talks were: renewable/efficient energy, advanced manufacturing, and engineering/construction, all markets that are experiencing rapid growth in Tunisia and welcome investment from countries like the U.S. On June 13, IGD also hosted several members of the Tunisian delegation to meet with interested U.S. private sector representatives to further discuss the business climate and investment in their country.