Over three days in December, President Joe Biden will host the second summit of U.S.-African leaders in Washington, D.C. — the first gathering of heads of state between African leaders and a U.S. president since 2014.
Held December 13-15, the summit included a CEO Business Forum, for which the Chamber of Commerce is an official partner, and focused on developing business partnerships between the US and Africa. Priority topics for discussion include a joint U.S.-Africa commitment to enhance trade and investment flows, enhance regional and global health, address food security, promote peace and security, support climate sustainability, and engage the African diaspora.
By exploring these challenges and opportunities in depth, the summit aims to forge new avenues for improving U.S.-Africa cooperation. Here’s what you need to know.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Council of African Enterprises (CCA), in partnership with the U.S. Department of Commerce, in partnership with the Thriving Africa initiative, hosts the U.S.-Africa Business Forum (USABF), the summit’s flagship private sector dialogue, on December 14. The forum will bring together U.S. and African business leaders, African heads of state, and African regional institutions to discuss how best to strengthen economic ties between the U.S. and African countries.
What is the US-Africa Leaders Summit?
President Biden announced in July 2022 that the United States would host the second US-Africa Leaders Summit to demonstrate America’s commitment to and desire for Africa.Strengthen cooperation on shared global priorities.The Summit of Heads of State will revolve around themes such as democracy and human rights; mitigating the impact of COVID-19 and future pandemics and strengthening regional and global health; promoting food security; promoting peace and security; addressing the climate crisis; and expanding diaspora connections.
President Obama hosted the inaugural US-Africa Leaders Summit in August 2014. At the time, it was the largest event between a U.S. president and an African head of state. The revitalization of the summit marks a renewed commitment by the Biden-Harris administration to continued economic growth and shared prosperity between the United States and Africa.
How will the US-Africa Business Forum engage the business community?
To explore mutually beneficial trade and investment relationships, the Chamber and CCA will work with the U.S. Department of Commerce to bring together top U.S. and African business leaders, investors, entrepreneurs, founders and policy makers to forge new relationships and Chance:
Create synergy between the United States and African countries,
Driving business interests and facilitating deal opportunities across Africa,
Demonstrate the mutually beneficial value proposition of economic partnerships between the United States and African countries,
Announce new or expanded investments and initiatives between U.S. companies and African counterparts.
USABF will also feature a ‘Deal Room’ hosted by Prosper Africa, providing space for corporates and investors to announce new investments, plans and other business deals and further cement partnerships. The Deal Room will lead to concrete collaborations and additional opportunities to promote trade and investment between the United States and the African continent.
What is the expected result?
The continent has long insisted that now is not the time for aid, but for trade. With the new African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) uniting 54 countries into the world’s largest trading bloc, the population set to double by 2050, and consumer spending expected to grow eightfold over the same period, the business imperative The line has never been more evident. The continent’s potential as a growth market for US businesses remains largely underestimated and misunderstood, but the time for the US to enter the world’s next big growth market is now – accelerating growth in Africa and at home.
USABF aims to deliver ambitious quantitative outcomes, harnessing the enormous power of Africa’s digital revolution to promote free trade and integrated, resilient supply chains, support healthier economies, and ensure sustainable infrastructure investment. Beyond the discussions during USABF, all stakeholders should commit to real action on priorities in the months and years ahead.
What topics will be discussed?
- trade investment: Strengthening our nation through trade and commerce
- Energy and Sustainability: Go beyond COP and go further through green energy transition and sustainable development.
- healthy: Building a more resilient and secure African health system
- agriculture: Unlocking the potential of African agribusiness through increased productivity, strengthened value chains and better integration into global supply chains.
- digital transformation: Next Generation Inclusive Growth Through Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Africa
- infrastructure: Expand access to finance and infrastructure investment to boost growth in Africa.
Join the conversation:
While live attendance is limited, you can register to watch via the live stream.Be sure to follow USChamberAfrica on Twitter (@USChamberAfrica) and check us out website Find out when the live streaming option is available.
about the author
President, Center for American-Africa Business, Sr. Vice President, American Chamber of Commerce
Scott Eisner is president of the US Chamber of Commerce’s US-Africa Business Center (USAfBC).