For three days in December, President Joe Biden will host the second US-Africa Leaders Summit in Washington, DC – the first meeting of African leaders and a US president since 2014.
The summit, to be held December 13-15, will include a CEO business forum, for which the Chamber is an official partner, and will focus on expanding the US-Africa trade partnership. Priority topics for discussion include the joint US-Africa commitment to strengthening trade and investment flows, strengthening regional and global health, food security, promoting peace and security, supporting climate sustainability and engaging the African diaspora.
By examining these challenges and opportunities in depth, the Summit seeks to chart new avenues for enhanced US-Africa cooperation. Here’s what you need to know.
The US Chamber of Commerce and the Corporate Council on Africa (CCA) are working with the US Department of Commerce in partnership with the Prosper Africa Initiative to host the US-Africa Business Forum (USABF), the premier private sector dialogue at the 14th Summit . December. The forum will bring together American and African business leaders, African heads of state, and African regional institutions to explore how best to strengthen economic ties between the United States and African nations.
What is the US-Africa Leaders Summit?
President Biden announced in July 2022 that the United States would host its second US-Africa Leaders Summit to demonstrate US commitment to Africa and desire for “enhanced collaboration on shared global priorities.” The summit of heads of state will focus on issues related to democracy and human rights; mitigating the impact of COVID-19 and future pandemics, strengthening regional and global health; promoting food security; promoting peace and security; Response to the climate crisis; and strengthening ties with the diaspora.
President Obama hosted the first US-Africa Leaders Summit in August 2014. At the time, it was the largest event ever held by a US President with African heads of state. The revival of the summit signals the Biden-Harris administration’s renewed commitment to sustained economic growth and mutual prosperity between the US and Africa.
How will the US-Africa Business Forum engage the business community?
To explore mutually beneficial trade and investment relationships, the Chamber and the CCA, in partnership with the US Department of Commerce, will bring together senior American and African business leaders, investors, entrepreneurs, founders and policymakers to forge new relationships and opportunities :
Creation of synergies between the United States and African countries,
Promoting business interest and promoting dealmaking opportunities across Africa,
Presenting mutually beneficial value propositions of economic partnerships between the United States and African countries,
Announcing new or expanded investments and programs between US companies and African partners.
USABF will also have a “Deal Room” hosted by Prosper Africa to provide a space for companies and investors to announce new investments, initiatives and other commercial deals, as well as further cement partnerships. The Deal Room will lead to concrete collaboration and more opportunities that will boost trade and investment between the US and the continent.
What are the expected results?
The African continent has long insisted that now is not the time for aid but for trade. With a new African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) uniting 54 nations into the world’s largest trading bloc, a growing population set to double by 2050, and an expected eightfold increase in consumer spending over the same period, the commercial imperative has never been more evident. The continent’s potential as a growth market for US business remains largely underestimated and misunderstood, but now is the time for the US to tap into the world’s next big growth market – accelerated African and domestic growth.
The USABF aims to deliver ambitious and quantitative results that harness the immense power of Africa’s digital revolution, promote free trade and integrated, resilient supply chains, support healthier economies and ensure sustainable infrastructure investments. Aside from the discussions during the USABF, all stakeholders should commit to driving real action on the priorities in the coming months and years.
What topics are discussed?
- trade and investments: Strengthening of our nations through trade and commerce
- energy and sustainability: Looking beyond COP and further growth through transition to green energy and sustainability.
- Health: Building a more resilient and safe African healthcare system
- Agriculture: Unlocking the potential of agribusiness in Africa through increased productivity, strengthened value chains and better integration into global supply chains.
- digital transformation: Enabling the next generation of inclusive growth through Africa’s innovation and entrepreneurship
- infrastructure: Expanding access to finance and investing in infrastructure to bolster Africa’s growth.
Join the conversation:
While in-person attendance is limited, you can register to watch via livestream. Follow the US Africa Business Center on Twitter (@USChamberAfrica) and visit our website to know when the live stream option will be available.
About the authors
President, US-Africa Business Center, Senior Vice President, US Chamber of Commerce
Scott Eisner is President of the US-Africa Business Center (USAfBC) at the US Chamber of Commerce.