U.S. SEEKS BENEFICIAL TRADE TIES WITH NIGERIA, OTHERS
The United States – Africa relationship under the government of Biden – Harris Administration, will entail increasing two-way trade and investment between Africa and the United States, working with African Governments as partners in pursuing shared interests such as global health, climate change and the creative industry, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, Akunna Cook, has said.
Speaking during a webinar to discuss the US – Africa relationship with the government of the Biden – Harris administration, Ms Cook reiterated that the view of the new US-Africa relations, is one of shared prosperity, partnership for economic growth. Indeed, the US government declared support for the AfCFTA with the goal of attracting investments in a less fragmented market.
The US Ambassador to Nigeria, Ambassador Mary Beth Leonard, stated that one of her most important roles as an Ambassador is to advocate for hugely beneficial trade and investment opportunities of which an enabling environment allows companies to expand, thereby creating jobs and growth for the economy of both Countries. She also noted that since June 2019, the US government has helped close more than 280 deals across 30 nations worth over $22Bn.
Indeed, the President of American Business Council (ABC), Dipo Faulkner, noted that the United States is a natural partner to Africa. He advocated more partnerships that will further help transform the economy of the Continent. “Doing Business in Africa though fraught with challenges has been fruitful for the majority of the US private Sector”, he added.
The CEO/Executive Secretary of ABC, Margaret Olele, noted that the American Chambers of Commerce in the continent would readily support the US Government and African leaders through advocacy, advisory, and capacity building to ensure that the defined goals are achieved in this partnership. On speeding up economic recovery from the pandemic, the US Department of State and USAID noted that the US provided $500 Million in humanitarian and economic assistance to sub-Saharan Africa to fight the pandemic. The US Government has supported the African continent through COVAX by donating $2Bn and has pledged another $2bn for the purchase of vaccines.
Regarding investment promotion, the US Government plans to encourage businesses especially SMEs to take a closer look at Sub-Saharan Africa and also plans to address risk perceptions. An interesting angle in driving this partnership is the US Government planned engagement and encouragement of members of the African Diaspora in the United States interested in closer connections with Africa including trade connections to invest in the continent.