US Vice President Kamala Harris, highlighted, Wednesday, her country’s commitment to help promote “inclusive and sustainable” economic growth in Africa.
“Since last October, the United States has pledged more than $7 billion in humanitarian and food security assistance across Africa. More broadly, our Administration’s goal is to promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth and development across the continent, to expand capital flows, and to promote the vibrant spirit of entrepreneurship and innovation that is so prevalent across Africa,” she said in remarks via recorded video at the opening of the 14th edition of the U.S. Africa Business Summit held in Marrakech this week.
Ms. Harris, who affirmed her commitment to strengthening relations with all African countries, highlighted the many economic opportunities that exist between the two sides.
She also recalled that Africa is the world’s fastest-growing continent. “By 2030, the continent will have 1.7 billion people, home to one-fifth of the world’s population. The continent is also increasingly young, urban and connected. There is a growing demand for food, healthcare, education, technology, and infrastructure,” the US VP said.
“Yet, barriers remain: limited access to capital, the high cost of financing, and legal and regulatory bottlenecks. This is on top of the global challenges that I know are felt acutely in Africa, including recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, the climate crisis, and food insecurity,” Ms. Harris said.
The US official assured that the Biden-Harris Administration is committed to working with all African countries to address these issues, in furtherance of the African Union’s Agenda 2063.
With regard to food insecurity, Ms. Harris said the US Administration is focused on the urgent need to increase food production and exports with and within Africa, a challenge made worse by the war in Ukraine.
“I am pleased to see the advances made in implementing the African Continental Free Trade Area and we will work with you to ensure its success,” she added, noting that the United States is committed to “bringing to bear all the tools at our disposal, including, development financing, grants and technical assistance, and support for legal and regulatory reforms—all to help our African partners thrive.”
The Vice President announced a summit between the United States and dozens of African countries in December in Washington, D.C., to discuss challenges ranging from food security to climate change.
The summit, scheduled for December 13-15, will demonstrate the U.S. enduring commitment to Africa and underscore the importance of the U.S.-Africa relationship and increased cooperation on shared global priorities.
The US-Africa business summit, placed under the high patronage of King Mohammed VI, is held July 19-22 at the initiative of the “Corporate Council on Africa” (CCA).
It offers the opportunity to establish future-oriented tripartite US-Morocco-Africa business partnerships, and is also an occasion to consolidate the strategic positioning of Morocco, the only African country to have concluded a free trade agreement with the United States, as a hub for Africa and an economic partner of reference for the US.
This event is marked by the organization of high-level dialogues, plenary sessions, panels, roundtables, and side-events around the continent’s priorities in food security, health, agriculture, energy transition, new technologies, infrastructure, and the integration of industrial ecosystems.
The Marrakesh conference serves as a platform connecting U.S. and African companies looking to do business with one another, and offers an opportunity to global investors seeking the long-term returns offered by Africa’s fast-growing markets.
During the summit, the U.S. African Development Foundation (USADF) will highlight the central role of African small and medium-sized enterprises in fueling the continent’s economic growth and recovery; and the Prosper Africa Chief Operating Officer will announce new funding opportunities and deals closed.
The Marrakesh gathering features presentations and debates on business challenges & opportunities offered in various sectors in Africa, US-African government policies and success stories.