July 30, (THEWILL) – The US Development Finance Corporation (DFC) has committed nearly $2 billion in financing for projects in Africa in the first half of 2021; and it also aims to close another $500 million or more by the end of the fiscal year.
In addition, the Millennium Challenge Corporation signed a cooperative agreement with the West African Power Pool and an MOU with the governments of Burkina Faso and Cote d’Ivoire, which will facilitate opportunities for increased U.S. trade and investment in the energy sector in the West Africa region.
There are also several other agreements and initiatives involving USAID, the Department of Commerce, the U.S. Trade and Development Agency, and other agencies, with the goal of making it easier for U.S. businesses in key sectors critical for Africa’s economic growth to invest on the continent.
Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Africa at the National Security Council, Dana L. Banks made the observation when she was hosted by the US Department of State’s Johannesburg Media Hub.
Speaking at the digital Press briefing on “U.S.-Africa Trade and Investment through Prosper Africa,” Banks assured that: “We will provide targeted support to small and medium-sized businesses with a specific focus on the African Diaspora and their businesses and investors across the United States.
The Press briefing comes as the Corporate Council on Africa’s U.S.- Africa Business Summit 2021 which took place on the 28th July, 2021 virtually, with Prosper Africa as a sponsor of the event.
In her remarks during the briefing, Banks said “This past year has really shown us how interconnected our world is and how our fates are bound together. This is why President Biden is committed to rebuilding our partnerships around the world. We must all work together to advance – to advance our shared vision of a better future. Africa is a pivotal moment in its trajectory.
“The next decade will determine which path Africa takes. President Biden believes that Africa’s many dynamic and fast-growing economies and populations can and should mean a bright future for the continent – one featuring inclusive growth, sustainable development, enhanced health security, democratic progress, and the rule of law.
“The United States stands ready to partner with African nations as well as its vibrant civil society and young leaders to achieve this future. Our commitment to achieving Africa’s potential also means working with African nations to combat the threats posed by violent extremism, by climate change, and undue foreign influence. And as we pursue our shared affirmative agenda, we also – we will also work with African leaders to address conflicts and humanitarian crises that are costing lives around the continent. And as President Biden said in the opening weeks of this administration, the United States stands ready to partner with Africa in solidarity, in support, and in mutual respect.”
Speaking further, she said, “So yesterday, the administration kicked off our Prosper Africa Build Together Campaign at the Corporate Council on Africa’s U.S.-Africa Business Summit. In light of this, the President has requested $80 million in additional funding resources to jumpstart this campaign. The campaign is a targeted effort to elevate and energize the United States commitment to trade and investment with countries across the African continent under the Biden-Harris administration.
“And our goal is to substantially increase two-way trade and investment between the United States and Africa by connecting U.S. and African businesses and investors with tangible deal opportunities. And how will we get this done? So, a few concrete ways in which we will seek to do this. And consistent with the commitment made by President Biden through the Build Back Better World, or B3W Partnership at the G7, we will accomplish these goals by identifying and promoting new opportunities for U.S. and African businesses, investors, and workers that increase trade and mobilize private capital to fuel economic growth and job creation, with a focus on key sectors and the green economy,”