Author:  US WHIA    Public: 12/12/2022         WHIA

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Africa’s integration into global markets, demographic boom, and continent-wide spirit of entrepreneurship and innovation present an extraordinary opportunity for the United States to invest in Africa’s future.  The United States will support and facilitate mobilizing private capital to fuel economic growth, job creation, and greater U.S. participation in Africa’s future.  Together, business and government leaders will strengthen trade- and investment-enabling environments, including fostering the development and implementation of effective policies and practices across all sectors, and identify and promote new opportunities for Africans and Americans.  Through initiatives such as the Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment (PGII) and Prosper Africa, the United States will provide timely, coordinated support that meets the needs of businesses and investors, including micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises and diaspora- and women-owned businesses, to advance infrastructure priorities and boost two-way trade and investment.

Since 2021, the U.S. Government has helped close more than 800 two-way trade and investment deals across 47 African countries for a total estimated value of over $18 billion, and the U.S. private sector has closed investment deals in Africa valued at $8.6 billion.  U.S. goods and services traded with Africa totaled $83.6 billion in 2021.  These investments and programs are in support of the umbrella initiatives PGII, Prosper Africa, and Power Africa.

At today’s U.S.-Africa Business Forum, President Biden announced over $15 billion in two-way trade and investment commitments, deals, and partnerships that advance key priorities, including sustainable energy, health systems, agribusiness, digital connectivity, infrastructure, and finance.  Since January 2021, the Biden-Harris Administration has invested and plans to invest more than $1 billion in trade, investment, and economic development in Africa.

Departments and Agencies across the U.S. Government announced new initiatives and investments to promote two-way trade and investment:

  • The U.S. Trade Representative (USTR), on behalf of the United States Government, signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Secretariat to support institutions to accelerate sustainable economic growth across the continent.  Once fully implemented, the Agreement Establishing the AfCFTA will create a combined continent-wide market of 1.3 billion people and $3.4 trillion, which would be the fifth-largest economy in the world.
  • The Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) and the Governments of Benin and Niger are signing the first regional compacts totaling $504 million, with additional contributions of $15 million from Benin and Niger, to support regional economic integration, trade, and cross-border collaboration.  Since the start of this Administration, MCC also signed agreements with the Governments of The Gambia, Lesotho and Malawi for an additional $675 million.  These agreements include over $150 million to support climate adaptation.  The agency is currently working in 14 African countries with more than $3 billion in active compact and threshold programs and approximately $2.5 billion in the pipeline.  Yesterday, MCC announced that The Gambia and Togo are eligible to develop their first compacts, Senegal is eligible to develop a concurrent regional compact, and Mauritania is eligible for a threshold program.
  • President Biden launched the Digital Transformation with Africa (DTA), a new initiative to expand digital access and literacy across the continent.  Working with Congress, this new initiative intends to invest over $350 million and mobilize over $450 million in financing commitments for Africa, in line with the African Union’s Digital Transformation Strategy.
  • U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) announced $369 million in new investments across Africa across food security, renewable energy infrastructure, and health projects, including a $100 million transaction with Mirova SunFunder for the Mirova Gigaton Fund to support clean energy across the continent.
  • The Export-Import Bank of the United States (EXIM) currently has over $7 billion in exposure throughout Africa, including new authorizations such as $42 million in financing to the Republic of Angola for the purchase of GatesAir FM transmitters and $7.4 million in financing to Sapele Power Plc (Sapele) in Nigeria for the purchase of American-manufactured energy storage systems from ESS Tech, Inc (ESS).  At the Forum, EXIM signed several new Memorandums of Understanding (MoU), including: $500 million MoU with the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) to support diaspora engagement and strengthen EXIM’s commercial ties to the continent by increasing access to and awareness of EXIM financial products; a $300 million MoU with Africa 50 to facilitate up to $300 million in EXIM financing for the export of U.S. goods and services to buyers throughout Africa, particularly in support of infrastructure, transportation, digital technology and renewable energy projects; and a $500 million MoU with the Africa Finance Corporation to facilitate U.S. goods and services exports, promote U.S.-Africa trade, and support financing of trade-enabling projects.
  • Power Africa, which has helped close 145 power generation investments valued at more than $24 billion, in collaboration with Prosper Africa, announced the launch of the Clean Tech Energy Network (CTEN).  CTEN is a collaboration between the U.S. Government, U.S. clean tech energy companies, and African energy stakeholders that is expected to mobilize $350 million in deals.  In addition, Power Africa operationalized a $150 million public-private partnership to electrify 10,000 health facilities in sub-Saharan Africa, bolstering sector resources to advance pandemic resilience and digital connectivity and decarbonize the health sector footprint.
  • U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) announced over 15 new activities that are designed to help unlock close to $1 billion in financing for Africa’s clean energy, digital, and healthcare infrastructure priorities and create more than $500 million in export opportunities for U.S. firms.  These new commitments build upon USTDA’s 30-year history of partnering with Africa’s public and private sectors and financiers to shape infrastructure development across the continent.  In 2022 alone, USTDA’s program helped unlock more than $500 million in financing for 10 priority infrastructure projects across the continent.
  • Prosper Africa, working with Congress, has invested and plans to provide at least $170 million to increase two-way trade and investment between the United States and African countries.  Through catalytic investments and partnerships, Prosper Africa expects to boost African exports to the United States by $1 billion and mobilize an additional $1 billion in U.S. investment in Africa.  For example, Prosper Africa is launching five new partnerships with African investors that will leverage $200 million in private investment and generate millions of dollars in revenue for businesses, all while advancing African solutions to global challenges like climate change, food insecurity, and women’s empowerment.  Prosper Africa is also establishing a new Prosper Africa Coordinator position, which will streamline efforts across the U.S. Government and private sector to advance the Administration’s economic engagement with Africa.
  • The Department of Commerce has supported over 330 transactions and commercial cases between the United States and Africa under the Biden-Harris Administration, with a total value of over $11.9 billion.
  • The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) announced a range of commitments and newly-leveraged private investments across sectors, including in health, food security, and climate, and that promote gender equality, women’s economic empowerment, and social inclusion.  This includes $100 million to accelerate last-mile delivery of agricultural innovations and a pledge to unlock $300 million in private financing by increasing investment in infrastructure and manufacturing, as well as digital solutions to drive an effective African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).  USAID also launched its Climate Action Infrastructure Facility that aims to leverage $100 million in private investment toward financing climate solutions.
  • U.S. African Development Foundation (USADF) announced three Off-Grid Energy Challenges (healthcare, agriculture, and women in energy) through which the agency will provide grants to African enterprises to promote market-based solutions that connect businesses to electricity and impact marginalized communities.  USADF since 2021 has invested a total of $48.26 million of grant capital in African enterprises and leveraged $3 million from the private sector.  Working with Congress, in 2023, USADF plans to implement new projects that will invest $56.84 million, of which $18 million is expected to be leveraged from the private sector and other donors.
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) supported agricultural exports of approximately $264 million to Africa from July 2021 to August 2022 through the backing of the Export Credit Guarantee Program, including corn, soybeans, and wheat.  USDA will continue to encourage financing of commercial exports of U.S. agricultural products through the Export Credit Guarantee Program by reducing financial risk to lenders and facilitating trade.