By Kestér Kenn Klomegâh
After several negotiations, the Corporate Council on Africa (CCA) has finally launched its 14th US-Africa Business Summit from July 19 to July 22 under the theme ‘Building Forward Together’ and will be held in Marrakech (Morocco) in partnership with the Kingdom of Morocco and Africa50 (the pan-African infrastructure investment platform).
United States investors are looking forward to exploring several opportunities in the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), a policy signed by African countries to make the continent a single market. The market, with an estimated 1.3 billion population, requires all kinds of consumable products and new legislations stipulate localizing production inside Africa.
Thus, the summit will further explore a renewed commitment by both public and private sector stakeholders to building stronger United States and Africa trade, investment, and commercial ties, emerging from unprecedented health and economic challenges for the past two years.
With AfCFTA which aims at boosting Africa’s trade, the United States investors are prepared to adjust their initiatives and pursue agreements that go beyond African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). The Corporate Council on Africa is facilitating for potential investors in pursuing public-private partnerships that support the United States and African businesses, including women-owned and led Small and Medium-Scale Enterprises.
The three-day summit will include plenaries and panel sessions highlighting key economic recovery strategies and focus on a range of sectors and issues, including health and vaccine access, trade, digital transformation, infrastructure, financing, small and medium scale enterprises, tourism, women’s leadership and investment opportunities in various African countries.
The high-level dialogue is expected to set the scene for reviewing the opportunities for the United States and African public and private sector leaders, how to strengthen the economic partnership between the United States and Africa related to large-scale investments in key sectors such as oil and gas exploration, new trade agreements, and reviewing the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA).
The 14th US-Africa Business Summit, the first major in-person US-African gathering will attempt to re-engage and collaborate since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. The Corporate Council on Africa has an exciting line-up of high-level and panel discussions, networking opportunities, and activities that will allow attendees to meet face-to-face to engage on key US-Africa economic issues and re-establish important business contacts that were not possible over the past two years.
The African Heads of State, US government and African officials, top CEOs and senior executives from US and African companies operating in sectors contributing to Africa’s economic growth and relaunch including infrastructure, ICT, health, energy, mining, and creative industries.
The United States government report said the Biden-Harris Administration was prioritizing economic relationships with Africa. The United States government and private sector leaders, together with African political and corporate business leaders, have been working consistently over these years to share insights on critical issues and policies influencing the US-Africa economic partnership. It will drive billions of dollars of investment in Africa, build new markets for American products and create thousands of jobs for African and American workers.
According to information made available, the lined-up guest speakers include Mokgweetsi E.K. Masisi, President of Botswana; Filipe Nyusi, President of Mozambique and Nana Akufo-Addo, President of Ghana. Attendees will participate in high-level roundtables, panels, and country forums, with ample opportunities to network with business and government leaders to develop new business partners. The exhibition centre will allow organizations to amplify their brand and showcase their business to leaders and the investment community.
During the summit, Africa50 in partnership with the Corporate Council on Africa will run a series of discussions dedicated to infrastructure investment in Africa. The sessions will include a presidential dialogue; a roundtable discussion on ways to mobilize institutional investors’ capital to fund infrastructure projects; a session on opportunities to increase public-private partnerships in the power transmission sector; and a panel on tech-enabled infrastructure.
Speaking about the partnership, CEO Alain Ebobissé said, “we are pleased to partner with the Corporate Council on Africa for this important event which comes at a crucial time, as the continent faces unprecedented external shocks and is recovering from the Covid-19 pandemic. There is a need for strong, innovative, and bold responses to accelerate the recovery while driving climate-resilient and sustainable growth and infrastructure will play a key role.”
The Kingdom of Morocco, the host organizer, reassured facilitating, as part of the corporate summit, group visits and tours of Marrakech and other Moroccan cities for special guests. As the only African nation with a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the United States, a major investor in sub-Saharan Africa and successes to showcase in penetrating key global manufacturing ecosystems (including aviation, agribusiness, and automotive), Morocco has much to showcase around the areas of increased intra-African trade as well as enhancing the US-Africa trade, investment, and commercial relationship.
With more than 1,000 US and African private sector executives, international investors, senior government, and multilateral stakeholders expected at the summit during Marrakech’s high season, it is strongly encouraged that attendees register early.
The Corporate Council on Africa is extremely grateful for the excellent partnership of the Kingdom of Morocco as the summit host, and partner Africa50 as well as summit sponsors including Royal Air Maroc (the summit official airline), Axxess, Jean Boulle Group, Pfizer, Visa, USP, Amazon, Gilead, Trimble, IHS Towers, Trade and Development Bank, Acrow Bridge, Trinity Energy, Citi, Flutterwave Inc., P&G, DLA Piper LLP, Attijariwafa Bank, Maroc Telecom, Creative Associates, Google, CrossBoundary and Frontier Bridge.
The summit media partners 35°Nord, All Africa, Jeune Afrique, and the African Media Agency. Without their collaboration, support and generosity, this year’s U.S.-Africa Business Summit would not be possible. The Corporate Council on Africa (CCA), a leading reputable American business association, continues facilitating the growth and enhancement of US-Africa trade, investment, and commercial engagement that supports the prosperity of the United States, its African partners, and American and African businesses and people.