16th US-Africa Business Summit Seeks to Strengthen Sustainable Cooperation

The 16th US-Africa Business Summit organized by the US Corporate Council on Africa (CCA) took place at the Kay Bailey Hutchinson Convention Center in Dallas, Texas from 6 to 9 May 2024. The theme of the 2024 edition is “Partnering for Sustainable Success“.

More than 1,800 delegates attended the Summit, including US and African leaders representing a cross-section of government leaders and captains of industry. The US ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield and former Assistant State Secretary in charge of African Affairs led the US delegation consisting of the Department of State, Department of Commerce, Department of the Treasury, Office of the US Trade Representative (USTR), Millenium Challenge Corporation (MCC), US EXIM Bank, Prosper Africa and other related departments and offices.

Several African heads of state or government traveled to Dallas to attend the Summit. Among the African leaders in attendance were Angola President Joao Lourenco, Botswana President Eric Masisi, Cabo Verde President Jose Neves, Malawi President Lazarus Chakwera and Liberia President Joseph Boakai. Nigeria was supposed to be represented by its Vice-President Kashim Shettima, but due to a last-minute issue, the Nigerian Ambassador had to step in.

It is the first time that the Summit is held in the US since 2017 and also the first time it is held outside Washington DC. Dallas was selected as it is home to a significant and dynamic African diaspora. Moreover, Dallas is home to many large US corporations.

“Dallas has more Fortune 500 and Fortune 1000 companies than many major U.S. cities, and we want to bring the best of Africa and have them engage to find new opportunities to work together.”

Corporate Council of Africa Chair & Axxess Health CEO John Olajide
Family Photo at 16th US-Africa Business Summit 2024
Family Photo at 16th US-Africa Business Summit 2024

One of the success stories of the US-Africa cooperation has been made possible via the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). Launched in 2023, PEPFAR has been able to save over 25 million lives and allowed 5.5 million babies to be born HIV-free. In view of its positive impact, the US Congress reauthorized the extension of #PEPFAR for a fourth term up till 2025.

It is worth noting 2024 also marks the 20th anniversary of the Millenium Challenge Corporation (MCC) which has worked to promote economic growth, alleviate poverty and to strengthen institutions while promoting democratic values. The interventions of the #MCC spread across 46 countries on five continents and has contributed to improve the lives of nearly 270 million people. As for Africa, #MCC has deployed nearly two-third of its total budget, amounting to USD 10 billion, to 24 countries around the continent.

Presidential Plenary on 20 Years of MCC

In the same spirit, the US Congress will reauthorize the extension of the #AGOA. It will favor countries which have joined the #AfCFTA — which is the majority of African countries — and provide a smooth 5-year transition for countries graduating to high-income status.

In addition, the US has signed a USD 1.3 billion deal to finance infrastructure projects in Angola. Nearly USD 900 million from the US EXIM Bank is earmarked for the implementation of two #PV farms with a total capacity of 500 MW. The rest will go to enhance #connectivity and promote freedom of expression via better radio coverage.

The US has joined hands with EU and the UK to invest in #StrategicCorridors in Africa. These #StrategicCorridors facilitate access to #CriticalMinerals which are essential to achieve #CarbonNeutrality. In particular, together the US, UK and EU are investing nearly USD one billion to upgrade the railway and related infrastructure along the #LobitoCorridor, linking Angola, to Zambia and DR Congo.

When Biden came into power, he adjusted the foreign policy of the US to lay more emphasis on Africa. He brought back the US-Africa Leaders Summit (#UALS2) and expressed renewed commitment to the emerging continent. Thus, according to Prosper Africa, the US has closed 1852 deals with Africa, generating USD 86 billion in exports and investments since June 2019.