US, Africa firms seal $15-billion of deals at Washington summit

American and African firms reached more than $15-billion in new commitments and deals at a summit hosted by President Joe Biden as the US moves to increase its commercial ties with the continent through investments rather than aid.
The commitments cover sustainable energy, health systems, agribusiness, digital connectivity, infrastructure, and finance, the White House said in a statement on Wednesday.
Presidents from more than 40 African nations are in Washington for the three-day summit, the first of its kind in eight years. The US is trying to deepen its ties with the continent as it competes for influence with rivals China, Africa’s largest trading partner and bilateral creditor, and Russia, which has successfully strengthened relations with the region in recent months as western nations tried to isolate it over its invasion of Ukraine.
The US 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 American private sector has closed investment deals in the continent valued at $8.6-billion since 2021, the White House said.
Some of the initiatives emerging from the summit’s business forum include:
At least $170-million by Prosper Africa – the US government initiative to increase trade with the continent – to boost exports to the US by $1-billion over the next five years, and mobilise another $1-billion in US investment in Africa.
Cisco Systems, the biggest maker of machines that run computer networks and the internet, is partnering with Cybastion, a diaspora-owned small business, for $800-million in new contracts to protect African countries from cyber threats.
The US-Africa Clean Tech Energy Network – a partnership between Prosper Africa and the US Agency for International Development’s Power Africa initiative – to facilitate up to $350-million investment in clean-tech energy companies within the next five years.
The Office of the US Trade Representative also signed a memorandum of understanding with the secretariat of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) “to support institutions to accelerate sustainable economic growth across the continent,” the White House said.
The AfCFTA – which would be the world’s biggest free-trade zone by area when it kicks into full gear in 2030 — became operational in January last year and has a potential market of 1.3 billion people with a combined gross domestic product of $2.6-trillion.
14 Dec 2022 10PM English South Africa Business News · Business

Other recent episodes

Pakistan pleads for flood relief after ‘cameras have gone’

Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari urged the world to continue to help the South Asian nation recover from devastating floods ahead of a United Nations conference next month to mobilise funding. Pakistan is facing an economic crisis with reserves covering one month of imports, a dollar shortage and a…
19 Dec 2022 11PM 3 min

Yen surges on yield-curve change; Asia stocks fall: markets wrap

The yen strengthened as the Bank of Japan said it would let benchmark bond yields rise further. Asian equities headed for a fourth day of declines amid investors concern on the global inflation outlook. The BOJ kept policy rate unchanged, but increased the upper band limit on the yield target…
19 Dec 2022 11PM 2 min

What Led Twitter Users Into Voting Elon Musk Out: Timeline

After less than two months at the helm of Twitter Inc., Elon Musk asked his followers whether he should keep the job, pledging to abide by the result of the poll. They said he should step down. It’s the latest episode in a tumultuous series of events that’s played out…
19 Dec 2022 10AM 10 min

US Stocks Drop as Traders Mull Rate-Hike Path: Markets Wrap

US stocks dropped as traders mulled the Federal Reserve’s path next year after central bank officials vowed to keep raising rates until they’re confident inflation has been subdued. The S&P 500 and the tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 declined. Shares of Tesla Inc. gained in anticipation of Elon Musk stepping back from…
19 Dec 2022 10AM 4 min