In the wake of the African Leaders Summit in Washington, D.C. this past August, Representatives from Congress, international trade agencies and members of the African diplomatic community joined business leaders last week for an event at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. to discuss opportunities for U.S. businesses across the African continent and explore ways that business and government can work together to increase U.S.-Africa trade.
The event was organized by ISI Consultants, hosted by Howard University’s School of Business and their business development incubator, and supported by the U.S. Commerce Department, the U.S. Small Business Administration and the Corporate Council on Africa, to foster greater cooperation between the public and private sector and highlight the ways in which business and government can successfully work together to grow U.S. exports to Africa.
According to Mathew Murray, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Europe, Middle East & Africa at the International Trade Administration, who spoke at the event, African countries are projected to make up 7 of the 10 fastest growing countries, between 2011-2015, and those countries include Ethiopia, Mozambique, Tanzania, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana, Zambia, and Nigeria respectively.
He highlighted the U.S. government’s focus on helping increase business ties with African countries, underlining this commitment with the U.S. Commercial Service more than doubling its presence in Africa, opening offices in Angola, Tanzania, Ethiopia, and Mozambique, and expanding offices in Kenya, Ghana, Morocco, and Libya, giving U.S. companies greater access to various programs and initiatives.
In addition, in 2015, the U.S. Commerce Department will host Tradewinds, the largest annual U.S. trade mission, which for the first time will go to Africa. This business development conference and trade mission will take place next September in South Africa with stops in Ethiopia, Tanzania, Mozambique, Angola, Ghana, Nigeria, and Kenya.
Ambassador Perry from the Corporate Council on Africa also commented on the need to increase the numbers of U.S. companies doing business across Africa to begin to create sustainable, established, industry entry points in various markets. The Corporate Council on Africa will host a series of trade-focused events in the U.S. and across Africa in 2015.
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As part of our commitment to the National Export Initiative (NEI), ISI Consultants offer a limited number of COMPLIMENTARY STRATEGY SESSIONS each month to qualified U.S. companies.