The African continent continues to show the world how to grow economically during one of the toughest global downturns in decades. To advance trade and investment flows globally into Africa, The Corporate Council on Africa (CCA) will convene the 8th Biennial U.S.-African Business Summit in Washington, D.C., Oct. 5-7, 2011. The Summit is the premier event for finding and building partnerships with more than 1,200 government and business leaders from the U.S. and Africa, as well as from Europe, Canada and Japan.
A packed three-day event, the Summit will include over 32 workshops and plenaries, a trade expo and "The Vault", a match-making program connecting projects and entrepreneurs with sources of funding. These events will highlight Africa's most promising sectors, including agribusiness, infrastructure, energy, health, power, goods and services, and security.
Featured speakers include Elizabeth Littlefield, President & CEO, Overseas Private Investment Corp (OPIC); Hanna Tetteh, Minister of Trade & Industry, Ghana; Joe Oteng-Adjei, Minister of Energy, Ghana; Hage Geingob, Minister of Trade & Industry, Namibia; Bart Nnaji, Minister of Power, Nigeria; Akin Adesina, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Nigeria; Erastus Mwencha, Deputy Chairperson, African Union Commission, and Susan Mboya, Group Director Eurasia & Africa, Coca Cola.
The Corporate Council on Africa is hosting on Wed., Oct. 5, a special opening gala dinner. Burkina Electric will perform their eclectic mix, and Somi will entertain with their sultry sounds. A fusion of American and African culinary classics will be served. The Summit program will be kicked off by a keynote address by one of the most senior-ranking U.S. Administration officials.
Since its inception in 1997, in Chantilly, Va., the CCA U.S.-Africa Business Summit has brought together heads of state along with other government and business leaders to engage in dialogue on U.S. and Africa trade as well as economic and political relationships.
"The nations of Africa are experiencing one of the greatest booms in business in the history of the African continent, and the Summit showcases these investment opportunities," said Stephen Hayes, CCA's President and CEO. "The future of Africa is tied to the level of investment going into Africa, the last great frontier in the world for new investment and development."
Attendees can meet potential business partners and learn more about the Obama Administration's policy on Africa as well as details on the continent's important position in the global economy. Participants will have the opportunity to network with key African and U.S. private sector and government representatives, identify specific growth areas and hear detailed information about projects that are ripe for investment. Additionally, they will learn about the latest financing options and meet numerous high-ranking African ministers.
CCA also offers country-sponsored Doing Business Forums, which delve into the trade and investment opportunities offered by specific countries. They begin with Kenya on the evening of Oct. 4, and continue on Oct. 5 with Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Ethiopia and Ghana.
Despite the current global economic downturn, African countries continue to experience above average growth and higher levels of investment across a diverse portfolio of industries. The International Monetary Fund estimates that gross domestic product in the 47 countries of sub-Saharan Africa rose 5 percent last year and forecasts growth of 5.5 percent in 2011. Hayes noted that global investment is beginning to pour into parts of Africa in amounts unimagined a decade ago. "The Summit connects U.S. business leaders with African business leaders, resulting in substantial new investment."
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton noted at the 2009 Summit, "Today the question for all of us who care about the future of Africa is: What can be done to sustain and deepen the democratic and economic transformation that is now underway?"
Thirty-two major corporations and media organizations have signed on as sponsors for this monumental event. They represent the vast majority of U.S. investment in Africa and also include some of the largest African corporations and institutions.
About The Corporate Council on Africa
Established in 1993, The Corporate Council on Africa is a nonpartisan 501 (c) (3) membership organization of nearly 180 U.S. companies dedicated to strengthening the commercial relationship between the U.S. and Africa. CCA members represent nearly 85 percent of total U.S. private sector investments in Africa. The organization is dedicated to bringing together potential business partners and to showcase business opportunities on the continent.