Washington, DC — Today, U.S. Deputy Secretary of Commerce Karen Dunn Kelley commemorated the first anniversary of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s collaborative efforts with interagency partners, in coordination with the Prosper Africa Executive Secretariat, highlighting President Trump’s Prosper Africa initiative focused on expanding two-way trade and investment between the United States and Africa.
“Just one year after the Prosper Africa launch in Mozambique, our ‘all of Commerce’ approach has garnered the resources and expertise needed to connect U.S. businesses with export opportunities throughout the continent featuring eight of the world’s 10 fastest-growing economies and more than one billion consumers,” Deputy Secretary Kelley said. “A greater connection between the United States and Africa has delivered expanded markets for U.S. commercial interests, advanced mutual prosperity and security, fueled economic growth and job creation, and demonstrated the superior value proposition of transparent markets and private enterprise for driving growth. We hope to continue building on this important relationship through our Prosper Africa initiative.”
The Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration (ITA) underscored the initiative’s progress noting that more than 180 U.S. companies and foreign investors have facilitated deals with the help of the Department of Commerce, amounting to more than $10.7 billion in U.S. export content between U.S. and African organizations during the first year of Prosper Africa. The projects focused on export promotion, addressing barriers to trade, investment into the United States, and advocacy on foreign government tenders.
A wide range of industry sectors were represented from healthcare, agribusiness, energy, construction and design, environmental technology, and financial services. Furthermore, in the past three years, the Department of Commerce has led the signing of six memorandums of understanding with the governments of Côte d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique, and Tunisia providing a catalyst for many U.S. companies to increase trade and investment and compete in those markets.
In the past year, the Department of Commerce supported the Prosper Africa initiative through various engagements, strengthening ties between U.S. firms and African markets:
- In June 2019, Deputy Secretary Kelley announced the initiative in Maputo, Mozambique, with Heads of State, Vice Presidents, and Prime Ministers from nine African nations.
- In October 2019, ITA held the annual Discover Global Markets Business Development Forum in Houston, Texas, bringing together several delegations from African nations with more than 350 U.S. firms—large and small alike— for direct matchmaking.
- In November 2019, Ian Steff, Assistant Secretary for Global Markets, visited Cairo, Egypt, to keynote the U.S.-Egypt Business Forum, attended by more than 300 U.S. and Egyptian officials and firms.
- In November 2019, Deputy Secretary Kelley returned to the continent as a keynote speaker at the Africa Investment Forum in Johannesburg, South Africa. While in South Africa, the Deputy Secretary met with South African and U.S. women leaders in technology on the margins of AfricaCom in support of the Women’s Global Development and Prosperity initiative.
- In February 2020, Joseph Semsar, Deputy Under Secretary, performing the duties of Under Secretary for International Trade, led the U.S. Delegation to the first Prosper Africa business-to-business Summit in Tunis, Tunisia, which featured representation from more than 30 African nations and 900 attendees including 50 U.S. businesses.
For more information, please visit Prosper Africa.