US Reports Increase in Signed Deals with African Leaders

The U.S Department of State has reported progress on the business and economic front of the US-Africa Leaders’ Summit over the last six months.

The number of investments made in Africa from the summit has been reported to have increased from 15.7 billion dollars to 16.2 billion since December last year.

This progress report follows the December 2022 gathering of more than 40 Heads of State in Washington, D.C. for a three-day U.S- Africa Leaders’ Summit.

During his address to the leaders then, the United States President Joe Biden said that his administration officials had signed deals with African leaders worth US Dollars 15 billion to improve lives of people across the continent.

Biden then said that these were long-term investments that were going to deliver real benefits to people; create new, good-paying jobs and expand opportunities for all countries for the years to come.

“In the last six months, we have seen great progress on the business and economic front,” reports the Special Presidential Representative for U.S.-Africa Leaders’ Summit Implementation Ambassador, Johnnie Carson. “During the summit, there was a day devoted to business, commercial, and investment issues. That day resulted in some 15.7 billion US Dollars in agreements being made between American companies and African countries and companies. Since then, the number of deals has actually increased to US Dollars 16.2 billion.”

Ambassador Carson, together with the U.S. Assistant Secretary for African Affairs, Molly Phee, and the National Security Council Senior Director for African Affairs, Judd Devermont on Tuesday addressed journalists from across Africa on the progress made in implementing the achievements of the U.S.-Africa Leaders’ Summit and how these efforts highlight the U.S. commitment to the African continent. The three officials joined journalists in the online briefing from Washington, D.C.

According to Carson, the signed deals have covered infrastructure, health care, solar systems implementation and establishment, as well as agricultural activities and they represent a commitment by the American business community to work effectively and progressively with African companies and countries.

He also reveals the establishment of the U.S. Diaspora Engagement Council since the December summit and its representatives will report to the U.S President through the Secretary of State on recommendations to strengthen the level of cooperation and understanding between African American in the US and those who live in Africa.

“The diaspora represents an enormous foreign policy asset for the United States,” Ambassador Carson said. No one knows Africa better and is more connected than those who have recently come from there, who have their heritage there. We look at this as a very positive development.”

He also noted the desire to ensure that summits are held on a more regular basis. Before the December 2022 U.S.-Africa Leaders’ Summit, the last summit had been held eight years earlier in 2014.

“Our desire is to see that the United States holds summits on a more regular basis, perhaps every three years, perhaps once during the administration of every president,” he explained. “We haven’t gone to the point of thinking about alternating them between Washington and overseas. It’s important for us to be able to establish a regular pattern here at home, which I think we’re trying very hard to do.”

Judd Devermont, the National Security Council Senior Director for African Affairs said that they have been working hard on implementing the deliverables and the pledges made at the summit.

Said the Director: “One of the biggest announcements was on the Digital Transformation with Africa. This initiative is an US Dollars 800 million initiative to invest in the continent’s digital future, whether it is enabling young people to have the digital literacy and access to get online to encouraging more investment in the African economies and digital sector. We’ve established an African Digital Policy Council to navigate our efforts.”

Devermont says that the increase in the number of investments made on the continent from the summit from US Dollars 15.7 billion to 16.2 billion, doesn’t even include some of the huge announcements the U.S made recently at the G7 as part of their partnership for global infrastructure and investment.

“We announced a 300 million dollar investment in Ghana for data centers and are working on the due diligence for a US Dollars 250 million railway corridor from Angola to the Democratic Republic of the Congo,” Devermont. “And finally, in addition, the EXIM Bank, the import – the Export-Import Bank of the United States, has authorized US Dollars 1.6 billion for infrastructure investments in Africa as part of this initiative.”

Molly Phee, the Assistant Secretary for African Affairs said that the Africa Bureau at the State Department, has worked to identify staffing to have a cell that will focus on making sure that they continue to direct different U.S. Government departments and agencies to continue engaging proactively to support African interests that are good for both Africans and for Americans.

She highlighted this as one of several structural initiatives made in line with President Biden’s pledges.

“The President affirmed American support for an African permanent seat in the Security Council,” said Molly Phee. “He affirmed American support for the African Union to be part of the G20 and talked about how he would direct Secretary Yellen, our Secretary of the Treasury, to look at the multilateral financial institutions and ensure they were revamped and fit for purpose for the current challenges we’re all facing. So we wanted to make good on our promise to elevate African voices in the global conversation.”

She also emphasized that they are working intensively to ensure that the US Dollars 16.2 billion deals made at the Africa Business Forum are implemented.

In his address at the December Summit, President Yoweri Museveni urged President Biden’s administration and American businesses to invest on the cheap in Uganda in the development and manufacture of vaccines and other pharmaceuticals.

Officials that accompanied President Museveni to the December 2022 Summit included the Health Minister Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng, Finance Minister Matia Kasaija, Foreign Affairs Minister Gen. Jeje Odongo and officials from Uganda’s embassy in Washington D.C.

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