Day 3 Features Prosper Africa Address by Power, Interviews of Key Speakers on U.S. Strategic Competition and China’s Belt and Road Initiative, Business Opportunities in Africa, and Announcement of EXIM’s Deal of the Year Award
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE September 23, 2021
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WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Administrator Samantha Power, former U.S. Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew, and United Bank for Africa Group Chairman Tony O. Elumelu shared their insights on strategic U.S. competitiveness and business opportunities and partnerships in Africa on the final day of the 2021 Annual Conference of the Export-Import Bank of the United States (EXIM), held virtually on September 21-23.
In an address entitled, “Prosper Africa: Partnering with the Private Sector to Advance Economic Growth,” USAID Administrator Power discussed the role of the U.S. government in working with the private sector to advance Africa’s economic growth and build markets for U.S. exports.
“The opportunity for partnership, growth, and prosperity in Africa is truly immense, and through Prosper Africa, U.S. entrepreneurs and businesses are already benefiting from investments in Africa’s high-growth markets,” said Power. “Since June 2019, the U.S. government has helped to close 800 deals across 45 African countries for an estimated value of $50 billion in exports and investments. With Prosper Africa as a conduit, investing in fast-growing African markets is creating synergies that lead to growth here at home. We are building new markets from American products, mobilizing billions of dollars in U.S. private-sector investment, and supporting thousands of jobs for American and African workers.”
In a conversation entitled “American Business in an Era of Strategic Competition,” Elizabeth C. Economy, Senior Advisor for China at the U.S. Department of Commerce, interviewed former Treasury Secretary Lew, who is currently Managing Partner at Lindsay Goldberg. Lew co-chaired a Council of Foreign Relations task force on how the United States should respond to China’s Belt and Road Initiative, which provided recommendations.
“The United States as a government should provide technical support so countries undertaking projects could better understand the alternatives available through U.S. and multilateral institutions and other foreign institutions. There’s more direct private lending from U.S. institutions in countries where the Belt and Road initiative is than there is Chinese investment. We recommended that more resources available for agencies like the EXIM Bank provide both the direct resources and other support needed. There are tools in the U.S. toolkit that can be used,” Lew said.
In a conversation entitled, “The Future of Africa and U.S.-Africa Relations,” David Rubenstein, Co-Founder and Co-Chairman of The Carlyle Group, interviewed Tony Elumelu, Group Chairman of the United Bank for Africa. Elumelu discussed American business investment and infrastructure opportunities in Africa, emphasizing the power sector.
“My position is that capital investment should go to environments where they are most welcome. In terms of sectors, investment in infrastructure such as electric power is critical. You know, we can’t develop Africa if we cannot invest massively in the power sector. Less than 60 percent of our people have electricity. We want more investment in the power sector,” Elumelu said.
EXIM’s annual awards for U.S. exporters, lenders, brokers, and partners concluded today with the announcement of EXIM’s Deal of the Year award, which was given to First Solar of Perrysburg, Ohio, for its exports to the Zacapa solar-energy project in Guatemala. Press releases on each of EXIM’s 2021 awards are available on the agency’s website.
The Export-Import Bank of the United States (EXIM) is the nation’s official export credit agency with the mission of supporting American jobs by facilitating U.S. exports. To advance American competitiveness and assist U.S. businesses as they compete for global sales, EXIM offers financing including export credit insurance, working capital guarantees, loan guarantees, and direct loans. As an independent federal agency, EXIM contributes to U.S. economic growth by supporting tens of thousands of jobs in exporting businesses and their supply chains across the United States. Since 1992, EXIM has generated more than $9 billion for the U.S. Treasury for repayment of U.S. debt. Learn more at www.exim.gov.