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Increasing Trade with Africa is Focus of New Initiative

Monday, July 15, 2019
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

Substantially increasing trade and investment between the U.S. and Africa is the goal of the Trump Administration’s new Prosper Africa initiative. Mark Green, administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development, said this initiative is “a new way of doing business” that “makes the full suite of U.S. government networks and resources available and accessible to importers, exporters, and investors.”

Green and Deputy Secretary of Commerce Karen Dunn Kelley told a recent meeting of the Corporate Council on Africa in Mozambique that Prosper Africa will include the following elements.

- facilitating transactions by synchronizing the capabilities and initiatives of 15+ U.S. government agencies to provide blended finance, loan guarantees, market intelligence, advocacy, and a range of services to de-risk investments

- modernizing and coordinating the resources of these agencies, including Commerce Department professionals in more 100 U.S. cities, to help U.S. companies better identify commercial opportunities in Africa and expanding U.S. private sector knowledge and utilization of these resources

- developing and deepening markets by tapping into local ventures to provide matchmaking services with U.S. companies and African supply and value chain departments

- identifying and removing policy, regulatory, and logistical trade barriers in ways that increase transparency and lower the cost of doing business in Africa

- expanding U.S. trade and investment hubs into multi-agency platforms and integrating technical advisors into those hubs to create an easily accessible trade and investment support package

- creating an additional trade and investment hub in North Africa

- increasing the foreign commercial services of USAID private sector catalysts in Africa to serve as “deal facilitation teams” in strategic markets that can help companies in project preparation, connect companies to potential U.S. government financing and risk mitigation tools, and help expedite deals through official advocacy

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