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U.S.-Africa Leaders / Business Summit: Five Critical Questions
By admin August 6, 2014

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For those of us who have conducted business in Africa for many years (in consulting, trade and investment), the U.S.-Africa Leaders / Business Summit is a welcome development. Better late than never. The Obama Admin should be commended for taking this step. However, the success of the Summit will depend on how the following 5 key questions are answered:

(1) Will U.S. investors and corporations actually commit to investment in the continent (i.e. go beyond promises to actual, committed capital)?

(2) Will U.S. corporations actually partner with African-based firms and get beyond platitudes of “partnership” (to actual deals)?

(3) Will key players in African markets do what is necessary to ensure stability/security, create the necessary (physical, legal and institutional) infrastructure and pro-investor environment that will encourage investment and trade?

(4) Will U.S. corporations and investors finally realize that Africa isn’t a country, and that they have to take a country-by-country, culturally-sensitive and locally-driven approach to business opportunities?

(5) Leaving aside Investment for a minute, will U.S. corporations finally wake up and realize the huge opportunities/potential in Trade? “Made in USA” is still a sought-after premium across the African continent and no other country enjoys that amount of respect and goodwill that the U.S. does. Get this: According to McKinsey, Africa’s consumer-facing industries are expected to grow by $400 billion by 2020.

There is tremendous potential for a robust US-Africa engagement but it needs a lot of work. Let’s put things in perspective, the $14B committed so far in DC is a nice start…but that’s how much China spends on one road/energy project in sub-Saharan Africa. It’s time for U.S. investors and corporations to get off the sidelines and join the game.

Stay tuned for more analysis of the U.S.-Africa Summit and the full launch of our AfriTrade platform. Also, get in touch with us (info@bassiounigroup.com) to find out more about our current work and business (investment, trade, advisory) opportunities in sub-Saharan Africa and MENA.

 


Thanks for sharing !


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