US President Barack Obama, has launched a new African economic campaign called ‘Doing Business in Africa’ (DBIA), as part of his administration’s ‘US Strategy Toward Sub-Saharan Africa’ policy which was established in June.
“The economies of sub-Saharan Africa are among the world’s fastest growing, and this economic expansion—partly a result of our long-standing investment in Africa—provides an opportunity to lift millions out of poverty and foster long-term stability,” President Obama said in an official statement.
“Our challenge is to ensure these gains continue and spread, and to enable American companies and the African Diaspora to obtain the support they need to take advantage of these new trade and investment opportunities,” he added.
The campaign which strives to deepen trade and investment between the US and the home to six of the world’s ten fastest-growing economies, was first disclosed to South African business leaders after which it was officially launched in Johannesburg on Wednesday by Acting US Commerce Secretary, Dr Rebecca Blank.
Through DBIA the American Department of Commerce has outlined five areas of intervention which includes the training of officials at Export Assistance Centers, in the US, as well as commercial service officers around the world on specific African markets and sectors.
The American government has committed through the programme, to empowering Africans in its country with tools to trade and invest in their home continent.
American economic development leaders would also be trained by the State International Development Organisation on doing business in Africa and two-way trade missions and shows would be organized for African and American companies and business leaders.
“Many American entrepreneurs and business leaders are unaware of the tremendous trade and investment prospects in sub-Saharan Africa,” Obama lamented.
According to engineeringnews.co.za, currently, US trade with sub-Saharan Africa accounts for only 2.6 percent of the country’s total trade with the world.
The US Strategy Toward Sub-Saharan Africa was officially announced on June 14 2012. The policy provides four new strategies with the aim of achieving grounded partnership with Africa and the development of the continent. They are: strengthening democratic institutions and spurring economic growth, trade and investment.