US to invest $55bn in Africa

Baitshepi Sekgweng
OPTIMISTIC: President Masisi

The United States of America has pledged US$55 billion in foreign assistance to invest in Africa over the next three years to expand two-way trade and investment, bolster African health systems, engage the diaspora and foster technological innovation in African countries.

The funds are to be invested in human capital, infrastructure, digital connectivity, agribusiness, sustainable energy, health systems, and peace and security.

Some of the other financial aids expected from the US are US$369 million in new investments across Africa, through the US International Development Finance Corporation (DFC), though the latter already has more than US$11 billion commitments in Africa.

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In line with the African Union’s (AU) digital transformation strategy, the US is to further invest over US$800 million in the new Digital Transformation with Africa (DTA) initiated by President Joe Biden.

An additional US$1.33 billion will come in annually from 2023-2025 for the health workforce in Africa to build the capacity for more resilient health systems across the continent.

Reflecting on the U.S.-Africa Leaders’ Summit, which was held in December 2022, in Washington D.C.,President Mokgweetsi Masisi said the new U.S.-Africa partnership is focused on promoting trade and investment between the United States and Africa and advancement of Africa’s prosperity, security and democracy.

“As the world’s largest producer of gem diamonds by value, it is imperative that we develop value chains for raw materials to allow for greater value addition, spur innovation and growth, adapt to climate change, build sustainability, deepen economic diversification, and create opportunities for exploitation of global supply chains. To create an inclusive economy, we need more private sector involvement to drive value chain development in major industries ranging from mining, tourism, agriculture, and education,”explained Masisi at the just ended US-Africa Business Summit in Gaborone on Wednesday.

Held under the theme “enhancing Africa’s value in global value chains”, the summit aims to explore new and evolving opportunities to build a stronger U.S.-Africa trade and investment relationship as well as assisting Africa to achieve its objective of becoming more competitive and an integral part of the global economy.

“Our efforts alone as Botswana, will be an exercise in futility if we are not fully integrated into the global economic system. It is on this basis that I recognise, and commend the formation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). Once fully operational, the AfCFTA will build and strengthen regional integration as well as boost intra-Africa trade, thus increasing value-added production, trade across all valuable sectors of the continental economy,”said Masisi, further expressing his hope that the US administration will renew the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) initiative, which expires in 2025.

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Expectation is that the AGOA renewal, which will come with expanded mandates, will give a strong signal and confidence to the markets and serve as a catalyst for Africa’s industrialisation and inclusion into the global value chains.

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