Washington wants to mobilize “billions of dollars” of investments in favor of the African continent, in partnership with the private sector, declared to AFP the head of the American delegation at a USA-Africa business conference which took place open Wednesday in Morocco.
“The United States seeks to catalyze billions of dollars in trade and investment to create jobs and build inclusive and sustainable economic growth across the African continent,” said Alice Albright, CEO of the development agency. American Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC).
“We must leverage the full range of US government instruments, harness the power of the US private sector, and strengthen our partnerships with business leaders and investors across the African Diaspora,” Ms. Albright explained.
The MCC, a government agency, has invested some USD 9 billion (EUR 8.85 billion) in 25 African countries since 2004.
The American official is in Marrakech for the “US-Africa Business Summit”, an annual conference organized by the Corporate Council on Africa (CCA), a private organization, which is being held for the first time in North Africa.
In addition to the American government delegation, the meeting brings together until Friday political leaders and representatives of the African business community as well as decision-makers and investors from the American private sector, according to the organizers.
“It is time for Africa (…) to play its central and natural role on the international scene”, pleaded the head of Moroccan diplomacy Nasser Bourita by opening the debates.
Among the issues addressed: the fight against climate change and energy transition, food security, health, agriculture, infrastructure, new technologies and the digital divide.
The White House announced on Wednesday that President Joe Biden would host African leaders from December 13-15 for a summit that was supposed to “highlight the importance of the relationship between the United States and Africa”.
This summit must “further promote a new economic engagement”, “reinforce the commitment of the United States and Africa to democracy and human rights”, make it possible to work on cooperation in the face of pandemics, on security food, on the climate crisis and on peace.
The American president has made it a diplomatic priority to counter the influence of major autocratic regimes, such as Russia and especially China.
However, the latter has greatly advanced its pawns in recent years on the African continent, via enormous investments in infrastructure and mining resources in particular.