Launched by Acting Commerce Secretary Rebecca Blank on November 28, 2012 in Johannesburg, South Africa, the Doing Business in Africa Campaign helps U.S. businesses take advantage of the many export and investment opportunities in sub-Saharan Africa.
President Obama believes that sub-Saharan Africa can be the world’s next major economic success story. In June 2012, the President issued the U.S. Strategy Toward Sub-Saharan Africa, committing the United States to elevate our efforts to spur economic growth, trade, and investment in sub-Saharan Africa.
President Obama said the following in announcing the U.S. Strategy: “We will work with our African partners to build strong institutions, to remove constraints to trade and investment, and to expand opportunities for African countries to effectively access each other’s markets and global markets, to embrace sound economic governance, and diversify their economies beyond a narrow reliance on natural resources, and—most importantly—create opportunities for Africa’s people to prosper. As we support these efforts, we will encourage American companies to seize trade and investment opportunities in Africa, so that their skills, capital, and technology will further support the region’s economic expansion, while helping to create jobs here in America.
The Campaign: The Doing Business in Africa Campaign will harness federal trade promotion and financing capabilities to help U.S. businesses both identify and seize upon trade and investment opportunities, furthering the United States’ commercial relationship with Africa.
Trade Promotion: Federal agencies will work to encourage U.S. companies – with a focus on small- and medium-sized businesses and African Diaspora-owned businesses – to trade with and invest in Africa through:
Financing: The Obama Administration has recognized that financing assistance is vital to increasing trade and investment to sub-Saharan Africa. As part of the Doing Business in Africa Campaign, agencies including the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), Export-Import Bank (Ex-Im Bank), and U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) will build upon current efforts, specifically by:
Enhancing Ex-Im Bank initiatives, including the South African Renewable Initiative, in which Ex-Im Bank plans to finance up to $2 billion in U.S. technologies, products and services to strengthen the country’s energy sector.