U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker highlighted a number of Department of Commerce efforts and future commitments under President Obama's Doing Business in Africa (DBIA) campaign at the U.S.-Africa Business Forum. The Forum, a day focused on trade and investment opportunities on the continent, is a part of President Obama's broader U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit, the largest event that any U.S. president has ever convened with African heads of state or government.
Co-hosted by the Department of Commerce and Bloomberg Philanthropies, the first-ever U.S.-Africa Business Forum was created to encourage African business investment in the United States and U.S. investment in Africa; foster transactions and deals; and help create jobs in the United States and Africa. During remarks at the Forum, President Obama announced that U.S. businesses have already committed to investing $14 billion in clean energy, aviation, banking, and construction, among other commitments totaling more than $33 billion that support economic growth in Africa and thousands of U.S. jobs.
"The U.S.-Africa Business Forum is as a catalytic opportunity for American companies to increase their economic partnerships and investment in Africa. This historic Forum also highlights the fact that a number of American businesses, many of which were aided by our trade assistance efforts, have announced deals worth more than $14 billion. These deals will come in sectors including construction, clean energy, banking, information technology and more. These agreements clearly demonstrate that America is open for more business with Africa as the Continent's economic ascent is just beginning," said Secretary Pritzker. "As America's Chief Commercial Advocate, I know that selling more U.S. goods and services in overseas markets creates good jobs here at home. Each day, 250,000 Americans go to work in jobs supported by exports to Africa and these deals will lead to increased prosperity on both sides of the Atlantic in the months ahead. That is a good thing for Americans and for Africans alike."
The Commerce Department coordinates federal efforts in support of the Doing Business in Africa campaign, which was launched as part of the Administration's U.S. Strategy Toward Sub-Saharan Africa in 2012. DBIA aims to increase U.S. trade promotion to Africa, address market barriers, expand the availability of trade financing, and attract more American companies to explore sub-Saharan Africa trade and investment opportunities.
As part of efforts to further strengthen trade and financial ties, President Obama signed an Executive Order directing the Secretary of Commerce to establish a President's Advisory Council on DBIA. The council, comprised of a maximum of 15 private sector representatives, will work to promote broad-based economic growth in the United States and Africa by encouraging U.S. companies to trade with and invest in the continent.