U.S.-Africa Business Summit Focuses on Building a Common Future

The U.S.-Africa business summit wrapped up Friday in the Moroccan city of Marrakech.

Placed under the high patronage of King Mohammed VI and in partnership with the “Corporate Council on Africa” (CCA), this summit has as its theme “Building the future”.

It brought together 2,500 participants, including a large delegation from the US government, African ministers and decision-makers from the largest US multinationals and African business community, 40% of whom were women.

The event was marked by high-level dialogues, plenary sessions, panels, roundtables and side events on the continent’s priorities in food security, health, agriculture, energy transition, new technologies, infrastructures and integration of industrial ecosystems.

A Moroccan foreign ministry source told Asharq Al-Awsat that around 6,000 contacts were made among the participating businessmen.

Numerous contracts were also concluded between the Americans and the Africans in the fields of petroleum and mining, in addition to 37 meetings on the means of development.

The closing session focused on the future that is currently being built. She stressed the importance of the concerted efforts of the various partners for Africa’s economic development and prosperity.

African participants called for building relationships based on trade and investment transactions and not just on receiving aid.

They said Africa looks forward to a partnership with the United States that will pump more valuable trade flows and foster the level of investment.

Moroccan Industry Minister Ryad Mezzour said there are no perfect solutions that can be programmed, noting that every challenge is an opportunity, especially for a continent that has been neglected for decades.

He pointed out that 30% of young people in the world are African, which represents a real value for this human capital that must be valued.

He expressed hope for a US contribution to the continent’s efforts to achieve development, noting that he has previously said he is willing to achieve effective bilateral cooperation.

Ghana’s Trade and Industry Minister Alan Kyerematen has urged the United States and Africa to join hands in overcoming the effects of the coronavirus pandemic and Russia’s war on Ukraine.

He further called on the United States to support Africa’s integration efforts and avoid reaching out to each African country individually.

He cited some of the obstacles facing development efforts, including weak infrastructure and widespread famine.

Dana Banks, special assistant to the president and senior adviser for the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit, said the pandemic has underscored integration into the global future and the opportunity to join interests, starting with the means of addressing the health system.

She also mentioned the “Prosper Africa” initiative, which aims to strengthen the resources of investors, within the framework of partnerships based on dialogue and cooperation.