Representative heads of state from each of the Regional Economic Communities will participate in a moderated discussion on how U.S. and Africa can advance a resilient and sustainable partnership.
Africa has a gas reserve of over 503 trillion cubic feet. According to the International Energy Agency, for the next five years the worldwide demand for gas will rise at about 1.6 percent per year. Development of this abundant natural gas resource will deliver reliable, affordable energy to customers while creating long-term economic value for people across the continent.
The panel will discuss the world-class liquified natural gas project currently being developed across Africa along with the technologies being deployed to bring gas to market faster and the benefits for African countries. The project provides a real opportunity for countries to transform into wealthier nations and become major global LNG exporters.
Infrastructure is one of the essential drivers of economic growth and job creation in Africa. However, the cost and complexity of such projects provide a challenge for governments to execute. Nevertheless, African countries have focused heavily on the sector over the last two decades which has increased interconnectivity in telecommunication, railways and ports.
The African Development Bank estimates that annually a minimum of $130-170 billion dollars is needed to alleviate congestion, much of which interferes with getting goods to markets. With limited resources and competing interests, African countries cannot sustain the level of investments in the infrastructure sector that will unlock the continent’s trade and industrial potential. However, governments can empower the private sector’s investment. This plenary will discuss the impact of infrastructure development on the economy while also highlighting the projects with the greatest multiplier effects and the best practices in public-private partnerships.
Representatives from African Governments and prominent technology companies will discuss their plans to develop Africa’s broadband and telecommunications sectors. U.S. Government representatives will augment the discussion with information on programs to support this development. This moderated discussion will present practical, concrete steps that can be taken by Africa’s ICT sector over the next twelve months to improve broadband access in Africa, including fostering digital literacy and making broadband access more affordable. To the extent possible, the group will also suggest targets to consider for the coming two to five years.
After two devastating cyclones in three short months, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Malawi, and Zambia are working hard to implement long-term reconstruction plans to address the needs of displaced residents and to proactively make their critical infrastructures more resilient for future storms. This session will feature the Presidents of all four affected countries, who will overview their recovery and reconstruction efforts to date and share their long-term development plans. Additionally, international donors and private sector representatives will offer comments on their involvement in the recovery and preparedness efforts. Finally, the panel will provide opportunities to hear from regional leaders on how those outside the four affected countries can contribute to the region’s long-term sustainable recovery.
African countries have taken a significant step forward in integrating their economies and increasing their competitiveness with the ratification of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement, the first phase of which went into effect May 30. African countries will start negotiations on the second phase of AfCFTA provisions in July, which will cover a broad range of important issues, including services and IPR. As countries begin to implement AfCFTA, regional and continental trade, their markets will become more integrated and it will be easier for companies to integrate into regional and global supply chains. American companies are increasingly interested the opportunities these developments are creating for increased trade and investment, at a time when the U.S. Government is increasing its efforts to support more trade and investment in and with African countries. This panel will offer an opportunity to hear from African Trade Ministers and USTR how they view these evolving opportunities.
Africa is expected to generate $1T in sustainable business by 2030 related to cities, food, health, and energy together with 85 million new jobs. In part, Africa’s growth will be supported by donor funding of $500 B over 10 years and led by the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Hear practical steps to generate sales, enter new markets, support investments and sustainable supply chain objectives, and/or launch development initiatives with measurable outcomes. There is more money than good projects.
Over the next three decades, African countries will account for two thirds of the world’s increase in population. While this increase offers a tremendous opportunity, it will likely exacerbate a broad range of existing challenges. For African countries to manage these challenges, it will be critical to find ways to create large numbers of new jobs, include more people into the formal economy and boost economic growth across various sectors and regions. Research has shown that one of the most effective tools African countries can employ is empowering women to be more economically active.
Over the last few years, public sentiment has changed from viewing women as a niche sector that should be protected, to understanding that they are in fact a dynamic engine of economic growth. Repayment rates for loans for women-owned businesses exceed 90%, while those for businesses owned by men hover around 30%. Women also tend to be most active in sectors with the greatest potential to increase productivity through capturing greater value-added services and products. The panel will outline current challenges faced by women in a variety of sectors as well as exploring innovative programs that have the potential to be more broadly replicated.
Despite economic growth in African countries and their far-reaching social and institutional reforms, private investors in Africa still encounter an inadequate local workforce that inhibit gains on their investments. Capacity building, education and training are essential components of successful, long-term investment strategies in Africa. As Africa’s population is set to rise to two billion by 2050, the need for mechanization, training, service and support for technicians and engineers has exponentially risen.
Governments are increasingly favoring bilateral agreements, multilateral agencies and businesses that prioritize technology and knowledge transfer. Multilateral agencies are allocating resources to support private sector development whilst also working with regulators to provide an environment that will encourage more local and international investments. The session will focus on the ways in which the private sector and governments are partnering to close the capacity building gap that exists in many African countries.
Over the past decade, African countries have shown a commitment to developing their economies by channeling investments into strategic sectors and taking calculated risks in areas less attractive to private investors. African governments are embracing long-term investment strategies and relying on institutional investment with resources derived from their discretionary budgets or from natural resources. The relationship between the public and private sectors has the potential to stimulate large economic gains and sustain growth. This panel will highlight best practices of African governments managing their resources through strategic investments, allocating risk, and co-investing with institutional and private investors.
In Africa, spending for homeland security is expected to reach $345 billion by 2022, up from $178 billion in 2010. The sectors of aviation, defense, communication, data, cyber security, counter-terrorism, peacekeeping and logistics have seen the biggest amounts of growth. Though terrorism threats remain a key concern for public and private actors, cyber-attacks have increased at an alarming rate which have affected cloud, traditional, and hybrid networks.
As a response, both governments and businesses are adopting a range of solutions to secure both physical and digital assets. The panel will examine how security actors, both in government and the private sector, are tackling changing and new threats by contributing meaningful solutions.
Digitalization is transforming economies across Africa. From facilitating increased access to education and healthcare to improving government services and data collection, leveraging digital platforms can improve how business is done on the continent.
Although Africa has leapfrogged some aspects of traditional development with technology, there remains considerable room for growth, which is often hindered by challenges such as lack of infrastructure and public policy. Panelists in this session will explore opportunities and consider obstacles for the expansion of digitization as a strategy for economic growth in Africa.
Africa’s population will roughly double from today’s1.1 billion people to 2 billion by 2030. Africa’s youth and working age population are driving this growth, averaging 2.7% each year, more than double the growth in Latin America and Southeast Asia. McKinsey estimates that by 2025, nearly two-thirds of the 303 million African households will have discretionary income. Given the increasing importance consumer spending plays in African economies, the growth in the size and scope of the consumer market will be an important driver of job creation and economic growth. This panel will highlight companies’ strategies to harness the sector’s potential, recapture and surpass the boom of recent years, offer products that meet local demands, increase industrialization and highlight how they deal with factors that impede growth.
By 2050 the world population is expected to grow to nearly 10 billion. According to the United Nations, Africa’s population alone will rise to 2.5 billion by the same time. However, the availability of arable land has quickly decreased largely due to an increased competition from urbanization and industrialization, alongside the consequences of climate change.
To feed their growing population, African nations must increase their productivity by implementing a better mix of mechanization, water management, data collection and usage. The panel will discuss the impact of data, technology and strategic policies of both private companies and governments in order to develop a sustainable agriculture ecosystem that meets the challenges of 21st century Africa.
The Standards Alliance will support the Roundtable on “National Quality Infrastructure to Support Trade and Investment.” The session will highlight existing national quality systems across the African continent to emphasize their role in supporting trade and investment between the U.S. and Africa. Presentations during the roundtable will include an overview of the standards and regulatory structures in each respective country, while including a brief summary of each organization’s role in the quality system.
Following this overview, presenters will utilize one example from a recent regulation for a consumer good to demonstrate each stage of the country’s regulatory system. This process will include stages of development from a decree or mandate to the finalization of a domestic regulation. The exercise will also note any opportunities for public consultation or comment before and after finalization.
With several mid-sized countries forecast to continue to grow above 5% per year, Africa’s middle class is expected to grow beyond its current share of 34% of the population, with consumers projected to spend an estimated $2.2 trillion on goods and services by 2030. Franchises have the potential to offer a good solution for countries looking to quickly fill capacity gaps in important sectors such as food and entertainment, while offering much needed entry-level jobs and new markets for local suppliers.
The panel will discuss several case studies from across various regions and sectors, offering suggestions on how African countries can maximize the opportunity to use franchising as a vector to create much needed jobs and stimulate economic growth. Specific suggestions will focus on policy and regulatory issues, as well as capacity and infrastructure issues, and will include steps companies can take to be more effective.
The trend towards purposeful Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) contributes directly to the bottom-line by reducing operating costs in the host country, building capacity and increasing brand value. Furthermore, socially-driven organizations have experienced a drastic decrease in funding over the last few years. The decrease has sparked global conversations as to the best practices to achieve sustainable and tangible social impacts, while also encouraging business ventures.
The panel will highlight case studies across the continent that will examine the unique relationships between corporations and social causes. The panelists will discuss how businesses select the causes they commit to, leverage innovative funding mechanisms and develop strategic partnerships between businesses and philanthropy that hope to achieve sustainability.
Over 40 percent of businesses cite the lack of reliable power supply as the biggest constraint to their operations in Africa. The result of this impediment has caused some businesses to close or relocate. Access to affordable modern forms of energy is not only a prerequisite for economic prosperity, but also for local growth and sustainable development. Power Africa in its “Transmission Roadmap” aspires to mobilize at least $3 billion to install 7,500+ MW of transmission capacity and bring at least 10 priority projects to financial close by 2030.
With some countries experiencing an over-supply of electricity while others are underserved, cross-border transmission is critical to ensuring universal access to power. Moving power from its generation sources to where it is needed provides cost-efficient supply and enhances the energy security. The panel will discuss the main challenges to unlocking regional power trade, the benefits of connected countries and the role of stakeholders including regional power pools, multilateral development partners and private sector investors in executing the accessibility of universal power.
As Universal Health Coverage (UHC) takes center stage in Africa’s healthcare industry, many governments are focused on implementing strategic plans to strengthen health infrastructure and increase public and private sector investments. The role of both the public and private sector is increasingly crucial in order to deliver reliable and successful healthcare to all Africans.
The panel will explore strategies needed to improve and advance effective healthcare products and service delivery systems which will accelerate and increase access to affordable, quality healthcare in Africa. Panelists will discuss successful solutions and partnership models to overcome the industry’s most pressing challenges to UHC. These solutions include innovative financing and insurance schemes, improvements to regulatory oversight of healthcare and cost-effective primary healthcare interventions.
Sustainability and corporate social responsibility initiatives are hallmarks of many CCA member organizations that are heavily invested in Africa. In the case of most multinationals, their programs are highlighted by their marketing departments and through media and visible campaigns. There is less visibility, however, for the organizations whose core mission is to provide access to services and resources to some of Africa’s marginalized populations, and which thereby contribute in important ways to a more resilient and sustainable U.S.-Africa partnership – the theme of this Summit. This session will highlight a few of CCA’s member organizations and their initiatives doing good in Africa
The United States’ government has made it a priority to support greater trade and investment ties between American and African companies. The session will update companies on the full range of U.S. government tools, summarize the Trump Administration’s Africa Policy, and provide the latest update on the various tools U.S. Government agencies are implementing. Included will be the installation of headline developments from OPIC, the Development Finance Corporate as well as the Millennium Challenge Corporation. A representative of the new President’s Advisory Council on Doing Business in Africa will provide a private sector view of these efforts.
The panel will provide an ideal opportunity for American and African companies to get the latest updates on U.S. Government programs and how they interact with each other, as well as to ask important questions and suggest areas of focus to the officials most directly involved in implementing these programs.
In 2015, the creative economy generated nearly $2.25 trillion globally, with Africa accounting for less than 3 percent of its global revenue. Financial constraints and nascent infrastructure in the continent’s creative industries have confined production. Nonetheless, Africa’s creative industries, including music, film, and fashion have entered a new, dynamic phase largely due to the emergence of digital technology, which has transformed the production of content across the continent.
The panel will discuss the innovative initiatives and models fast-tracking the development of Africa’s creative industries, as well as ways to incentivize capital investment and ensure the integration of African content into the global creative industry.
According to WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities, a third of all urban dwellers worldwide – 1.2 billion people – lack access to safe and secure housing. Lower and middle-income countries are the most affected, with governments increasingly unable to provide services and infrastructure to adequately address the concerns. Certain cities in Africa welcome more than 40,000 people every day, many of whom find themselves without a roof over their heads.
In recent years, some African governments, along with supporting multilateral agencies, have prioritized sustainable urban development and affordable housing. The soaring demand is being met through initiatives that aim to increase private sector participation. Africa’s housing market presents an excellent business opportunity for developers with the technical and financial strength to construct large-scale projects. Panelists will address the steps that governments have taken to partner with the private sector, in order to develop an affordable sustainable housing sector as well as share best practices and success stories on the continent.
Many African countries are challenged with the “double burden,” meaning both the high prevalence of infectious diseases combined with the rapid rise of non-communicable diseases. The burden is amplified by the lack of access to affordable, quality healthcare services and facilities. Nevertheless, innovations and advancements in technology, medical equipment and public-private partnerships can provide solutions that enable African countries to tackle these critical issues.
From electronic medical records to drone delivering life-saving medicine and minimally invasive procedures, innovative solutions are driving advancements in healthcare across the continent. Both the public and private sector are identifying new ways to leverage strategic partnerships that enhance service delivery across the continent. The session will explore successful strategies and new products that address healthcare needs in Africa.
These short one-on-one meetings are an opportunity for U.S. and African private sector representatives to interact directly with U.S. Government representatives. Representatives can learn about the full range of trade and investment support services that Prosper Africa offers and how companies and investors can access them.
Across Africa, air transport of passengers and cargo supports 6.8 million jobs and contributes $72.5 billion to Africa’s GDP. Air transportation is a driver of trade as over a third of all global trade by value is sent by air. McKinsey estimates that Africans alone could be buying $75 billion worth of goods and services by 2025.
The panel will discuss how investment in the aviation sector can drive socio-economic transformation in Africa and the future impact on air-travel and trade across the continent if restrictions on intra-Africa travel are lifted. The direct link aviation provides to connectivity and productivity will allow African markets to benefit and create the framework for innovative and sustainable economic growth.
They are game changers, thought leaders, innovators, problem solvers, leaders and drivers of development and growth. They are young leaders both in the public and private sectors. They are aware of what it takes to successfully operate a business or be a public servant. They know and understand the challenges but, still forge ahead bringing much needed change to their communities, governments and corporations. They aim to compete at the global level and set the highest standards.
The panel will showcase some of the emerging leaders driving political and economic change on the continent. The panelists will discuss how innovative and solution driven initiatives have helped them forged their own identity in their respective fields.
While many see the potential for American companies to contribute to Africa’s economic and commercial development goals, the key is to create more business partnerships between U.S. and African firms. U.S. companies bring world class technology, skills transfer, capital and access to new markets for African partners. African companies bring knowledge of local markets, innovation, entrepreneurialism and access to opportunities. However, the challenge of finding viable partners remain an important question for both U.S. and African firms.
The panel will feature U.S. companies successfully doing business in Africa, including several current and past members of the President’s Advisory Council on Doing Business in Africa (PAC-DBIA). Panelists will highlight their best practices as well as the challenges they faced in developing business opportunities in Africa. They will also discuss their most effective strategies in terms of finding local partners, suppliers and offer their thoughts on how to improve American and African private sector collaboration to develop more robust opportunities.
Africa’s investment needs are immense, for example a minimum of $130 billion a year is needed to finance various infrastructure projects. In order to do effectively, African countries will need to unlock the potential of greater regional trade integration. Various infrastructural needs have exceeded the ability of traditional government financing tools. Traditional private sector concerns over several risks have tended to make financing for projects in Africa exceedingly expensive.
As a result, over the last ten years blended finance, using limited concessional development finance and philanthropic funds, has developed to de-risk and mobilize large-scale private capital flows to emerging and frontier markets. Sub-Saharan Africa currently receives an estimated 42% of the $138 billion in annual blended financial flows. The panel will explore current, alternative and blended finance activities, combined with the potential to develop and implement blended finance solutions in partnership with private, public and philanthropic organizations.
African countries are well on their way to completing the first stage of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCTA). One of the primary motivations is to increase regional and continental trade integration, which in turn will create a significant amount of new jobs and boost economic growth across the continent. Greater integration and adopting common standards will also facilitate Africa’s development of next-generation technologies in sectors like ICT, advanced manufacturing and services. African governments and companies are keenly aware that they need to be more competitive to join global value chains and attract increased foreign direct investment (FDI).
As a result, there is a strong interest in hearing more from American companies about their needs. With the expiry of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) a mere five years away, the United States is too at an inflection point. The expiry of AGOA allows the United States’ government and businesses to craft longer-term strategies that will invigorate trade and investment in Africa. The panel will highlight some of the key themes for the coming years and suggest steps the U.S. and Africa can take to build a better future together.