VOA Standard English - Doing Business in Africa

Doing Business in Africa


Aug 5, 2018

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross and a delegation from the President's Advisory Council on Doing Business in Africa announced over 1 billion dollars in private-sector deals during their recent mission to four sub-Saharan African nations.

The Advisory Council members expect to quickly conclude more than 2 billion dollars in additional deals in the coming days.

The four-nation visit, which included stops in Ethiopia, Kenya, and Côte D'Ivoire, concluded in Ghana where Secretary Ross signed a memorandum of understanding with the Minister of Finance to deepen the commercial partnership between the two nations. On previous stops, Under Secretary of Commerce Gilbert Kaplan signed cooperative agreements with the Ethiopian and Kenyan governments.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, Washington, U.S., June 20, 2018.
U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, Washington, U.S., June 20, 2018.

In Ghana, Secretary Ross led the U.S. delegation in meetings with President Nana Akufo-Addo, Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia, Minister of Trade Alan Kyerematan, Minister of Energy Boakye Agyarko, and Minister of Finance Ken Ofori-Atta.

Under Secretary Kaplan led the delegation in Ethiopia, Kenya, and Côte D'Ivoire, meeting with heads of state and senior government officials including Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, President Alassane Ouattara [All-ah-san Wa-ta-ra]and Prime Minister Amadou Gon Coulibaly of Côte d'Ivoire and Ethiopian Minister of Finance Abraham Tekeste.

The delegation also met extensively with business leaders and U.S. companies already doing business in those markets.

The delegation also met with officials at the African Development Bank to better understand how and where the bank is providing financing throughout the continent. This financing is a key tool for U.S. companies as they seek procurement contracts.

Cooperation agreements signed during the trip with Ethiopia, Kenya, and Ghana identify priority projects in key sectors to help achieve long-term growth and development. The cooperation agreements also establish a forum for the governments to address and resolve business climate challenges that limit participation by U.S. companies seeking to invest or do business in the three countries.

“The United States is making real progress in Africa, and we remain a strong, long-term, and stable partner in the continent's economic development,” said Secretary Ross.

“We are finding solutions to transition aid-based economies to trade-based economies by creating new pathways for mutually beneficial long-term partnerships.”