In efforts to improve U.S. trade and investments in Africa, President Obama will announce plans at the three-day U.S.-Africa Business Forum in D.C. for over 90 U.S. companies to invest a combined $14 billion. The investments will go toward banking and finance, construction, clean energy, and information technology projects, according to a White House official who spoke with Reuters.
The business summit brings together U.S. companies such as Ford Motor Co., General Electric, Chevron Corp., Citigroup Inc., Morgan Stanley, and Wal-Mart with several African companies. Just under 50 African heads of state will be attending as well.
The official stated, “These investments will deepen U.S. economic engagement in Africa, fueling growth that will support broader African prosperity and emerging markets for U.S. businesses, which will support jobs in both the United States and Africa.”
While specifics for the projects have yet to be released, Businessweek reported on a General Electric investment. The report revealed that GE Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey Immelt plans to invest $2 billion in Africa by 2018. The investments will go toward improving supply chains, training workers and further developing facilities.
Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker, who will attend the event, said in a statement: “These agreements represent conclusive evidence that America is open for more business with Africa as the Continent’s economic ascent is just beginning. 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.”
In an interview on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” Michael Bloomberg, founder and majority owner of Bloomberg LP, said, “You cannot, if you’re a good business person, avoid markets that have a chance of becoming dominant, and the African market with 600 million people certainly has that potential.”