Trump initiative for Africa’s power, other sectors; ‘Prosper Africa’ unveiled

This week, at the biennial U.S.-Africa Business Summit organized by the Corporate Council on Africa in Maputo, a number of African Heads of State as well as other senior government leaders rubbed shoulders with an impressive line-up of Trump administration officials.

Deputy Commerce Secretary Karen Dunn Kelley and USAID Administrator Mark Green outlined the administration’s new initiative – ‘Prosper Africa’ – in major Summit addresses. They were joined at the event by Assistant Secretary of State for Africa Tibor Nagy, Deputy Assistant Energy Secretary Joseph F. Uddo, III and other officials, and Gil Kaplan, Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade.

They came to Mozambique to talk about a new way of doing business, using a ‘whole-of-government approach’. The aim is to facilitate entry of many more American investors to Africa and provide the support (financial and otherwise) that the private sector needs to launch new business ventures and engage in new projects.

This stimulus for American engagement and American investment will create new jobs in the United States and in Africa, the officials say. The fact that all people deserve access to low cost, sustainable, reliable electricity has already led to two U.S. companies; Symbion Power and Natel Energy announcing that they are joining forces under the ‘Prosper Africa’ initiative to deliver affordable electricity directly to consumers in Africa in areas where there is no electricity grid.

Prosper Africa has the potential to be good for America and good for Africa. Many more investments will likely follow as investors learn about the products and services that the U.S. government will bring to bear. It is often said that President Trump has very little interest in Africa, but in Maputo this week it looked like massive engagement by his administration and a demonstrable show of support to Africa.

In the past year, both the First Lady Melania Trump, and the first daughter, Ivanka Trump, visits to Africa were widely seen as big successes. Their presence created enormous excitement. Other cabinet members have traveled to Africa, and the President surely will be welcomed on the continent once Prosper Africa has started to make its mark.

 

Source: All Africa

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