The 13th U.S.-Africa Business Summit was held virtually on July 27 – 29, 2021. The Summit, which is the flagship conference of the Corporate Council on Africa, is considered essential for those doing business on the continent as well as the U.S. and African leaders shaping U.S.-Africa economic engagement. This year’s Summit theme, “New Pathways to a Stronger U.S.-Africa Economic Partnership,” focused on the unique opportunity for the new U.S. Administration and its African partners to reset and redefine their relationship, working together to shape the path for economic recovery needed as a result of the COVID pandemic. The Summit hosted African Heads of State and key ministers, USG Cabinet and senior officials, and more than 1,000 private sector executives and stakeholders from across the United States and the African continent.
The Summit opening plenary witnessed a high-level dialogue between H.E. Filipe Nyusi, President of the Republic of Mozambique, and SADC Chairman, H.E. Pravind Jugnauth, Prime Minister of the Republic of Mauritius, the Hon. Gina Raimondo, Secretary, U.S. Department of Commerce, and Al F. Kelly, Jr. Chairman and CEO, Visa. Over the Summit’s three days, participants heard from other African leaders, including H.E. Felix Tshisekedi, President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and AU Chairman, H.E. Mokgweetsi Masisi, President of the Republic of Botswana, H.E. Uhuru Kenyatta, President of the Republic of Kenya, H.E. Paul Kagame, President of the Republic of Rwanda, and H.E. Prof. Oluyemi Osinbajo, Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. African Ministers of trade, energy, agriculture, investment, ICT, and infrastructure from across the continent also participated in the Summit and engaged the audience on sector and country specific issues.
In addition to Commerce Secretary Raimondo, U.S. Trade Representative Ambassador Katherine Tai, Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield, U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate Hon. John Kerry, U.S. Agency for International Development Administrator Samantha Power, and U.S. International Development Finance Corporation Chief Operating Officer David Marchick were among the U.S. Cabinet officials, agency heads, and other senior executives from the Biden-Harris Administration at the Summit.
The Summit is the premier business event bringing together captains of industry from the United States and Africa. Among the more than 500 CEOs and senior private sector executives at this year’s Summit were Visa Chairman and CEO Al F. Kelly, Jr.; Bruce Cleaver, CEO, DeBeers Group; William Killeen, CEO, Acrow Bridge; Tewolde GebreMariam, CEO, Ethiopian Airlines; Karan Bhatia, Vice President, Government Affairs & Public Policy, Google; Angela Hwang, President, Biopharmaceutical Group, Pfizer; Admassu Tadesse, President, and CEO, Trade and Development Bank; Bassem Bibi, Divisional Vice President, Middle East, Africa, and Global Accounts IDEM/ARDX, Abbott; Vilo Trska, Senior Vice President for Sub-Sahara Africa, Procter & Gamble; Olugbenga Agboola, Founder & CEO, Flutterwave; and Akin Dawodu, Head, Sub-Saharan Africa Cluster, Citi.
This year’s Summit was specifically designed to facilitate and elevate business-to-business and business-to-government engagement and provide a platform for U.S. and African business and government leaders to engage on key sectors including agribusiness, energy, health, infrastructure, ICT, finance, and more. The Summit’s nearly 1500 private sector and government decision makers who registered to participate in the Summit were able to network, meet potential business partners and explore new business opportunities.
CCA’s U.S.-Africa Business Summit is regarded as one of the essential conferences on doing business and investing in Africa. The virtual event addressed today’s most important challenges to investors in Africa by facilitating high-level roundtables, sector-focused discussions, as well as breakout sessions, and three country-focused sessions on doing business in Botswana, Angola, and Liberia.
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