The United States Government through its Secretary of Commerce, Penny Pritzker has disclosed expanding Foreign Commercial Service presence in Africa to strengthen the economic and commercial tie between U.S. and Africa.
Making the disclosure at the opening of the U.S-Africa Business Forum on August 5, Secretary Pritzker the said the Foreign Commercial Service contains American commercial diplomats who will navigate each African Market.
“We are doubling the number of commercial offices in Africa, with new sites in Angola, Ethiopia, Mozambique, and Tanzania. We are expanding existing offices in Ghana, Kenya, Libya, and Morocco, and we are returning Foreign Commercial Service presence to the African Development Bank for the first time in three years,” she said.
In addition, she used the occasion to announce on behalf of the Department of Commerce and U.S. partners 10 new trade missions to Africa and 10 reverse trade missions to the United States by 2020.
To safeguard the environment amidst desire to invest in the continent, the U.S. official disclosed that the National Institute of Standards and Technology is launching the Global City Teams Challenge to create teams of cities and innovators working together on issues like air quality, resource management, healthcare delivery, and modern energy grids—to utilize the best technology to build “Smart Cities.”
Secretary Pritzker described the plan to make business in Africa as a “Moment of opportunity,” noting that a decade from now participating countries in the ongoing U.S-Africa Summit will look back at the moment as the start of something important, or see a missed opportunity.
“The choice is up to all of us here today. Today’s agenda features conversations on financing and development, energy and infrastructure, good governance and public-private partnerships-all meant to highlight the choices before us,” she emphasized.
“As America's Chief Commercial Officer, I feel strongly that this last pillar – the U.S.-Africa economic relationship – is fundamental to our mutual peace and prosperity. We know that businesses serve as key bridges between our continents, but we also share the conviction that these ties of commerce can be stronger, deeper, and more lasting.”
She further indicated that as Africa's middle class continues to expand, we hope to see our export numbers grow, too. And through Select USA, the Administration is actively encouraging African companies to increase their presence in the United States.
On the issue of conduct in business, the U.S. Secretary of Commerce said “Every African leader who embraces greater transparency and market access, speeds business processes, and roots out corruption represents a ripple of hope for greater prosperity for their people – and for ours.”