WASHINGTON, -- In one of the toughest global economic downturns in decades, the African continent continues to be one of the leading foreign direct investment destinations for U.S. businesses, according to the Corporate Council on Africa (CCA). In fact, recent data released by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), reveals that while other regions of the world are experiencing economic decline, Africa has experienced significant economic growth over the past five years and is expected to maintain a positive growth rate of 3.5% for 2009.
"The reliable growth that we are seeing in Africa is due not only to the wealth of opportunities available in Africa, but also due to its continued efforts for greater political stability and an unprecedented level of government reform to attract foreign investment," said CCA President and CEO Stephen Hayes. "Africa has proven itself to be an essential asset for companies across many business sectors."
Industries that represent promising growth sectors in Africa include:
To advance trade and investment flows between the U.S. and Africa, CCA is hosting its 7th Biennial U.S. - Africa Business Summit at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C. from September 29 - October 1, 2009, to which senior U.S. officials, including President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, have been invited. In addition, United States Trade Representative (USTR), Ambassador Ron Kirk will be in attendance.
During Secretary Clinton's trip to Africa last week, she applauded CCA's efforts to forge new, mutually beneficial private sector partnerships between the U.S. and Africa. The three-day event will include more than 50 industry-specific sessions, with a focus on the most promising business sectors - agribusiness, financing, health, infrastructure, natural resources development, power and tourism. These sessions will include dialogue among U.S. and African business and government leaders worldwide.
"American businessmen and women don't always think of Africa as an attractive and potentially lucrative market," said Hayes. "Yet, we know that international trade between the U.S. and many African countries is increasingly becoming an important part of a company's portfolio. The U.S. also benefits when we import goods from Africa, which leads to enhanced consumer choice and job creation here at home. The Summit will speak to these issues."
Summit participants will hear about the latest financing options, meet African heads of state and key government officials, and learn about the U.S.-Africa policies of the Obama administration. They will also have the opportunity to network with African and U.S. private sector and government representatives and identify specific growth areas that are ripe for investment.
For more information on and to register for the 2009 7th Biennial U.S. - Africa Business Summit, visitwww.africacncl.org.
About The Corporate Council on Africa
Established in 1993, The Corporate Council on Africa is a nonpartisan 501 (c) (3) membership organization of nearly 200 U.S. companies dedicated to strengthening the commercial relationship between the U.S. and Africa. CCA members represent nearly 85 percent of total U.S. private sector investments in Africa. The organization is dedicated to bringing together potential business partners and to showcase business opportunities on the continent.