The President's Advisory Council on Doing Business in Africa recently released its recommendations to the Obama administration on how to best grow the United States' engagement with Africa from a commercial perspective.
The council was formed in August 2014 based on an executive order issued by President Obama following the U.S. Africa Business Forum.
The goals of the council are: to connect American businesses with African partners, support existing and new American investment in Africa, expand access for American businesses to finance their exports to Africa and reduce barriers to trade and investment in Africa.
The council held its first meeting on Wednesday, April 8, 2015 where members deliberated and adopted a report containing recommendations in four focus areas:
- Investment and access to capital
- Trade and supply chain development
- Marketing and outreach.
Recommendations made by the council included:
- Support capacity building activities for African financial regulators, exchanges, and financial market participants
- Mobilize more capital from institutional investors by launching an investor roadshow and creating an investor toolkit
- Provide assistance to African countries during implementation of the World Trade Organization Trade Facilitation Agreement
- Optimize the perishable supply chain
- Enhance the ability of U.S. companies to compete for major infrastructure projects with a dedicated U.S.-Africa Infrastructure Center
- Allow more flexibility in existing U.S. Government healthcare assistance for Africa for broader healthcare infrastructure needs in Africa
- Promote market access for U.S manufacturing and services companies in Africa and industrialization in African countries
- Improve the perception of doing business in Africa