From August 8-10, the Hub participated in the United States Sub-Saharan Africa Trade and Economic Cooperation Forum (AGOA Forum) in Lome, Togo. The Forum was officially opened by the Prime Minister of Togo, Mr. Komi Selou Klassou who urged delegates to discuss ways to boost trade between the United States and Africa.
United States Trade Representative Ambassador Robert Lighthizer addressed delegates during the official opening and emphasized on the United States is commitment to trade with Africa.
“We see great potential to grow and deepen our trade relationship, with the goal of establishing a true partnership for the future. By lowering barriers and tackling other constraints that impede trade and investment, we are poised to see U.S.-Africa trade flourish. To realize these gains, however, much more work needs to be done, as we will discuss during this important AGOA Forum,” said United States Trade Representative Ambassador Robert Lighthizer.
The Hub participated in USAID Investment Ministerial Breakout Session panel discussion moderated by USAID’s Acting Deputy Assistant Administrator Chris Runyan and Botswana’s Assistant Minister of Investment, Trade and Industries Biggie G. Butale. The panel discussion focused on U.S. and African investment and financing institutions, constraints and opportunities for expanding investment through diversified financing solutions, risk mitigation mechanisms, and greater domestic resource mobilization to support sustainable development.
The U.S. Government, USAID and OPIC are working together to engage the private sector to help deliver development results that advance U.S foreign policy, build future markets for economic growth and trade, and benefit emerging economies through sustainable economic development.
“USAID Trade and Investment Hubs work with investment advisory firms with extensive experience providing investment and economic development advisory services to governments, development finance institutions, private equity firms, Fortune 100 companies, and public policy research institutions, in frontier markets. Services include: investment facilitation, fundraising support, deal structuring, market intelligence, financial analysis and due diligence, “said USAID’s Acting Deputy Assistant Administrator Chris Runyan.
The Hub’s investment Director, Ms. Kanini Mutooni, informed the delegates at the forum that U.S investors’ perception of Africa as a high risk investment destination could be mitigated through the transaction advisory services offered by USAID Trade and Investment Hubs.
“The East Africa Trade and Investment Hub provides investment advisory services to selected companies, helping investors and investees to reduce the uncertainty and cost of the investment evaluation process,” said Ms. Mutooni.
The Hub also attended the private sector dialogue on August 8, 2017 organized by Corporate Council of Africa to discuss AGOA successes, challenges and the way forward. Mr.Olivier Bersia from Flexknit Madagascar opened the private sector panel and discussed his experience in receiving trade and investment support from the Hub. “The East African Trade and Investment Hub has been instrumental in the growth of Flexknit Madagascar” said Mr. Bersia. Flexknit Madagascar produces and exporters high-end knit garments.