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Commerce Connects U.S. Businesses to Opportunities in Africa’s Power Sector

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Energy for Africa: 600 million people, 70% of the population of Sub-Saharan Africa are without electricity

With its fast-growing middle class and tremendous human, agricultural, and mineral resources, the continent of Africa is attracting investors and businesses from all around the world. Home to seven of the world’s ten fastest-growing economies, Sub-Saharan Africa outpaces global average growth. That is why, in 2012, President Obama launched the Presidential Policy Directive (PPD) on Sub-Saharan Africa, now known as the U.S. Strategy Toward Sub-Saharan Africa. The Strategy recognizes that Africa holds the promise to be “the world’s next major economic success story,” and the Commerce Department is working help businesses be part of that success story by promoting U.S. trade and investment through the Doing Business in Africa (DBIA) campaign.

Today, the Commerce Department’s Minority Business Development Agency’s (MBDA), Miami MBDA Business Center hosted the Power Africa B2B Summit to promote the public-private partnership model envisioned by President Obama’s Power Africa Initiative. President Obama announced Power Africa last year as an initiative to double the number of people with access to power in Sub-Saharan Africa, where 600 million people lack access to electricity. The United States is investing more than $7 billion in this effort.

At today’s Summit, prominent government and business leaders, including Nigeria’s Power Minister the Honorable Muhammed Wakil, CEOs of Africa’s major power companies, and representatives from the U.S. Export-Import Bank and USAID, joined MBDA to share opportunities for accessing the energy sector in African markets.

The Power Africa B2B Summit is just one step that the Commerce Department is taking to promote trade and investment in Africa. Next month, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker will embark on a trade mission to Ghana, Nigeria, and Ethiopia. The trade mission, Secretary Pritzker’s third since taking office last summer, will promote U.S. exports to Africa by helping U.S. companies launch or increase their business in the energy sector in West Africa.  It will also help the African region develop and manage energy resources and systems, build out power generation and transmission, and distribution. 

The Department of Commerce is committed to helping U.S. businesses increase their global fluency. Both today’s event and the upcoming trade mission are opportunities to connect U.S. company products, services, and expertise to support Africa’s power potential.

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