Highlights Of The First U.S.-Africa Business Forum
Based on the incredible energy in this room, I've never been more optimistic about Africa's future and I know that President Obama and Secretary Pritzker feel the same way. The Secretary deserves an enormous amount of credit for her leadership in pulling this conference together. And it is now my pleasure to turn the floor over to her.
Secretary of Commerce
What is clear is that this is the beginning, not the end. Every day it is my great honor to serve as America's Chief Commercial Officer working with the business leaders and public officials in this room to secure a broadly shared prosperity on both sides of the Atlantic. That's what this is all about channeling our energy and our enthusiasm to spur growth in the United States and the countries of Africa now and long into the future.
Jim Yong Kim, President of the World Bank
So today I'm very pleased to announce that the World Bank Group following President Obama's lead will support Power Africa by committing 5 billion dollars in direct financing, investment guarantees, in advisory services. For project preparation in Power Africa 6 initial partner countries, that's Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Nigeria, and Tanzania.
Let me give you a little bit of background on this loan it will support the design and construction operation and maintenance of the Azura-Edo power plant. This is a 460-megawatt natural gas power plant, an independent power plant facility in Nigeria. The first such independent power project in Nigeria in 10 years.
We all know what makes Africa such an extraordinary opportunity some of the fastest growing economies in the world, a growing middle class, expanding sectors like manufacturing and retail, one of the fastest growing telecommunications markets in the world, more governments are reforming attracting a record level a foreign investment, it is the youngest and fastest-growing continent with young people that are full of dreams and ambition.
Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker
As Faith Mangope one of the Mandela fellows told other young African leaders and President Obama just this past week, and I quote, "Africa is no longer a sleeping giant but is awake and open for business." With the leadership in this room, we will keep the US-Africa economic partnership open for more growth and success. We will keep the United States and Africa open for business.