As the host country for Africa Trade and Investment Global Summit 2018, The United States of America serves as a model for ATIGS 2018 for several reasons including the full endorsement from high-level government and business officials who participated in the first Trade & Investment Mission in 1985 to the United States from Central and West Africa. The historic mission trip in 1985 was the United States’ overall plan to increase trade, investment, friendship and cultural and technological exchange between the U.S.. and Africa. It was organized in collaboration with the Federal Interagency Working Group for private sector development in Africa. This federal group was headed by the U.S. Department of State and includes, among others, the Department of Commerce and Agriculture, U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), U.S. Information Agency (USIA) and Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC).
The Mission Trade was comprised with ministers, government officials, business leaders and journalists. It took place in Washington, DC from November 1st through 6th,1985; in Houston, Texas from November 6th through 9th, 1985; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, from November 10th through 13th, 1985; and New York, New York from November 14th through 15th, 1985.
The mission trip in 1985 produced substantive success in locating new markets for imports and exports, finding sources for materials and equipment, identifying private and joint venture investment opportunities and arrangement for information and technology transfer.
There were many notable outcomes of the trade and investment mission including the negotiation for the construction of the first and only Hilton Hotel in Yaoundé, Cameroon, a unique five-star hotel in Cameroon situated in the heart of the business district.
The first Trade & Investment mission in 1985 from Central and West Africa to USA strengthened partnerships and promoted cross-border private sector engagement, so we are confident that ATIGS 2018 will be a gateway for businesses around the world looking for growth partners in Africa to build strong links at a one-stop shop.
In 2000, The African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) was signed into United States law. It offers tangible incentives for African countries to continue their efforts to open their economies and build free markets. The act was renewed in 2015 for an additional 10 years.
In 2013, President Obama announced the launch of Trade Africa, a new partnership between the United States and Sub-Saharan Africa that seeks to increase internal and regional trade within Africa, and expand trade and economic ties between Africa, the United States, and other global markets.
In 2013, African Union (AU) launched the Agenda 2063 – in collaboration with NEPAD Planning and Coordination Agency, supported by the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) and African Development Bank (AfDB) – to have a more united, people-centric and prosperous Africa. It focuses on encouraging discussion among all stakeholders to suggest approaches that would enable the continent to effectively learn from the lessons of the past, while building on the current progress.
In 2015, The World Economic Forum, the International Chamber of Commerce, and the Center for International Private Enterprise partnered to mobilize the expertise and resources of global and local business to support the rapid and ambitious implementation of the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) which provides a unique opportunity to enable trade as a central driver of development.
In 2015, the United Nations set global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), in which businesses have a newly relevant framework to guide their strategic priorities and efforts towards society – representing an enormous opportunity to drive sustainable business. The Agenda 2030 and its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) call for the mobilization of the private sector to advance global goals and to engage in principle-based collaboration with the UN, governments, civil society and other stakeholders.
In this context, ATIGS 2018 is designed to contribute to AGOA, Trade Africa, World Trade Organization’s Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA), SDGs Agenda 2030 and AU Agenda 2063 by playing an important contribution in enabling companies all around the world and global investors to access African markets at a one-stop shop facilitating international trade and investment partners.
Africa nations have many opportunities available to potential investors and exporters. The continent’s business opportunities continue to flourish. Africa has attracted many new business players from non-traditional regions such as Eastern Europe, South America, the Gulf, and Africa itself with an increased engagement from well-established and new partners from Europe, North America, and Asia. So ATIGS 2018 will bring together new and established partners from around the world under one roof in Washington D.C to increase business ties and partnerships, highlight and showcase trade and investment opportunities across Africa and enable companies from around the world to expand or establish operations in Africa.