US-Africa Trade Council’s mission is to strengthen investments and trade between the US and Africa by focusing on three aspects. One is to establish linkages between the US and Africa. Second is to promote Africa’s resources to the American business community so they can see Africa as a viable source of their raw materials, and third is to help African businesses scale up and expand in the US market.
The current relationship between the US and Africa is good and keeps improving but Mr. Titus Olowokere, the CEO of the US-Africa Trade Council believes strongly that the actual potential is still underdeveloped. “Africa has a lot of potentials that the US is not exploiting fully. Ten of the world’s fastest-growing economies will be in Africa in the next ten years. In addition, Africa has a young population and by the end of the century, 40% of the world’s population will be living in Africa. So this creates very huge market opportunities for developed economies such as the US” explained Olowokere.
The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) which gradually takes full effect is going to be a game-changer and strengthen Africa’s positioning as an investment destination for international companies. “The AfCFTA will remove all the barriers of trade, the customs procedures and the tariffs that make trading within Africa difficult. So now, instead of the developing countries going to different markets, they will be looking at one single market worth US $1.3 billion” said Olowokere.
The two fastest-growing sectors in Africa are FinTech and Agribusiness and a lot of American angel investors and growth investors have pumped in money so far. Fintech, for instance, is booming in Africa as the need for stable digital transactions increases. It’s also been shown that Africa embraces cryptocurrency and is growing faster than many other countries in the world today. And this again creates an opportunity for FinTech growth. On the hand, and as mentioned by the president for the African Development Bank ‘People love to eat’. This has made Agriculture the backbone of the African economy. “So the African Free Trade Area will create new opportunities for these two sectors specifically and will make it a lot easier to grow exponentially” assured the CEO.
There is however another sector that is hugely untapped and open for investment and that is Power. “Unfortunately, the power sector is grossly underdeveloped in Africa. Many countries still barely have power supply for more than a couple of hours a day. And the majority of the power is generated from fossil fuel and this is where Renewable energy comes to the rescue” said Olowokere.
In addition, the CEO mentions that African Small and Medium-sized businesses with viable projects have a lot of potential for growth but they lack funding. These companies can, in turn, generate a lot of return on investment but without funding the projects will not materialize and businesses cannot grow.
“These are viable investment sectors, so the door is open and Africa is ready for business!”
“We want the world to know that Africa is no longer a begging continent looking for financial aids and bailouts. We are now partners at the table and we have even more potential going forward and I encourage the developed countries and particularly the United States to invest more in Africa. This will be a win-win for both parties. Africa will grow better and faster and the US will take advantage of the huge opportunities that arise in the continent” he concluded.