US now focuses on increasing its influence in Africa

The US government is working towards deepening its engagement with African governments.

The world’s largest economy seeks to explore and expand its trade and investment opportunities in the continent.

Amid a scramble for the control of Africa’s abundant natural resources. By the world’s powerful nations such as China and Russia.

US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Akunna Cook said the country has not done enough. In deepening its presence in a continent with 1.3 billion people.

“If I were to take away one challenge, it is really a challenge to us in the US Government. To really step our game up,” Ms Cook told reporters in Johannesburg, South Africa, last week.

Behind the curve

“We have been behind the curve for quite some time. In terms of really taking advantage of the opportunities on the continent.

And so this effort to modernize our tools, to get better at telling our stories. To ensure that we are creating awareness among our own investors.

And among our own companies about just what kind of opportunity exists here on the continent. I think that’s the challenge that I walk away with as I go back to Washington after Namibia.”

Ms Cook and Leslie Marbury, the Prosper Africa acting Chief Operating Officer, were on a four-country African economic diplomacy visit.

Covering Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa, and Namibia starting from February 14 to March 1, 2022.

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Biden Harris administration

Ms Cook said the Biden-Harris administration has made trade and investment with Africa a huge priority. With a focus to connecting with African entrepreneurs, investors, and policymakers.

To talk about how the US Government can improve its commercial and economic diplomacy initiatives.  

“We have really got to step our game up. We’ve really got to get better at telling our story. And we’ve got to get our investors here on the ground,” she said.

The US Government, through the Prosper Africa Initiative. 17 US Government agencies are coordinating the 70 tools.

That really have a stake in promoting US-Africa trade and investment relationships.  

Build Back Better

“So we are thrilled to be here. Thrilled to be promoting the President’s Build Back Better World initiative which was announced back at the G7.

Also focused on digital, gender, health, and climate. Focusing also, of course, on Prosper Africa. And happy to talk a bit about where things are.

To be announced later this year is the evolving US-Africa strategy.” said Ms Cook.

“Prosper Africa is a US Government initiative to increase trade and investment between the United States and Africa. It’s all about the opportunities that we are seeing in Africa.

And that we’ve certainly seen in Nigeria and Kenya, now in South Africa,” said Ms Marbury.