- DBIA Home
- Why Africa?
- Presidential Advisory Council
- Trade Events
- Trade Statistics
- Market Intelligence
- Export Counseling
- Export Financing
- Trade Agreements
- More U.S. Gov Resources
- African Resources
- Fact Sheet
- Read our latest DBIA posts and African blogs
Tweets about #DBIA, OR #AGOA, OR #AfricaSummit, OR #PowerAfrica, OR #USAfricaBizForum, OR #USAfrica, OR #TradeWinds15 from:tradegov, OR from:exportgov, OR from:commercegov, OR from:opicgov, OR from:ustda, OR from:MCCgov, OR from:USDAForeignAg, OR from:PennyPritzker, OR from:BizUSA, OR from:usbiashara, OR from:USAID, OR from:USTradeRep, OR from:USEmbassySA, OR from:USEmbassyGhana, OR from:USEmbassyAbuja, OR from:USEmbassyAddis, OR from:USEmbassyMaputo, OR from:USEmbassyTZ
Doing Business in Africa
Africa is home to 6 of the top 10 fastest growing countries in the world and U.S. exports to sub-Saharan Africa now top $21 billion a year. We want to help you tap into those markets.
BREAKING BARRIERS IN U.S.-AFRICAN TRADE: FIVE MINUTES WITH ALICIA ROBINSON-MORGAN
BY GEORGETOWN JOURNAL OF INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS
APRIL 20, 2016
Deputy Director Alicia Robinson-Morgan
Following an event hosted by the Georgetown University African Studies Program and MSFS Africa Forum, the Georgetown Journal of International Affairs sat down with Alicia Robinson-Morgan, the Deputy Director for the Office of Africa at the U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration, to discuss the current challenges in formulating U.S.-Africa trade policy.
Click here to read the full interview.
The establishment of an uninterrupted system of cold storage, distribution facilities and refrigerated transportation to link these facilities to farmers and consumers, is collectively known as a cold chain. A commercially sustainable cold chain system is a vital component of global supply chains and provides the means to introduce small farmers and agrarian societies to global markets. Cold chains allow local, regional and international trade of perishable foods and pharmaceutical products by extending product life, maintaining product integrity, and reducing the possibility of bacterial growth.
As urbanization and purchasing power in Sub-Saharan Africa continue to influence diets and increase healthcare access, cold chain will play a pivotal role in enabling developing countries to participate in international trade as both producers and consumers. Moreover, maintaining integrity and nutritional value of perishable goods is an important public health and food security issue in a region that sees nearly 40% of food perish before it reaches a consumer.
The business community has prioritized cold chain development in East Africa at the U.S. – East African Community (EAC) Commercial Dialogue meeting in February 2015 led by Commerce Deputy Secretary Bruce Andrews. In April 2015, the President’s Advisory Council on Doing Business in Africa (PAC-DBIA) led by Secretary Pritzker, prioritized cold chain development in Sub-Saharan Africa in its Recommendation Report.
In collaboration with the Global Cold Chain Alliance (GCCA) and other stakeholders, the International Trade Administration at the U.S. Department of Commerce launched a Cold Chain Assessment Initiative in Kenya. This collaboration led to the East Africa Cold Chain Assessment Symposium in October 2015, the first of its kind in the region. The Symposium brought together approximately 100 government and private sector leaders engaged in cold chain activities across the East African region.
As part of the collaboration, GCCA conducted a corresponding assessment of the cold chain infrastructure in Kenya, the largest and most dynamic economy in the EAC. The industry-led assessment report and recommendations and interventions that support the development of cold chain drivers and highlights specific links within the cold chain from postharvest to retail that are also applicable to other developing countries in the region. The International Trade Administration is encouraged by this collaboration and the continued engagement with industry and the Government of Kenya which may lead to smart designs and scalable approaches to modern cold chain development in Kenya and the East African region.
Click here to read the report.
U.S. Department of Commerce’s COMMERCIAL LAW DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM (CLDP)
Handbook Cover - Understanding Power Purchase Agreements
Electricity drives the engine of opportunity in the modern world. It allows our children to study by light. It powers the innovation in our factories. From telecommunications to transportation, power is essential to virtually every aspect of our increasingly dynamic and interconnected world. As a result, investment in power infrastructure is a key element of economic development. In order to promote this investment, governments, utilities and private companies have developed a contract that cements the predictability and durability that is needed for any long-term power projects. This agreement is called the Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) and it has helped to drive the development of independent power projects around the world.
In early November 2014, CLDP (in partnership with the African Legal Support Facility) brought together a group of international experts to draft and publish a PPA handbook. The handbook is intended to provide an overview of PPAs and the obligations, risks and remedies that are found within them. The handbook was produced using the Book Sprint (http://www.booksprints.net/) method, which allows for the drafting, editing and publishing of a complete product by experts in just five days. The group of experts, all whom contributed their time on a pro-bono basis, included contributors from governments, development banks, private banks and leading international law firms. The hope is that by providing perspectives from all sides of the PPA negotiation process, the handbook can present the reader with a balanced understanding of the challenges involved in PPAs and an insight into the practical reality of overcoming these challenges when negotiating these complex agreements.
In February 2016, CLDP (in partnership with the African Legal Support Facility) again brought together a group of world-class experts to draft the second handbook in Power Africa's "Understanding" series, Understanding Power Project Financing. This new handbook is intended to provide decision-makers with an overview of the structuring of private investments and financing for power projects and insight into the important supporting role that governments play. The project financing handbook was drafted using the same Book Sprintmethod as the first Power Africa handbook, which allowed our diverse group of contributors from African governments, development banks, private banks and leading international law firms, all whom contributed their time on a pro-bono basis, to complete the handbook in only five days.
Who We Are
Established in 1992, CLDP is a division of the U.S. Department of Commerce that helps achieve U.S. foreign policy goals in developing and post-conflict countries through commercial legal reforms. CLDP’s unique, government-to-government technical assistance draws upon highly-experienced regulators, judges, policymakers, business leaders and attorneys from both the public and private sectors to deliver results that make meaningful and lasting changes to the legal and business environments of our host countries.
Corporate Council on Africa co-hosts the U.S.-Nigeria Institutional Investor Roadshow and Business Forum with the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the U.S. Department of Commerce and the U.S. State Department.
U.S. Department of Commerce Assistant Secretary Hon. Arun Kumar speaks to a large audience of U.S. and Nigerian investors, government officials, and businesses.
To see more photos of the event click here
STRENGTHENING THE U.S.-NIGERIA TRADE RELATIONSHIP
On March 29, Corporate Council on Africa co-hosted the U.S.-Nigeria Institutional Investor Roadshow and Business Forum with the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the U.S. Department of Commerce and the U.S. State Department. The forum served as a platform for Nigerian and American Government representatives to interact with the private sector ahead of the government-to-government U.S.-Nigeria Binational Committee (BNC) meeting on March 30.
The forum, hosted at the St. Regis Hotel in Washington, DC, kicked off with a networking lunch, where CCA President and CEO, Stephen Hayes, officially welcomed dignitaries and attendees. After the lunch, Mr. Hayes officially opened the forum with brief remarks that emphasized the Council’s strong ties with Nigeria and its commitment to continue to build that relationship.
U.S. representatives, Hon. Arun Kumar, Assistant Secretary for Global Markets, U.S. Department of Commerce and Peter Barlerin, Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for West Africa and Economic Policy, U.S. Department of State spoke next. Hon. Kumar highlighted BNC’s work so far and why Nigeria remains a key priority for the U.S. He also spotlighted the Department of Commerce’s Investor Roadshow series, which launched last year in New York to improve investment opportunities and the business climate in sub-Saharan Africa. State Department’s Barlerin emphasized Nigeria’s role as an anchor in West Africa. According to Barlerin, the focus should be on youth development as the foundation for ensuring Nigeria’s prosperity. That focus is reflected in the large number of YALI participants from Nigeria.
Economic Challenges and Business Opportunities
The Nigerian delegation led, by H.E. Okechukwu Enelamah, Honorable Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, presented opportunities for investment in Nigeria in sectors including manufacturing, agriculture, transportation, and mining. Seven Ministers and Ministers of State made presentations. In addition to Hon. Minister Enelamah, H.E. Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi, Minister of Transportation; H.E. Audu Innocent Ogbeh, Hon. Minister of Agriculture & Rural Development; H.E. Usani Uguru Usani, Hon. Minister of Niger Delta Affairs: H.E. Suleiman Hussaini Adamu, Hon. Minister of Water Resources; H.E. Hadi Abubakar Sirika, Hon. Minister of State for Aviation; and H.E. Abubakar Bawa Bwari, Hon. Minister of State for Solid Minerals all gave brief synopses of their portfolios.
Hon. Minister Enelamah presented first and gave an overarching narrative on Nigeria’s economic policy and strategy. According to Minister Enelamah, Nigeria aims to be one of the top 20 economies in the world by 2020. To accomplish this, the country is focused on accelerating investments in non-oil sectors to diversify Nigeria’s economy and supporting local micro-enterprise to jumpstart its industrial revolution. Other priorities include building stronger institutions, and creating an enabling and business friendly environment to ease doing business in Nigeria.
H.E. Audu Innocent Ogbeh, Hon. Minister of Agriculture & Rural Development presented next on opportunities in Agriculture. Min. Ogbeh pointed out that despite the fact that $5 million USD is spent every day on rice and $1.2 billion on milk products, 37 percent of Nigerian children remain malnourished. “We need partnerships, technology and finance for agriculture,” said Min. Ogbeh. Target areas include rice processing, wheat processing, improved cattle breeding, nuts such as cashews, fruits and honey production.
All that produce and other goods need a way to get across the country and to ports. According to H.E. Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi, Minister of Transportation, an $8 billion USD commercial railway linking Lagos to Kano will be operational in May. Min. Amaechi also highlighted investment opportunities at Nigerian ports. Minister of State for Aviation, H.E. Hadi Abubakar Sirika, presented on opportunities in aviation. He stated that Nigeria is a natural hub with four major international airports that serve about 13.6 million passengers a year.
The Nigerian ministerial presentations were capped by a presentation from the Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission’s (NIPC) Mrs. Ladi Hauwa Katagum, Acting Executive Chairman. According to Mrs. Katagum, despite challenges presented by foreign exchange regulations and book haram, Nigeria still offers the highest ROI in Africa at 35%-45%.
Private Sector Response
Six institutional investors doing business in Nigeria were given a few minutes to respond to presentations and discuss the challenges they face doing business. They included Rick Johnston, Citi; Fernando Docters, Standard Bank of South Africa; Corey J Passarella, Carlyle Group; Wale Adeosun, Kuramo Capital; Stephen Cashin, Pan African Capital Group, LLC; and Jon Vandenheuvel representing Ogun Guangdong Free Trade Zone and Africa Atlantic Holdings.
Rick Johnston, Fernando Docters and Corey Passarella all emphasized the importance of enabling policies and transparent practices that alleviate risks and encourage investors to invest. Mr. Adeosun recommended that the roadshow go on the road to the business capitals of the United States, including New York, Chicago and San Francisco for the Nigerian government to reach additional private sector investors. Mr. Vandenheuvel also touched on policy predictability and emphasized the fact that Nigeria’s competition is truly global. To compete on the world stage, the Nigerian government will need to invest in infrastructure to support its farmers and manufacturers. “Farming is a global business,” Vandenheuvel said. “The Nigerian farmer’s competition is not another farmer in Nigeria, it’s the farmer in Brazil and in the United States, who has access to much better infrastructure.”
For more information on the U.S.-Nigeria Institutional Investor Roadshow and Business Forum with the Federal Republic of Nigeria including ministerial presentations and photos, please visit usnigeria.africacncl.org.
U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker Arrives in Lagos, Nigeria to Lead Fact-Finding Mission with President's Council on Doing Business in Africa (PAC-DBIA)
Monday, January 25, 2016 - U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker arrived in Lagos, Nigeria to kick-off a fact-finding mission with senior U.S. business executives who comprise the President's Advisory Council on Doing Business in Africa (PAC-DBIA). Chaired by Secretary Pritzker, the Council was formed to advise the President on ways to strengthen commercial engagement between the U.S. and Africa. This trip provides an opportunity for the PAC-DBIA members to gather facts about the commercial opportunities and challenges in Nigeria and Rwanda, report back to the President with strong and actionable recommendations, and develop policy ideas that will benefit both countries and raise our commercial relationship to the next level. more
Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker in Lagos, Nigeria with DBIA-PAC Members and ITA Staff
February 2016: The Corporate Council on Africa (CCA) held its biennial summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on February 1-4, 2016 with over 1500 attendees and 100 U.S. companies. U.S. Department of Commerce Deputy Assistant Secretary for Europe, the Middle East and Africa Michael Lally assisted CCA officials in opening the Summit and participated in panel discussions. U.S. Ambassador to Ethiopia Patricia Haslach and the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Commercial Service office based in Addis, led by Senior Commercial Officer Tanya Cole, had a booth at the Summit and counseled close to 50 companies exploring opportunities in Africa. Speaking at the CCA session on Doing Business in Ethiopia, Ambassador Haslach stressed the importance of robust U.S.-Ethiopia relations and the development of institutions, legislation and best-practices that create an enabling environment for increased commerce between the two countries. more
U.S. Trade and Development Agency to provide technical assistance under the U.S. Global Procurement Initiative to the Government of Ethiopia
ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia - Today, the U.S. Trade and Development Agency awarded a grant to Ethiopian Electric Power (EEP), Ethiopia's national power generation and transmission company, to provide technical assistance under the Global Procurement Initiative: Understanding Best Value (GPI). The grant will fund a senior procurement advisor to help EEP achieve value for money in publicly funded energy projects, including those that support President Obama's Power Africa initiative, which aims to increase electricity access in Ethiopia and across sub-Saharan Africa. more
October 2015: ITA Under Secretary Stefan Selig recently launched the United States-Africa Institutional Investor Roadshow, an important move towards strengthening the United States’ commercial engagement with Africa. He was honored to join Prime Minister Hailemariam, Prime Minister Jugnauth and President Kenyatta, not to mention the dozens of delegation members representing Ethiopia, Kenya, Mauritius, Mozambique, Rwanda, Cote d’ Ivoire and the African Union. The presence and participation of these delegations was absolutely critical to the success of this inaugural roadshow. more
U/S Selig joins delegation members in NYC to kick off the US-Africa Investor Roadshow
Government of Ethiopia Signs Contract with U.S. Company Gates Air to Upgrade Television Broadcasting
From left to right: Ms. Tanya Cole, Senior Commercial Officer American Embassy Ethiopia; Mr. Paul Anderson, Regional Sales Manager GatesAir, Mr. Yigezu Dabo, Director General of Government of Ethiopia's Public Procurement and Property Disposal Service (PPPDS), Ambassador Philip Baker, Canada's Ambassador to Ethiopia, State Minister Ato Alyemayhu, Government of Ethiopia.
Ambassador Patricia Haslach, the U.S. Ambassador to Ethiopia issued the following statement upon the signing of a contract between the Government of Ethiopia and Gates Air:
I am particularly pleased by the recent signing of the Gates Air contract with the Government of Ethiopia to digitize the EBC television system. It is a great example of how U.S. companies bring superb quality, low-cost technology, equipment, services and training to the people of Ethiopia. Gates Air, formerly Harris Broadcasting, has a 50-year history of working with and serving the people of Ethiopia. Gates Air was the lowest cost and most technically qualified bidder for this tender, and will now have an opportunity to deliver outstanding service. The selection of Gates Air will capitalize on American know-how in digitization (or television) technology, in order to achieve Ethiopia’s Deputy Prime Minister Debretsion’s plan to fast-track digital television broadcasting in Ethiopia. I am also pleased that Canada partnered in this commercial endeavor. The U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) will provide a training grant of $600,000 for capacity-building in Ethiopia”. This is truly an excellent example of the positive impact of the U.S. Embassy’s new Foreign Commercial Service, which advocated on behalf of Gates Air to bring Ethiopia’s TV operations in line with international standards.
The International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, manages this global trade site to provide access to ITA information on promoting trade and investment, strengthening the competitiveness of U.S. industry, and ensuring fair trade and compliance with trade laws and agreements. External links to other Internet sites should not be construed as an endorsement of the views or privacy policies contained therein. This site contains PDF documents. A PDF reader is available from Adobe Systems Incorporated.