Opening of the works of the 14th edition of the USA-Africa Business Summit

The work of the 14th edition of the USA-Africa Business Summit started on Wednesday in Marrakech, around the theme “building the future together”.

Placed under the High Patronage of King Mohammed VI, this Summit, which will continue until July 22, in partnership with the “Corporate Council on Africa” ​​(CCA), is attended in particular by a large American government delegation, African ministers and decision-makers from the largest American multinationals and from the African business community.

Offering the opportunity to establish future-oriented USA-Morocco-Africa tripartite business partnerships, this Summit also represents an opportunity to consolidate the strategic positioning of Morocco, the only African country to have concluded a free trade agreement with the United States, as a hub for Africa and a reference economic partner for the USA.

Speaking at the opening of this Summit, Alice Albright, President of the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) indicated that this Business Summit is an ideal opportunity to establish new partnerships, explore new opportunities and collaborate more with the African partners, noting that MCC seeks to create a “long-term partnership” with them capable of meeting the current challenges.

This Summit will demonstrate the enduring commitment of the United States to its African partners, she stressed, noting that it will be based on the principles of mutual respect and shared interests and values, with the aim of to strengthen economic relations.

She also highlighted the opportunities for economic growth in Africa, a continent that is experiencing the fastest growth in the world, before highlighting the great interest of participating in this gathering of leaders from the public and private sectors. For his part, the President of the General Confederation of Moroccan Enterprises (CGEM), Chakib Alj, affirmed that private companies, together with the public sector, have an essential role to play in solving Africa’s greatest challenges, related in particular to energy, food security, education, digital transformation and health, noting that Moroccan companies are ready to work hand in hand with American and African partners in order to accelerate this dynamic.

Chakib Alj further indicated that the African continent has abundant renewable resources, such as hydroelectricity, wind and solar, which constitute a huge opportunity to be seized and which can be transformed into a very competitive energy and green to cover the needs of the Continent but also to be exported.

He also underlined that the empowerment of Africa in terms of food security is essential”, indicating that it mainly involves increasing agricultural productivity, processing raw materials at the local level for greater value addition, reduction of trade barriers, improved competitiveness of agricultural enterprises and increased availability of agricultural technologies and water.

And to continue that the Continent has an enormous potential of natural resources with a great capacity of local transformation, adding that these assets make Africa not only very competitive, but also the Continent of the future, especially if one takes into account the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area, which provides immediate access to a market of 1.2 billion consumers.

This free trade area will link African markets, knowing that trade between African countries represents only 16% of Africa’s export trade, and will also accelerate the construction of new complementary industrial ecosystems linked to global value chains.

The opening ceremony of this Summit was enhanced by the participation of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, African Cooperation and Moroccans Living Abroad, Nasser Bourita, as well as the President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), Akinwumi Adesina. It was marked by the projection of a video message from the Vice-President of the United States, Kamala Harris.

This conclave will also be marked by the organization of high-level dialogues, plenary sessions, panels, round tables and side-events around the priorities of the Continent in terms of food security, health, agriculture, transition energy, new technologies, infrastructures and the integration of industrial ecosystems.

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