#AceNewsServices – UNITED STATES (Washington) – August 06 – As President Obama commenced hosting the African Summit CEO’s from major corporations gather to sign contracts with American Investment dollars at the ready.
These chief executives of Wal-Mart, the Coca-Cola Company and IBM are among those rubbing elbows with more than 50 African heads of state in Washington during Tuesday’s business forum, a highlight of the three-day event reported the Hill.
Africa was once seen more as a destination for U.S. charity than a place to invest, but that is quickly changing.
General Electric on Monday announced a $2 billion investment in the continent, and called Africa its “most promising growth region.”
Business groups say U.S. policies, however, still reflect outdated ideas of Africa’s potential.
For example, the African Growth and Opportunity Act, ushered into law during the Clinton administration, granted free access to the U.S. economy for certain goods from African countries that made progress toward adopting market-based economies.
But the trade pact has often been criticized for being dominated by petroleum projects.
The deal is up for reauthorization, and business groups are pressing for changes that would recognize Africa’s growing clout by including provisions that lower tariffs for U.S. businesses looking to expand into Africa markets.
Business groups argue such changes are critical in that the original AGOA was written when Africa’s economies were much smaller.
Now, six of the fastest-growing global economies last year are on the continent.
China is in many ways ahead of the United States when it comes to investments in Africa, and that’s spurred on the idea of this week’s summit.
A lot different to the situation in 2013 when this happened, now they need Africa’s Mineral Wealth and Oil and will go cap-in-hand to persuade African Heads of State of their Intentions, but how honourable will these intentions really turn out to be in the end.
By Ian K Draper @AceNewsServices
Contributions from Bloomberg and The Hill