The U.S. government said it supported and completed 547 new deals worth $14.2 billion in two-way trade and investment between the U.S. and African countries in 2023, a 60 per cent increase in both the number and value of deals compared to 2022.
Julie LeBlanc, the U.S. Mission’s commercial counselor to Nigeria, made the announcement at the Business Day Africa Trade and Investment Summit in Lagos. The Summit was themed ““Reimagining Economic Growth in Africa”.
LeBlank, who spoke on behalf of Will Stevens, the U.S consul general, also disclosed that the U.S government contributed $160 million to support the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) and expand trade in goods and services between the world’s largest economy and Africa.
She said this funding supports the development of digital trade and investment protocols as well as stakeholder engagement across Africa and trade facilitation efforts with a focus on expanding trade in goods and services and supporting the Women and Youth Protocol of the AfCFTA.
According to the commercial counselor, the U.S. Mission to Nigeria is particularly optimistic about the future of U.S.-Africa Continental Free Trade Area Memorandum of Understanding and investment relations.
“The United States is deeply committed to its role as a steadfast economic and commercial partner to African nations. This commitment was recently highlighted by Secretary of State Anthony Blinken’s visit to West Africa, including stops in Nigeria – both in Abuja and Lagos – as well as in Cabo Verde, Cote d’Ivoire, and Angola. This visit reinforced our dedication to enhancing security partnerships,health initiatives, and economic development in the region,” she stated.
LeBlanc also pointed out that with two-way trade reaching $10.6 billion in 2022 and U.S. foreign direct investment totaling $5.6 billion, Nigeria is the second largest trading partner for the U.S. in Africa. She stated that there are significant U.S. investments in Nigeria’s tech ecosystem, with collaborative efforts between the two countries to tackle global challenges in education, healthcare, agriculture, and other important areas.
According to LeBlanc, Nigeria plays a significant role in both regional and global markets, which the U.S. recognises and appreciates. She stressed that the United States is firmly committed to its role as a reliable economic and commercial partner to African nations and to strengthening security partnerships, health initiatives, and economic development in the region.
““As we look to the future, we see Nigeria as a key leader on the continent and a vital partner in advancing our shared values. What benefits Nigeria, benefits Africa and, indeed, the entire world,” she said.
Highlighting the U.S. government’s commitment to its partnership with Africa, LeBlanc cited the launch of the Digital Transformation with Africa (DTA) initiative at the U.S.-Africa Business Forum. She noted that the U.S. government has committed $350 million to this initiative and plans to invest millions more in the years to come. This investment,she explained, reflects the U.S. government’s commitment to advancing digital infrastructure, skills development, and entrepreneurship in Africa.
LeBlanc shared that the DTA initiative is expected to facilitate over $450 million in financing, leveraging the resources of 18 U.S. government departments and agencies. She added that the initiative will work in partnership with African governments, the private sector, and civil society to advance digital development.
Among the key achievements of the U.S.-Africa partnership, LeBlanc highlighted the International Development Finance Corporation’s (DFC) commitment of over $2 billion across 46 transactions on the continent. She also mentioned the U.S. Trade and Development Agency’s (USTDA) facilitation of 15 project preparation grants, which have leveraged more than $3.4 billion in infrastructure financing.
LeBlanc also mentioned the Department of Commerce’s efforts to promote nearly $3.6 billion in U.S. exports to Africa, as well as the establishment of new Foreign Commercial Service offices in the region