US-Africa trade deals hit a record $14.2 billion

The United States said Wednesday, Dec 13, that it had signed record trade deals with Africa this year, worth a total of $14.2 billion, against the backdrop of a battle for influence with China and Russia on the continent.

Nearly 550 new trade and investment agreements were signed, representing a 67% increase over 2022 in terms of number and value, said British Robinson, coordinator of the US-led Prosper Africa trade initiative.

Exactly a year ago, President Biden hosted African leaders in a US-Africa Summit in Washington D.C., since its last in 2014. The Biden administration is trying to repair relations with African nations after President Donald J. Trump largely ignored them and famously disparaged some in a White House meeting in 2018. 

Nearly 50 African leaders converged in a three-day talks on issues central to the future of the continent and the world, including health, food security, climate change, civil wars and even the exploration of outer space, setting a new pace for trade deals between Africa and US. 

“We’ve had a record year for U.S.-Africa relations,” said Judd Devermont, White House official in charge of sub-Saharan Africa, during an online press conference organized a year after a summit with African leaders at which U.S. President Joe Biden pledged to “pull out all the stops” on the continent.

In December, Washington pledged to invest $55 billion over three years in Africa. This strategy is aimed in particular at countering the growing presence of China, which has made inroads in infrastructure construction, investments and loans.

The United States has already achieved over 40% of these commitments, Mr. Devermont pointed out. “By the end of the second year, we expect to exceed at least 70% of our targets,” he added.

Source: AfricaNews

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