(Ecofin Agency) - The Acting Deputy Administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), John Barsa, announced on November 17, 2020, the launch of a new Africa-wide trade and investment program under the "Prosper Africa" initiative.
Worth up to $500 million for over five years, depending on the availability of funds, "this flagship program will offer new and expanded support services to increase two-way trade and investment between Africa and the United States substantially," USAID said.
The program will provide coordinated services that are aligned with private sector needs “through a continent-wide approach, with satellite offices that will support North and sub-Saharan Africa.” It will complement the other tools available to the U.S. Government for trade and investment through customized services from business consulting and transaction-facilitation, to targeted policy interventions.
“For every $1 of public funding, Prosper Africa is expected to leverage more than $9 in private investment, which will deliver billions of dollars in exports and investments and create hundreds of thousands of African and American jobs by 2026,” the UN agency said.
This new program will be launched in early 2021. It is expected to advance Prosper Africa's goals by increasing trade, stimulating investment, and supporting favorable business conditions.
According to J. Barsa, “this is not just a new program; it is a new way of doing business that will dramatically expand the United States’ investment in Africa’s growth by harnessing private-sector resources and innovation.”
The Prosper Africa initiative launched by the Trump administration to replace the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) aims to significantly increase two-way trade and investment between Africa and the United States.
It mobilizes all U.S. government trade and investment support services across all 17 federal departments and agencies involved, to help U.S. and African businesses and investors identify partners, advance opportunities, and close deals.