Since the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit in December 2022, President Biden kicked off an extraordinary year of U.S. engagement with Africa and made progress in delivering on our high-profile commitments announced during the Summit. The Biden-Harris Administration is over-delivering on our commitment to invest $55 billion in Africa over three years. Over the last year, the United States has welcomed the African Union as a permanent member of the G20, expanded trade and investment partnerships, advanced major food and health security investments, and launched a digital transformation initiative, forged new security and good governance cooperation, and catalyzed landmark diaspora-driven engagement. As the White House commemorates the one-year anniversary of the 2022 U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit, the United States remains all in on Africa.
High Level Engagements
In 2023, the United States accelerated high-level exchanges, directing an unprecedented pace of visits to the continent. In the last year, 17 Cabinet and leaders of U.S. Government Departments and Agencies have visited 26 countries in Africa, with visits centered on expanding substantive and meaningful partnerships with African countries, institutions, and peoples across the continent, including a visit to Ghana, Tanzania, and Zambia by Vice President Harris where she announced the mobilization of more than $8 billion in public and private sector investments in climate and food security, women’s empowerment, and digital inclusion across Africa.
Trade and Investment
In the past year, the United States has supported and helped close 547 new deals for a total estimated value of $14.2 billion in new two-way trade and investment between the United States and African countries. This represents an increase of approximately 60 percent in the number and value of closed deals over 2022. The results from these increased investments have tangible impacts on the lives and livelihoods of people in the United States and Africa, with highlights that include:
- In 2023, the International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) committed over $2 billion across 46 transactions in Africa. These projects are leading to significant development impacts across the continent, including supporting strategic infrastructure, job creation, small business growth, agricultural productivity, improved health outcomes, and open access to critical minerals.
- In 2023, the U.S.-Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) funded fifteen project preparation grants designed to help leverage more than $3.4 billion in infrastructure finance for projects across the continent.
- In 2023, the U.S. Department of Commerce, in concert with the launch of its department-wide Africa engagement strategy to leverage the full range of agency capabilities, facilitated nearly $3.6 billion in U.S. exports to Africa, and committed to fostering long-term commercial partnerships with a focus on priority sectors such as digitization, clean tech, creative industries, climate-smart agriculture, and infrastructure – all of which are driving inclusive growth, supply chain resilience, and quality jobs on both sides of the Atlantic. The U.S. Department of Commerce has also launched new bilateral commercial dialogues with Tanzania and Zambia, renewed several existing engagements with other countries, led several trade missions, and is opening new Foreign Commercial Service offices in Côte d’Ivoire and Zambia.
- In March, Prosper Africa mobilized $274 million in long-term financing for West Africa’s rapidly growing housing sector, opening new opportunities for U.S. investment in Africa’s emerging markets and providing an avenue for West Africans to gain greater access to homeownership. This deal represents an innovative approach to mobilize transparent, market-oriented financing at scale and is expected to help about 6,000 households across West Africa gain access to homeownership.
- In April, the President’s Advisory Council on Doing Business in Africa (PAC-DBIA) adopted 18 new recommendations for the U.S. Government to strengthen U.S.-Africa commercial collaboration in priority sectors.
- President Biden announced MCC Board selection of four countries as eligible for MCC investment – The Gambia, Togo, Senegal, and Mauritania – which are advancing development of programs to unlock key constraints to economic growth. In September 2023, MCC signed a $500 million compact program with Mozambique to promote climate and coastal resilience and improve public services and transportation infrastructure. In September 2023, MCC signed a $60 million threshold program with Kenya to strengthen urban connectivity in Nairobi.
Throughout 2023, the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) has advanced trade initiatives including the U.S.-AfCFTA Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) and the negotiation of the U.S.-Kenya Strategic Trade and Investment Partnership (STIP). In November, prior to the United States and South Africa co-hosting the 20th African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) Forum in Johannesburg, President Biden announced his strong support for timely reauthorization and modernization of AGOA to deepen trade relations between the U.S. and Africa, support regional integration, and realize Africa’s immense economic potential.
In May 2023, President Biden chose Africa for the first and flagship economic corridor under his signature $600 billion Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment (PGI) initiative to address the global infrastructure gap. Since December, PGI announced U.S. investments totaling more than $1.5 billion in the Lobito Corridor for transportation, digital access, agricultural and clean energy infrastructure projects, including:
- DFC announced launching due diligence for a $250M financing package to the Lobito Atlantic Railway consortium to upgrade and operate the existing Benguela rail line and minerals terminal from the Lobito Port in Angola to the border of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
- Between May and October, PGI mobilized an additional $1 billion between the United States, the European Union, African Development Bank and Africa Finance Corporation to launch feasibility studies and commercially develop a greenfield rail line to expand the corridor from eastern Angola through northwest Zambia, enhancing trade between all three countries—Angola, DRC and Zambia—and connecting them to global markets.
- Over the last year, EXIM authorized $1.6 billion of transactions supporting U.S. exports to Africa, including over $1.2 billion supporting PGI. These authorizations included supporting U.S. exports towards solar projects and bridge infrastructure in Angola, and commercial aircraft to Ethiopia. With these authorizations, EXIM’s exposure for sub-Saharan Africa has reached a historic high of approximately $8 billion.
Digital Transformation with Africa
Over the last year, the United States has advanced the Digital Transformation with Africa (DTA) initiative to enhance efforts to expand digital access in Africa and increase commercial engagement between U.S. and African companies in the digital sector, support increased digital literacy and strengthen digital enabling environments across Africa, in alignment with the priorities outlined in the African Union’s Digital Transformation Strategy.
- DTA coordinates and channels the collective efforts of 17 U.S. government departments, agencies, and initiatives and is partnering with African governments and other stakeholders – such as the private and philanthropic sectors and civil society – to advance the initiative’s objectives across three pillars: (1) Digital Economy and Infrastructure, (2) Human Capital Development, and (3) Digital Enabling Environment.
- In 2023, the United States has established the institutional structures to operationalize this whole-of-government effort. This includes inaugurating a senior-level Africa Digital Policy Council launching interagency Pillar Working Groups, and securing budget to hire dedicated DTA staff in the initiative’s four lead agencies. Further, in April, Vice President Harris launched a “Call to Action” to the private sector for investment in African digital inclusion in line with the aims of DTA.
In 2023, the United States invested $82 million in new digital infrastructure, projects, and technical programming for DTA, including:
- Digital Economy and Infrastructure: DFC helped launch Africa Data Centres’ (ADC’s) newest data center in Ghana and the groundbreaking of a new data center in Kenya, financed under DFC’s $300 million loan facility with ADC. USTDA has funded 12 digital infrastructure development activities across Africa, which have the potential to help mobilize over $1 billion in project financing. In April, Prosper Africa launched the Africa Tech for Trade Alliance to stimulate the growth potential of Africa’s technology sector and address the regulatory environment.
- Human Capital Development: In March, Vice President Harris launched the Women in the Digital Economy Fund to accelerate closing the gender digital divide. MCC, USAID, Microsoft, and the Government of Côte d’Ivoire have also partnered to support over 3,500 women-led or women-owned small and medium-sized enterprises. The U.S. Department of Commerce, through a $289,000 grant to the U.S. Telecommunications Training Institute, held the first of two Africa Youth Summits to provide young African tech entrepreneurs with training, networking, and mentorship opportunities. Furthermore, USAID partnered with the Mozilla Foundation to distribute grants on computing-related curricula in Kenya, Ghana, and South Africa.
- Digital Enabling Environment: MCC is working with the Government of Togo on policy and institutional reforms through a $20.5 million project to encourage competition which will create affordable digital connectivity for its citizens. The U.S. Department of State held the third U.S.-Kenya Cyber and Digital Dialogue and launched a dialogue with South Africa, promoting policies and regulations that ensure secure, open, interoperable, and trusted digital ecosystems.
The United States has provided over $17.2 billion in food security assistance since the beginning of the Biden-Harris Administration, more than half of which has been provided to African partners in response to the ongoing food security crisis. During the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit, President Biden with the African Union (AU) launched a new strategic partnership on food security to drive our work with the African Union and African countries to accelerate progress in tackling food insecurity, building stronger food systems and more diversified supply chains, and expanding African countries’ access to agricultural markets.
- Over the last year, we have worked together to develop of a long-term plan to: (1) build diversified and resilient food systems, (2) increase investment in agriculture-related infrastructure, and (3) tackle policy and regulatory reforms.
- In 2023, as part of the Feed the Future initiative to help end hunger, the United States launched the Vision for Adapted Crops and Soils (VACS), in partnership with the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the African Union. VACS seeks to boost agricultural productivity and nutrition by developing of diverse, climate-adapted crops and increasing soil health.
- The United States has also contributed $155 million to the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program (GAFSP). In 2023, GAFSP funded more than $300 million in proposals to support food systems and smallholder farmers, largely benefitting Africa. In 2024, the Department of Treasury will partner with the World Bank, the African Development Bank (AfDB), and other donors to strengthen GAFSP’s capacity to mobilize private sector investment in rural communities and value chains in Africa.
- The United States remains the world’s largest donor to the World Food Program, with funding that has helped more than 790,000 metric tons of lifesaving grain reach Africa’s most vulnerable through the Black Sea Grain Initiative.
In recognition of the African Diaspora as a source of strength and foundational to our 21st century partnership with Africa, the United States has strengthened cultural, social, political, and economic ties among African communities, the global African Diaspora, and the United States.
- In September, President Biden announced the 12 inaugural members of the President’s Advisory Council on Engaging African Diaspora in the United States (PAC-ADE) and in October, Vice President Harris presided over the swearing-in ceremony of the Council.
- This inaugural Council advises the Biden-Harris Administration on strategies to advance equity and opportunity for African Diaspora communities and to increase cultural, social, political and economic ties among African communities, the global African Diaspora, and the United States, including public- and private-sector collaboration, trade, investment, development, and educational links and exchanges.
- In November, the Small Business Administrator visited Cote d’Ivoire and Togo to explore how the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) can expand efforts to leverage the African Diaspora in the United States to connect small businesses on both continents to resources and opportunities in international trade.
- The Department of Commerce, through the Minority Business Development Agency and the Global Diversity Export Initiative, launched a trade promotion program to connect U.S. companies, especially African Diaspora-owned and women-owned, in the personal care and cosmetics sector with new opportunities and partners in South Africa.
Good Governance and Security
At the Summit, the United States reaffirmed its commitment to engage with and support complex political transitions in Africa and work to assist governments and civil society at critical moments in the democratic transition through the African Democratic and Political Transitions (ADAPT) initiative. The President also launched the 21st Century Partnership for African Security (21PAS), which identified $100 million to target and increase support to African partners committed to investing in defense governance, readiness and sustainment. 21PAS is a “down payment” to increase partner ability to use and sustain future assistance.
- In November, the Department of State announced ADAPT resources would be directed to support the people of Guinea in their transition to democratic governance by January 1, 2025, as agreed to with the Economic Community of West African States. These resources will provide technical assistance for ongoing efforts to draft a new constitution and prepare for free and fair elections while laying the groundwork for more effective and inclusive democratic institutions.
- The United States is committed to surging support to regional bodies, transition governments, democratic and inclusive political movements, and civil society to advance shared democratic goals. The ADAPT initiative will be expanded to other countries as transition governments take concrete and timely steps to transition to democratic governance.
- 21PAS identified $100 million over three years to target and expand support to African partners who are committed to investing in defense governance, readiness, and sustainment. From bolstering defense logistics systems to strengthening border security, 21PAS programs focus on promoting effective, responsible, and accountable defense institutions able to meet the emerging threats of our time. The United States plans to expand 21PAS in 2024. The Department of Defense will announce new program countries upon successful consultation with partners.
The United States has leveraged its status as the world’s largest donor for global health to achieve shared goals for continued improvements in global health and global health security. We work with African countries alongside regional and global partners, including the World Health Organization (WHO) and Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC), as well as with a diverse range of private sector and civil society partners to realize our objectives.
- In support of the African Union’s commitment to strengthen support for health workers across Africa, the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) is directly supporting hundreds of thousands of health workers in the region, who enable the delivery of essential HIV/AIDS services and other health services. PEPFAR’s direct support for health workers will not only protect and scale HIV gains but can also be leveraged to fight outbreaks and other disease threats. On World AIDS Day 2023, PEPFAR announced it directly supported 327,000 health workers worldwide in the past year.
- In 2023, USAID supported multiple efforts to increase coordinated investment in health workers across the continent. These efforts include the ‘Africa Health Workforce Investment Charter’, led by the WHO Regional Health Office in Africa, the ‘Monrovia Call to Action’ launched by the Liberia Ministry of Health at the 3rd International Community Health Worker Symposium, and the Reaching the Last Mile Forum statement, led by Africa CDC and Africa Frontline First, which renewed and strengthened joint support for community health workers, including a commitment to collective and coordinated investments and affirming governments’ leadership role in setting health priorities. Africa CDC is a central partner and leader driving this announcement.
- Since the United States announced $215 million in new funding to address the COVID-19 pandemic in Africa, 85 percent of the funding has been obligated across 24 African countries, helping contribute to the 128 million COVID-19 doses administered on the continent in 2023. The United States, in partnership with COVAX, AVAT, and others, has delivered over 200 million COVID-19 vaccine doses across Africa since 2021.
- The United States is working closely with the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB, and Malaria (Global Fund), WHO, AU and other stakeholders to support Africa-based diagnostics manufacturers. PEPFAR is working with partner countries to begin introducing multiple African-made professional use rapid diagnostics into HIV programs starting in 2024. This includes partnering with the WHO and Global Fund to launch an expert review panel for African-made diagnostics to streamline regulatory decision-making.
- The United States is strengthening global, regional, and national capacities to prevent, detect, and respond to infectious disease threats. In 2023, the U.S. government supported the expansion of directly supported global health security partners from 17 to 22 partners in sub-Saharan Africa and to one new partner in North Africa, with a total of 47 partners worldwide. This expansion directly supports the National Biodefense Strategy’s goal for the U.S. government to assist 50 countries in building technical capacity in areas such as disease surveillance, national laboratory systems, human resources and antimicrobial resistance.
- On the sidelines of the Third International Conference on Public Health in Africa in Lusaka, Zambia, the U.S. government and the Africa CDC announced a Joint Action Plan to advance a shared vision to strengthen public health systems and deliver improved health outcomes in Africa.