6th Floor, Woodrow Wilson Center

The U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit One Year On: Progress, Challenges, and the Way Forward for Economic Relations

Webcast available

Webcast Recap

On September 10, 2015 the Wilson Center launched the Brown Capital Management Africa Forum series. This 5-year series, generously funded by Brown Capital Management, will provide a platform for bringing together business leaders, policymakers, practitioners, and subject matter experts for forward-leaning, solutions-oriented dialogue aimed at furthering mutually beneficial trade and investment between Africa and the United States, as well as sustainable development in Africa.

The inaugural event presented in-depth conversations on the progress made in economic relations in the year since the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit, and featured senior officials from U.S. and African governments, and the Africa sections of top U.S. companies.

The launch included a lunch featuring Under-Secretary of Commerce for International Trade Stefan Selig and a panel featuring Mr. Jay Ireland, CEO of GE-Africa and member of the President’s Advisory Council on Doing Business in Africa; Ambassador Donald Gips, Senior Counselor, Albright Stonebridge Group, and former U.S. Ambassador to South Africa; Dr. Witney Schneidman of Covington and Burling LLP, and member of the Africa Program Advisory Council; Mr. Solomon Asamoah, Vice President for Infrastructure, Private Sector, and Regional Integration at the African Development Bank; and Ambassador Richard Sezibera, Secretary General, East African Community. Also in attendance was the leadership team of Brown Capital Management, including Wilson Center Cabinet Members, Mr. Eddie and Mrs. Sylvia Brown.

In addition to analyzing the economic commitments made at the 2014 U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit and the state of those commitments a year later, the panelists offered recommendations to both the U.S. government and African governments on how to best to advance mutually beneficial trade and investment between the United States and Africa. Recommendations included: working with American companies to overcome the “mental block” to investing in Africa; advancing regional integration in Africa; investing in infrastructure and supply chains; improving African civil service capacities in departments that manage investments; and improving U.S. coordination on investment and economic relations with Africa, as opposed to the current situation which is largely fragmented across U.S. agencies and stakeholders.

The recommendations are attached as a PDF below.

Speakers