News / Economy

African Business Leaders Want More US Investments

African business leaders say the United States can do more to encourage investment on the continent. The Obama administration agrees. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is expected to close a meeting in Zambia on U.S. trade preferences.

The African Growth and Opportunity Act has been the cornerstone of U.S. investment on the continent for more than ten years. But the vast majority of goods imported duty free are textile and oil products.

African producers meeting in Zambia want to diversify those exports and say the U.S. government can do more to help.

Chungu Mwila, the director for private sector development at the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa, says the trade preferences known as AGOA would be more valuable with more direct U.S. investment.

“If American companies were to invest in Africa and boost our production capacities, then, in our view, AGOA would become more meaningful,” said Mwila.

With most U.S. direct foreign investment still going to Latin America and Asia, Mwila says the Obama administration should do more to bring American business to Africa.

“I think there is a lot more that the U.S., being the strongest economy in the world, can do by assisting in capacity building of our industries, by ensuring that some of the American companies come and look around. After all, Africa is no longer such a risk place,” said Mwila.

The Obama administration agrees and is asking Congress to extend AGOA trade preferences for another ten years. U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Johnnie Carson says there should be greater tax incentives for U.S. earnings from AGOA investments.

“AGOA already provides substantial tariff savings for U.S. companies importing eligible products from Africa, but there are no other types of tax incentives provided under the legislation," he said. "We recommend that the U.S. government support an effort to eliminate the U.S. tax on repatriated revenues from American companies that invest in factories in Africa that produce AGOA-eligible products.”

Carson says he is encouraged by Africa's progress, but the continent remains economically challenged and continues to need programs such as AGOA to provide incentives for greater growth.

“While AGOA has achieved a certain amount of success, it has not solved Africa's economic, financial, and commercial challenges, and the region has not experienced the fundamental economic transformation that we seek for Africa as a whole," he said. "Africa continues to struggle to compete in an increasingly competitive global economy.”

Carson says the Obama administration wants U.S. lawmakers to extend beyond next year a provision allowing AGOA-eligible nations to source raw textile materials from third countries.

Mwila says that extension, and the renewal of AGOA as a whole, will bring more business to a continent that is making itself more attractive to investors.

“We have very liberal economic regimes," said Mwila. "Our macro-economic fundamentals are being put in place. For example, the inflation rates have come down. The exchange rates are stabilizing. And the economic growth rate is one of the highest globally, around five or six percent. You don't even get that in the U.S.”

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton helps close this AGOA forum Friday before meeting with Zambian President Rupiah Banda.

You May Like

Turkey's Controversial Reform Bill Giving Investors Jitters

Homeland security reform bill will give police new powers in search, seizure, detention and arrests, while restricting the rights of suspects, their attorneys More

Audio Slideshow In Kenyan Prison, Good Grades Are Path to Freedom

Some inmates who get high marks could see their sentences commuted to non-custodial status More

'Rumble in the Jungle' Turns 40

'The Champ' knocked Foreman out to regain crown he had lost 7 years earlier when US government accused him of draft-dodging and boxing officials revoked his license More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisiai
X
Henry Ridgwell
October 30, 2014 11:39 PM
Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisia

Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Africa Tells its Story Through Fashion

In Africa, Fashion Week is a riot of colors, shapes, patterns and fabrics - against the backdrop of its ongoing struggle between nature and its fast-growing urban edge. How do these ideas translate into needle and thread? VOA’s Anita Powell visited this year’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Africa in Johannesburg to find out.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.

All About America

AppleAndroid

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.7893
JPY
USD
107.68
GBP
USD
0.6238
CAD
USD
1.1214
INR
USD
61.185

Rates may not be current.