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

French Refugee Drama Wins Cannes Top Prize

Dheepan is about a group of Sri Lankan refugees who pretend to be a family in order to flee their war-torn country for a housing project in France More

Photogallery Crisis in Macedonia Requires Meaningful and Swift Measures

The international community has called on Macedonian leadership to take concrete measures in support of democracy in order to exit the crisis More

Activists: IS Executes 217 Civilians, Soldiers Near Palmyra

British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights on Sunday said the victims include nurses, women, children and Syrian government fighters 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.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.8957
JPY
USD
120.93
GBP
USD
0.6393
CAD
USD
1.2199
INR
USD
63.470

Rates may not be current.