U.S. Government officials on Wednesday visited Red River Foods—an American company based in Richmond, Virginia—to discuss the company’s recent $47 million investment in West Africa. With $3 million in dedicated Prosper Africa funding from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), Red River Foods is investing an additional $44 million to expand cashew processing facilities in West Africa for export to the United States.
With the new investment, West Africa is expected to become one of the largest exporters of cashews to the United States by 2024.
“This is a critical, climate-smart investment that responds to shifts in global supply chains arising from the COVID-19 pandemic,” USAID said in a statement. “Previously, this American business shipped raw cashews from West Africa to Southeast Asia for processing before exporting them to the United States. This deal will support the livelihoods of about 11,000 West African farmers, create an estimated 500 jobs, and generate about $30 million in exports in just three years.”
The Red River Foods co-investment is one of numerous investments that USAID has supported through its West Africa Trade & Investment Hub, which has established a co-investment fund to attract $400 million of new private investment, create 60,000 jobs, and increase regional and international trade.
Through co-investment partnerships, USAID is driving investment in West Africa, moving away from an extractive export model to one that adds greater value and fosters inclusive growth for African and American economies.
“Investments like this one advance the U.S. Government’s Prosper Africa Build Together Campaign, a targeted, long-term effort to energize and elevate the United States’ commitment to trade and investment with Africa,” the agency said.
It added, ” Through Prosper Africa, the U.S. Government is strengthening ties with our African partners through investments that create jobs and build infrastructure across both Africa and the United States. By supporting American businesses with socially inclusive business models that benefit women, youth, and low-income communities, Prosper Africa is advancing the Biden-Harris Administration’s vision of a better future—a future of growing trade and investment that advances prosperity for all our nations by mobilizing capital, driving job creation, and fueling shared economic growth.
“Prosper Africa is the U.S. Government initiative to substantially increase two-way trade and investment between African nations and the United States. The initiative mobilizes all of the U.S. Government’s trade and investment support services, across 17 participating departments and agencies, to help U.S. and Africa businesses and investors identify partners, advance opportunities, and close deals.”