May 30, 2024

U.S. Deputy Secretary of Commerce Don Graves Addresses African Trade and Economic Growth at AGOA Forum in South Africa

U.S. Deputy Secretary of Commerce Don Graves held a special online briefing today from the Africa Regional Media Hub in Johannesburg, South Africa, where he discussed his participation in the ongoing African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) Forum.

The AGOA Forum is a two-day ministerial meeting to foster economic growth and supply chain resilience in Africa. Deputy Secretary Graves also co-hosted the event’s one-day Private Sector Forum, emphasizing the importance of inclusive economic growth and trade relations between the United States and African nations.

Deputy Secretary Graves highlighted the Biden-Harris administration’s commitment to fostering new economic engagement with African countries. He pointed out that shared, inclusive, and sustainable economic growth has been a top priority for the administration since the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit in December. Since then, the administration has facilitated 75 new commercial trade deals between the United States and African countries, with an estimated total value of $5.7 billion in two-way trade and investment.

He also mentioned the Department of Commerce’s Africa Strategy, which aims to create more economic opportunities for businesses, workers, and communities on both sides of the Atlantic. The strategy focuses on strengthening and expanding bilateral relationships, implementing the Digital Transformation with Africa Initiative, and supporting diaspora-owned firms. The goal is to promote supply chain resilience, economic security, and equitable growth.

During his participation in the AGOA Forum, Deputy Secretary Graves engaged with stakeholders from across the continent on topics such as fostering a commercial enabling environment, expanding trade missions, and growing the deal pipeline. He emphasized the U.S. government’s commitment to working with African countries to build infrastructure capable of unleashing the full power of digital technologies, connectivity, and trade. Deputy Secretary Graves also highlighted the crucial role of private sector partners in addressing global challenges.

He stressed that the primary focus of these efforts is to achieve equitable and inclusive growth. He emphasized the importance of trade policies benefiting not only those at the top but also fostering sustainable development and supporting regional integration. Deputy Secretary Graves expressed confidence that the commitment to working with African partners and allies would lead to future prosperity for all.

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