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Eleven from Marrakech: The sessions of the second day of the US-Africa Business Summit, organized in Marrakesh, in its fourteenth session, under the slogan “Let’s build the future together”, the participants’ confidence in Africa’s future and its ability to to recover economically, demonstrated, taking into account a number of facts related to its intrinsic qualifications and the immense opportunities it offers, availability.
This three-day summit, under the patronage of the Moroccan King Mohammed VI, is in partnership with the “Corporate Council of Africa”, with the participation of an important American government delegation, African ministers and decision-makers from the largest American multinational companies and African businessmen . This represents an opportunity to improve Morocco’s strategic positioning as an African pole and an economic reference partner for the United States.
Feeding economic recovery
The “Fueling Recovery and Economic Growth” session addressed the policies, capacity building, market access, technologies and financial instruments used by governments, corporations and private sector entities to enable African SMEs to thrive and drive economic recovery awake. It showed that these companies remain the cornerstone of economies as they contribute to innovation, job creation and global economic growth; WHEREAS participants in the session ‘Using innovations in the African regulatory system to strengthen the health sector’ argued that the complex network of regulatory processes across the continent is gradually converging through various efforts, including the coordination of regulatory processes at regional and continental levels. With the recent pandemic, there have been some innovations that have led to the urgent approval of health products for use, leading to greater access to needed health products.
While the “Accelerating Technology Adoption: Bridging the Infrastructure Gap” session focused on how technology can accelerate infrastructure development in Africa, participants in the “Key Challenges and Opportunities for Startups in Africa” session shared their insights on best practices and what may be needed be offered In terms of tools and resources to develop key sectors on the continent and take advantage of the significant momentum achieved in venture capital in recent years.
African women and youth
The session “Investing in Women and Youth: Sustainable Growth” reviewed a set of data related to the future of the continent and pointed out that over the next three decades, the countries of the African continent will be responsible for two-thirds of the world’s population increase. Participants emphasized that as large population growth presents tremendous opportunities, exacerbating a set of challenges, to meet them, governments and business leaders in Africa will innovate to create many new jobs, include more people in the formal economy and economic promote growth across various sectors. and regions.
A number of researches and studies have shown that one of the most effective ways to achieve this is to empower women and youth to become more economically active. Over the past few years, public sentiment has shifted from viewing women and youth as a specialized part of the workforce to be protected, to understanding women and youth as, in fact, engines of economic growth.
Loan repayment rates by women-owned businesses exceed 90 percent, while the loan repayment rate by male-owned businesses hovers around 30 percent. Women are also generally more active in sectors with the greatest potential to increase productivity through access to more value-added services and products.
technology to accelerate growth
The session “Scaling up ICT innovations to accelerate African growth” showed how the challenges of dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic spurred a wide range of innovations across sectors to make better use of existing ICT tools to fill critical gaps; It is noted that millions of African consumers are shopping for essentials online for the first time, while millions upon thousands of companies have established their first presence on the Internet.
Participants in the session “Cyber Security: Securing Africa’s Economic Re-launch” discussed the nature of risks, how to address them, job opportunities and best practices to address this global challenge in the African context. The pandemic has forced the public and private sectors in Africa to work more in the digital world, opening them up to new and different challenges and opportunities. It has become clear that cyber security will have a strong impact on digital transformation in Africa as in the rest of the world. Studies have estimated that cybercrime costs African economies more than $3 billion annually.
Between the United States and Africa
The “Future of Trade and Investment Relations between the United States and Africa” session reviewed important perspectives on the future direction of trade and investment relations between the two sides.
The interventions highlighted that Africa is becoming an increasingly important trade and investment partner, with its young population set to double to 2.5 billion people by 2050. An Africa that has improved its competitiveness and integration into global supply chains by improving trade and investment climates at the national level.
Developments related to the African Continental Free Trade Agreement raise the question of what policy the United States should pursue to promote greater trade and investment relations with Africa. Since 2000, America’s primary economic policy instrument has been the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act, which provides qualifying African countries with duty-free access to the US market for many goods.
With AGOA approaching its current expiration date in 2025, this remains an important moment to question what policy the United States should adopt.