At the U.S.-Africa Summit in Maputo, Mozambique, U.S. officials outlined the goals and parameters of a key component of the U.S. Government’s Africa strategy.
“Prosper Africa,” USAID Administrator Mark Green explained on June 19, “is a new approach. A new framework. A framework that seeks to liberate and mobilize private enterprise.” He added, “I believe it gives us an opportunity to double two-way trade and investment in the years ahead.”
Prosper Africa is a coordinated, whole-of-government approach that harnesses U.S. foreign assistance tools in ways aimed at promoting stability, good governance, and an enterprise-friendly, enabling environment.
Pointing to the economic successes of South Korea and India, among others, Administrator Green said, “Private enterprise is the single most powerful force on Earth, lifting lives and building community.” In terms of creating sustainable opportunities for rising young Africans, “nothing else comes close,” he declared.
Prosper Africa will be demand-driven and private-sector led. “It will align the tools of the public sector to leverage the innovation, resources, knowledge and networks of our private sector,” said Administrator Green.
Among other lines of effort, Prosper Africa, he explained, “will facilitate transaction by providing blended finance, loan guarantees, market intelligence, advocacy and a range of services to de-risk investments;” it will “develop and deepen markets by tapping into local ventures to provide matchmaking services with U.S. companies and African supply and value chain departments;” and it will “level the playing field for U.S. businesses by identifying and removing policy regulatory and logistical trade barriers in ways that increase transparency and lower the cost of doing business in Africa.”
Administrator Green noted that the mission of USAID is to foster the journey to self-reliance. “Prosper Africa will help break the debt trap that authoritarian funders have planted like landmines in too many parts of this continent,” he said. “Prosper Africa creates options and alternatives for African leaders who are seeking just a little bit of help with their plans for the future. It will help Africans seize the power of investment and enterprise, and it will accelerate their journey to self-reliance.”