The United States is committed to strengthening ties with the nations of Africa, one of the world's most dynamic and fastest-growing regions. The effort includes a number of programs and initiatives to spur economic growth and underscore America's commitment to Africa's security, democratic development and economic growth.
Tanzania is the second largest economy in East Africa, and with its key location and natural resources it has the potential for continued growth. Our nation is one of its top five foreign investors, with roughly $950 million a year focused there. President Jakaya Kikwete spoke to U.S. investors and businessmen at an African investment forum held in Washington during the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit in August.
In October, two U.S. delegations traveled to Tanzania to promote further business development between our two nations. Led by Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs David Duckenfield, a group of U.S. investors, entrepreneurs and philanthropists toured the country to explore investment and trade opportunities with Tanzanian companies and startups.
The group, organized under the U.S. State Department's Partnership Opportunity Delegation initiative, traveled to Dar es Salaam, Bagamoyo and Zanzibar, and discussed potential projects and partnerships with private sector leaders. They also visited with local communities, manufacturers and small business owners.
Also the same month, U.S. Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew toured the port at Dar es Salaam to discuss investments in Tanzanian infrastructure projects such as the port, roads and rail links. These are critical for growth both in Tanzania and throughout the region. Secretary Lew also visited an energy infrastructure site.
Inadequate infrastructure has made Tanzania a high cost business area, investors say. Improvements in port, rail and road systems could double intraregional trade in the East African Community, and boost EAC exports to the U.S. by 40 percent.
U.S. government support for transport and energy infrastructure is key elements of the Trade Africa and Power Africa Initiatives launched by President Obama last year. Such U.S. programs are designed to find solutions to challenges in Africa and our partner nations around the world through facilitating effective public-private partnerships.