Remarks by CEO Alice Albright at the Corporate Council for U.S.-Africa Business Summit

I am delighted to be heading the U.S. Delegation to the 14th annual U.S.- Africa Business Summit, where I am joined by senior leaders from across the U.S. Government.

And as the CEO of the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), one of the 17 government agencies that contributes to the Prosper Africa Initiative, I am excited to be here in Marrakesh to feature our partnership with the Government of Morocco, and to meet with partners from across the continent.

I would like to extend my thanks to the Corporate Council on Africa and the Government of Morocco for bringing us all together, and all the government and private sector partners who have travelled to Marrakech for this important Summit.

I will have more to say about the work that lies ahead over the next two days, but before I do, I want to introduce a special guest who could not be with us in person, but who wanted to extend her support for and reinforce the importance of this gathering.

Colleagues, it is now my distinct honor to introduce the Vice President of the United States, Vice President Kamala Harris.

[Vice President Kamala Harris Video Remarks]

As Vice President Harris stated, we are all here and invested in creating more pathways to prosperity across the African continent.

Through Prosper Africa – the U.S. Government’s initiative to increase trade and investment, and promote sustainable development across the continent – and our collective efforts, we are strengthening partnerships to ensure people on both sides of the Atlantic have the opportunity to create a better life for their children, their families, and their communities, and to realize their full potential.

Since launching Prosper Africa two years ago, the U.S. Government has supported 800 two-way trade and investment deals in 45 countries in Africa, worth an estimated $50 billion.

Yet, we can, and we must do more.

From the pandemic, to the recovery from its devastating economic impact, to the climate crisis— Africa is essential to our collective progress as we work to tackle the complex challenges of the day.

The Biden-Harris Administration has made deepening our engagement with Africa a priority. The United States is committed to further strengthening our partnerships to foster inclusive and sustainable economic growth and prosperity, expand opportunities for bilateral trade and investment, and promote respect and shared values.

That is why we are continuing to work to build stronger ties with our African partners to catalyze infrastructure investments and public-private partnerships across the African continent.

We will also continue to work to support efforts to accelerate policy and regulatory reforms needed to attract that investment.

The U.S. Government is committed to leveraging the full suite of tools in its toolkit, capitalizing on the unique skills of departments and agencies across our government, many of whom are here today – including MCC, as well as the U.S. Trade and Development Agency, the U.S. Africa Development Foundation, the Departments of State, Commerce, and Agriculture, the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC), the Office of the U.S. Trade
Representative (USTR), the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the U.S. Export-Import Bank (EXIM), as well as Prosper Africa and Power Africa – and harnessing the power of the U.S. private sector toward our shared goals.

At the recent G7 Summit in Germany, leaders formally launched the Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment (PGII) to mobilize hundreds of billions of dollars and deliver quality, sustainable infrastructure that makes a difference in people’s lives around the world.

The United States aims to mobilize $200 billion for PGII over the next five years through grants, financing, and leveraging private sector investments.

Through Prosper Africa, and the work of the departments and agencies represented here today, we will work to deliver on PGII’s promise by catalyzing investment across the African continent.

MCC’s distinct role is to reduce poverty through inclusive and sustainable economic growth. We do this through a partnership based model that pairs large-scale investments in critical infrastructure with policy and institutional reforms that together, will attract private sector investment.

Our commitment is not a new one.

We are building on long-standing partnerships with African partners through which the United States has made significant investments that have helped create 21st century jobs for African youth across the continent, deliver clean water and sanitation to help fight disease, made transportation more efficient through the construction of hundreds of kilometers of roads, improved agricultural yields by bringing irrigation to farmers, and increased access to reliable electricity for households and business.

We have also increased our focus on strengthening resilience to global shocks and working with our African government partners to enhance their capacity to deliver for their people through investments in gender equity as a driver of inclusive growth, climate adaptation and mitigation, infrastructure, and digital technologies that have the potential to transform healthcare, financial services, agribusiness and more.

We all know the impact we can have when governments and the private sector work together to tackle the challenges of the 21st century.

And that is what we are here to do. To build new partnerships and explore new opportunities to work together to address the challenges of the day, and those not yet before us, and to deliver on the promise of creating opportunities for a better life for future generations.

Thank you all again for your continued partnership, and let’s have a wonderful conference.

Thank you.