United States Promotes Investment in East Africa

World Investment Forum Roundtable: “The New Economic Powerhouse - Exploring Investment Opportunities in Eastern Africa”

For Immediate Release

Thursday, July 21, 2016
Nadine Sunderland
+254 715 516 324

Today at the World Investment Forum (WIF) 2016 meeting in Nairobi, U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Kenya and East Africa Mission Director Karen Freeman opened a high-level panel of East African leaders to discuss strategies for promoting the East African region as a common destination for global investors.

Ms. Freeman’s remarks highlighted the importance of trade as one of U.S. President Obama’s highest development priorities: to grow the next generation of emerging markets by building an effective trading partnership between the United States and the countries of sub-Saharan Africa.

USAID has provided pivotal support to the region’s exporting companies, helping African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) exports to the United States reach a value of over $1.1 billion dollars between 2014 and 2016. AGOA is a U.S. Government trade preference program to promote African trade competitiveness, job growth and poverty reduction. Under AGOA, approximately 6,400 qualifying items can be exported to the United States without import duties.

“We expect even greater things in the coming year on the AGOA front, given that some of the world’s largest buyers of apparel, companies like Phillips-Van Heusen and Vanity Fair, have identified East Africa for new production,” said Ms. Freeman.

During the roundtable, the panel discussed opportunities for capitalizing on investors seeking long-term investment returns. The ultimate goal of the panel, and the overall WIF, is to promote investment flows that contribute to sustainable and inclusive development.

USAID works through its East Africa Trade and Investment Hub (the Hub) to promote East Africa as a destination for global investment. In addition to supporting the high-level panel, the Hub also sponsored the WIF’s East Africa Investment Village, where investment promotion agencies showcased ten investment-ready opportunities.