The U.S. government on Wednesday
reaffirmed its commitment to growth through trade and investment in
Visiting Assistant to the President and Deputy National Security Advisor for International Economics Michael Froman stressed Washington's continuing support to the rapid expansion of African economies and its commitment to the growth of American private sector trade and investment on the continent.
"It is clear even from this short visit that there is great opportunity to advance agricultural productivity; increase trade and investment, including in manufacturing; improve infrastructure and trade facilitation; and further the reliable generation, transmission and distribution of energy," Froman told U.S. investors in Nairobi.
Froman who is leading nine senior U.S. officials to Kenya emphasized the role the private sector and foreign direct invest from the U.S. can play as African economies such as Kenya's continue to grow.
According to Froman, from 2006-2009, Washington's investment in sub-Saharan Africa was up 64 percent, noting that private investment flows to Africa now substantially exceed foreign aid.
Froman and a major delegation of Presidential Advisors, Senior Security Council Staff and administration officials are consulting with political leaders, manufacturers, and investors in Kenya, Ethiopia, Tanzania, and Nigeria as they discuss and promote President Obama's Strategy for Sub-Saharan Africa issued by the White House in June.
He said trade among the five East African Community member states has doubled over five years, noting that U.S. trade with the EAC grew an impressive 34 percent between 2010 and 2011 alone.
"So the trends are all headed in the right direction, and increasingly U.S. and international companies and investors are making Sub-Saharan Africa--and East Africa in particular-- a priority and making Kenya a hub for doing business across the region and across the continent," Froman said.
He said America's finance agencies are also increasing their commitments and exposure in the region to help support U.S. trade and investment in the region.
He said Washington's Export-Import Bank has financed record amounts for American companies doing business in Africa, with loans rising to a record high of 1.4 billion dollars in 2011.
Froman said the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, or OPIC, has invested over 3 billion dollars in Sub-Saharan Africa, and just last year, almost 1 billion dollars which is a 300 percent increase from 2010.
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