Planning to host the U.S.-Africa Business ForumDecember 12, 2022
a BUSY few monthsDecember 15, 2022
Remarks from SA Chamber USA's Chairman Robert Gumede.
US-Africa Business Summit 2022
Washington D.C., December 14, 2022 – Amid the three-day Summit which commenced in Washington D.C. on December 13th, drawing leaders from forty-nine African states and various African Union (AU) representatives to the United States in the process, the South African Chamber of Commerce to the USA Chair, philanthropist and business leader Robert Gumede, offered prognosis on practical, mutually beneficial pathways forward in the multilateral relationships that form the dynamic between the United States and the world’s largest collective marketplace.
Robert Gumede, recently appointed to the Advisory Board of FIFA, the international governing body behind the World Cup, surmised that regarding the first Head of State gathering of African Leaders by a U.S. President since 2014, it would be addressing a shared commitment to trade and investment in the face of lingering supply chain crises, to innovation and digital transformation, global health and resilience against highly exportable threats, and climate commitments in light of climate ramifications such as food security and mass migration, that would be critical themes for African leaders to embed as American foreign policymaking priorities long after the Summit concludes.
Robert Gumede stated that “By 2050, a quarter of all humans will be African. We already host the largest youth demographic to date and that demographic is acutely aware of the challenges but more so the opportunities to partner with capable Americans; however, they wish to do so on terms that are agreeable for all”.
This is a generation with no recollection of the throes of apartheid. They recognize their rights, their entitlements as a resource-rich continent, and in Africa as a collective opportunity - a marketplace for investment in localized industrialization and infrastructure and human capital development, as examples”.
Historically, partnerships were not ‘B2B’, but fostered by governments, which means bureaucracy, which means delays. African entrepreneurs like myself are versatile and are looking for 2023-era technical partners from America, to offer next-generation services and products at home and then to create them from home with an eye of high-skills training and quelling the brain drain drawing away our brightest and best”.
On December 14th, representatives from the South African Chamber of Commerce in the United States will participate in and address the U.S.-Africa Business Forum (USABF), in doing so exploring challenges and opportunities in-depth, while charting out new avenues for improved U.S.-Africa cooperation.
The South African Chamber Of Commerce in the USA will work with the like-minded, region and Pan-Africa-spanning stakeholders such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Corporate Council on Africa (CCA) to unlock opportunities for the re-industrialization of Africa and in seeking lasting investment in critical infrastructure to stimulate economic development.
The US-Africa Leaders Summit 2022 also takes place while African nations seek to take advantage of boons borne of the new African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) domestically, an Agreement uniting 54 nations into the world’s largest trade bloc, set to grow Africa’s GDP by $450 billion. Thus, the USABF will aim to deliver ambitious, quantitative outcomes that leverage the immense power of Africa’s digital revolution, promote free trade and integrated, resilient supply chains, support healthier economies, and ensure sustainable infrastructure investment.
“America has an opportunity to reset its relationship with Africa. Unlike our relationship with China, which largely operates through government-to-government investments, we can forge partnerships with African entrepreneurs and businesses. This can create a win-win scenario, especially since African entrepreneurs have domain knowledge, can create certainty, can protect investments, and can create sustainable jobs in sectors at the forefront of growth, such as manufacturing and agri-business; together, we can create new markets for products and services,” Gumede continued.
“To date, America’s banks are not in Africa and they should be; New world order minerals for battery storage and vehicles, those needed to fuel the green industrial revolution visibly underway all around us, are in abundance in Africa; the DRC and Zambia alone host more than 70% of the world’s deposits of untapped copper and cobalt. Ultimately, the archaic relationship may define Africa’s past with the United States, but rest assured, it’s not its future. If Americans still see Africa in the eyes of its former colonialists and corrupt political leaders it will once again miss business opportunities to partner with Africa; they will lose out to intrepid China, Russia, Iran, and Turkey in the geopolitical game of chess we all quietly play,” Gumede concluded.
Robert Gumede – US-Africa Business Summit 2022