Africa A Huge Opportunity For Partnership – Graves


United States Deputy Secretary of Commerce, Don Graves

The United States (US) Deputy Secretary of Commerce, Don Graves has said the US sees Africa as a huge opportunity for economic growth and shared partnership rather than exploitation or extraction.

He made this known during a digital press briefing to discuss his recent trip to Ghana where he attended the US-Ghana Business Forum; and participated in the Africa CEO Forum in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire.

The US-Ghana Business Forum was aimed at deepening the diplomatic and commercial partnerships between Ghana and the United States for a successful implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

Discussions covered partnerships available in the digital space and the modernization and strengthening of custom rules to facilitate trade within the AfCFTA to make US companies the premier partners for trade and investment in Ghana and on the continent.

Mr. Graves revealed that a US partnership with Africa is about providing the investment, resources, and know-how as well as the skills for Africa to continue growing while finding stability and making them a long-term economic partner for the United States.

“That’s all we ask for. We hope that African countries see or view the United States as the partner of choice going forward for the upcoming 10, 20, 50, 100 years.”

The United States, he added, is committed to working with the governments of Africa utilizing the AFCFTA, AGOA, and other initiatives to expand their trade bilaterally and the work that they are doing multilaterally across the continent.

“Within the Biden administration and the U.S. Department of Commerce, the focus of our engagement across Africa is to develop deeper relationships based on mutual respect that will enable us to collaboratively overcome short-term challenges while also working towards long-term economic resiliency and prosperity.”

He also stated that the Biden administration and G7 initiative sought to provide value-driven, high-standard, and transparent infrastructure financing to meet a variety of infrastructure needs across the continent.

“We have several tools that we use to drive trade engagement in Africa, including our Prosper Africa Initiative, which is focusing on increasing two-way trade between the United States and many of the countries across the continent”, he added.


Meetings in Ghana, Côte d’Ivoire

Mr. Graves said during his meeting with the Vice President of Ghana, Alhaji Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, discussions centered on opportunities available to deepen commercial ties through a memorandum of understanding as well as the upcoming U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit and Business Forum.

“I had the wonderful and productive introductory meetings with my counterparts at Ghana’s ministry of communications and digitalization, the ministry of finance, and ministry and trade and industry, to learn more about their visions for their respective ministries, and to look for opportunities to engage further through the Partnership for Global Infrastructure and the U.S.-Ghana Memorandum of Understanding,” he added.

“With President Macky Sall of Senegal, we discussed opportunities for our countries to strengthen our bilateral commercial relationship and continue partnering to ensure global supply of food and fertilizer – something we know is a challenge right now across the world – through the Partnership for Global Infrastructure and the direct work of the President and this administration.”

On his visit to Abidjan, Mr. Graves said he met with leadership from the Africa Development Bank to discuss potential opportunities for the U.S. private sector to engage with the bank.

“We discussed how the U.S. Government can work with the bank on PGI and how we can do more to leverage private capital to drive infrastructure development across the continent.”


By Linda Tenyah-Ayettey