The third biennial U.S. - Africa Business Summit presented by the Corporate Council on Africa (CCA) was held from October 29 to November 2, 2001 in Philadelphia. Industry and government leaders discussed American business opportunities in Africa, one of the most exciting regions of the world.
The event drew hundreds of business and government leaders from the United States and Africa for more than 50 workshops and panel discussions. Attendees included African heads of state, along with senior officials of the U.S. government.
As U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell said recently, "Africa matters to America, by history and by choice." America has almost 35 million citizens of African descent, and more than 30,000 Africans are studying in the United States today. Last year, trade with Africa approached $30 billion. The United States is the continent's leading foreign investor.
Now is an especially good time for American firms to consider investing in Africa. According to the International Monetary Fund's most recent economic outlook, "GDP growth in Africa picked up substantially in the second half of the 1990s, underpinned by a renewed commitment to sound economic policies and more open and better-managed economies."
Since 1990, more than 30 African countries have held free elections and the overwhelming majority have launched economic reform programs. The climate of improving economic and political stability is attracting foreign investment and stimulating new domestic business enterprise.
The CCA believes Africa's future depends on the ability of its...