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Commerce Official Highlights Efforts to Promote Trade with Africa
July 27, 2012

July 26,  2012

A man stacking boxes
Barnabus Ossai arranges boxes of computer-printer paper in his small shop in Lagos, Nigeria. Increasing U.S. trade with Nigeria and other African countries is a U.S. government goal.
U.S. Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade Francisco Sánchez highlighted efforts to increase U.S. trade and investment with sub-Saharan Africa in testimony July 25 to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee’s Subcommittee on African Affairs.

The testimony follows President Obama’s announcement last month of a new U.S. strategy for expanding trade and investment with sub-Saharan Africa.

“The Obama administration is committed to encouraging trade and investment with sub-Saharan Africa,” Sánchez said.

Sánchez will travel to Johannesburg and Pretoria, South Africa, August 5–7 to advance the president’s strategy. He will participate in the U.S.-South Africa Strategic Dialogue, organized by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and meet with U.S. private-sector entities operating in the region.

In his testimony, Sánchez discussed the U.S. “Doing Business in Africa” campaign, which will help U.S. businesses to identify investment and engagement opportunities. The program includes a special focus on outreach to African communities in the United States.

The United States is also taking steps to establish a U.S.-East African Community Commercial Dialogue, an informal mechanism through which the United States and the East African Community Secretariat will aim to create business opportunities through targeted trade and investment promotion activities.

A pair of U.S. trade missions will visit sub-Saharan Africa in the fall. A September mission will highlight the aerospace sector at the Africa Aerospace and Defense 2012 exhibition in Pretoria, while a November visit to Zambia and South Africa will explore export opportunities in a variety of sectors.