Kuramo was invited to participate in this Summer’s U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit in Washington, DC. The Summit, during which President Barack Obama invited over 50 African Heads of State to Washington, was the first of its kind and the largest held with African dignitaries.
According to the White House, the Summit’s goal was to build on the progress made since the President’s trip to Africa in the Summer of 2013 and to strengthen ties between the United States and one of the world’s most dynamic and fastest-growing regions. Kuramo was proud to be invited to participate, following our involvement in meetings in Dakar, Senegal and Johannesburg, South Africa as part of the President’s 2013 Africa trip to Senegal, South Africa, and Tanzania.
President Obama posing with African Heads of State at the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit.
The highlight and key event of the Summit was the U.S.-Africa Business Forum co-sponsored by Bloomberg Philanthropies and the U.S. Commerce Department. At the Business Forum, U.S. companies such as GE, Walmart, IBM, Coca-Cola, and Dow Chemical discussed their increasing activities on the continent. Additionally, they highlighted opportunities of working together with African-owned companies such as Dangote Industries, Shanduka group, Equity Bank, Heirs Holdings and Standard Chartered Bank in a range of industries ranging from infrastructure, power, oil and gas to financial services.
During the Business Forum, there were major announcements of increased commitments by GE, Coca-Cola, and P&G, among others. The Dangote Group and Black Rhino, a Blackstone portfolio company, committed to invest $5 billion in infrastructure, power, transmission and pipeline projects over the next 5 years. Carlyle and Dangote Group also announced a $1 billion investment partnership to invest across the oil and gas value-chain. Altogether there were a total of $33 billion in commitments made during the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit.
From our vantage point at Kuramo, the Summit was not only successful because as the first of its kind to be hosted by a U.S. President, or because of the attendance and business opportunities that will follow, but mostly for the important fact that the Summit, in a timely manner, has helped to significantly reduce the high risk-perception of African countries held by U.S. companies, whilst highlighting the tremendous opportunities for U.S. companies.