Washington, DC — Reflections on the election of Donald J. Trump to the U.S. Presidency and Afric
Donald J. Trump will be sworn in as U.S president in January 2017. So, what does this mean for the private sector in Africa?
Throughout the campaign, President-elect Trump focused largely on rebuilding America and rarely, if ever, shed light on his positions on U.S. policy towards Africa. In his first major foreign policy speech in April 2016, however, he pointedly stated that any foreign policy will put American interests first.
One thing we know for sure is that Donald Trump is a shrewd businessman and will be looking for where he can find the best deals. The Initiative for Global Development (IGD) is a network of CEOs and senior executives of sector-leading African, U.S. and global companies operating in Africa. Our Frontier Leaders know and understand the mindset of a fellow business leader. This could be a tremendous opportunity for Africa’s private sector.
When Trump enters office in 2017, he will discover a rapidly changing Africa. The rising influence of homegrown African businesses in the global economy reflects the changing realities on the ground. African businesses have emerged as the drivers of growth on the continent, creating more than 80 percent of jobs in their countries. Even in years of generally depressed commodity prices, Africa is still home to some of the world’s fastest-growing economies with an expanding middle class. Some 26 of Africa’s 54 countries have achieved middle-income status within a short period of time.
This rapid progress and growth will certainly ignite greater U.S. interest in Africa as a trading and investment destination. We know all African economies are not growing at the same speed, at the same time. Indeed, while some African countries have recently experienced a slowing of their economies and fluctuations in commodities prices, others with diversified economies are holding their own. Overall, African economies are resilient.
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