USAID Administrator Mark Green's Remarks at the U.S.-Africa Trade and Investment Roundtable Discussion

For Immediate Release

Wednesday, September 25, 2019
Office of Press Relations
Telephone: +1.202.712.4320 | Email:

September 24, 2019
Palace Hotel
New York City, New York

ADMINISTRATOR GREEN: Thank you, Tibor. It's a pleasure to be here today.

As Deputy Secretary Sullivan said, the United States is committed to helping expand economic growth and opportunity across Africa. Today, about 60% of Africa's 1.2 billion people are under 25. A decade from now, there will be around 320 million Africans between the ages of 15 and 24. A whole generation of young men and women with big dreams, eager for the opportunity to make their own way. The challenge of our generation is to ensure that the opportunities are there.

Together, we can help create those opportunities. Like the Deputy Secretary mentioned, we know that we're not the only players in the game. Some authoritarian actors have offered their so-called "help." But most of the time, this looks like predatory financing and a mortgaged future. It looks like shackles instead of self-reliance.

We offer a better way. Our mission at USAID is to foster the journey to self-reliance. We believe that the purpose of foreign assistance must be ending its need to exist. So when we find partners willing to make the reforms and tough choices necessary to achieve self-reliance, we believe that we have an obligation to walk with them along the way. And we know that private enterprise is the force that gets countries there. In terms of creating sustainable opportunities, nothing else comes close.

That's why at USAID we've redoubled our efforts to deepen our engagement with the private sector. We've created new tools to further incorporate true collaboration with private enterprise in everything that we do. Like our new Private-Sector Engagement Policy, which outlines all the ways that we'll partner with businesses to tackle development challenges.

And it's why we're so excited to play a lead role in Prosper Africa. Prosper Africa isn't a new program-it's a new way of doing business that will liberate and mobilize private enterprise. It's built on three primary lines of effort: first, facilitating transactions that are profitable and sustainable. Second, helping countries create investment climates that open the door to trade and investment from America and around the world. And third, modernizing the U.S. Government's trade and investment support services across the African continent and the United States.

We know this integrated, pro-business approach works, because we're using it to great success in other initiatives on the continent. Like Power Africa, where we're helping to connect government, financiers and private-enterprise projects that will one day power the entire continent. Or our Feed the Future work, where we help farmers become more prosperous and connected to global markets, bridging the divide between their needs and private-enterprise.

Those initiatives marry the ingenuity and enterprise of American and African businesses with the desire of people and governments to achieve lasting growth and results. And that's precisely what Prosper Africa will help to achieve, on a larger scale than ever before.

Prosper Africa will deepen trade and investment between the U.S. and Africa. It will help Africans seize the power of investment and enterprise, expanding economic growth across the continent. And it will create opportunities for the next generation of African youth, helping them to reach their full potential and lead their own bright future. We couldn't be more excited to work with all of you towards that goal.

Thank you.

Last updated: January 15, 2020

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