March 1, 2024

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U.S. Chamber of Commerce Delivers on Promise to Build Commercial Ties with East Africa

Scott Eisner, President of the Center discussed U.S.-Africa policy and development with Bill Gates on the margins of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's "The Need for U.S. Leadership" conversation.

Following up on commitments the U.S. Chamber made during the 2022 U.S.-Africa Business Forum and Leaders Summit, the Chamber’s U.S.-Africa Business Center led a business delegation of over 30 private sector executives to Kenya and Tanzania in its first international trade mission this year.

In Kenya, the Chamber met with Kenyan President William Ruto’s Council of Economic Advisors and other key Kenyan government leaders, addressed the third American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) Business Summit in Nairobi, and met with top U.S. and Kenyan economic officials prior to the opening round of bilateral negotiations to establish a U.S.-Kenya Strategic Trade and Investment Partnership (STIP).

In Tanzania, in the wake of Vice President Kamala Harris’ historic visit to the nation, the Chamber delegation met with Tanzanian and U.S. government officials to expand upon the Memorandum of Understanding that the Chamber and the Tanzania Trade Development Authority signed last year before Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu Hassan to grow the U.S.-Tanzania commercial partnership.   

“International business interest in East Africa, the heart of Africa’s vibrant startup ecosystem, is already burgeoning, as evidenced by the more than 1,200 delegates from 300 international companies that attended the AmCham Business Summit in Nairobi,” said Scott Eisner, President of the Chamber’s U.S.-Africa Business Center. “The U.S. Chamber looks forward to playing a key role in a new era of U.S.-Africa economic relations, and the enthusiasm we encountered from African and U.S. leaders, including Kenyan President Ruto, U.S. Ambassador to Kenya Meg Whitman, and AfCFTA Secretary General Wamkele Mene, makes us even more optimistic about how African countries are diversifying their participation in international trade and global value chains, and how the U.S. is ready to be meaningfully counted among Africa’s allies. This was evident as well in our trade and investment dialogue in Dar es Salaam, where Tanzanian Deputy Permanent Secretary for Finance Mafuru, Commerce Deputy Assistant Secretary Camille Richardson, Tanzanian Ambassador to the U.S. Elsie Kanza, and U.S. Ambassador to Tanzania Michael Battle, implored our executives to take advantage of the momentum created by the economic discussion between President Samia Suluhu Hassan and Vice President Harris.” 

“In particular, the U.S. Chamber looks forward to seeing what we expect will be a transparent, participatory process as the U.S. and Kenya enter the first negotiating round of STIP talks, and the U.S. Chamber stands ready to continue its role as a trusted partner to the U.S. and Kenyan public and private sectors.”   

The delegation visit builds on U.S. Chamber leadership in advancing U.S.-Africa trade and investment, and follows the Chamber’s hosting of the U.S.-Africa Business Forum, the official private sector forum of the second U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit, in December 2022. To learn more about the U.S. Chamber’s Africa Program, click here.  

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