Annual CCA Members Meeting & Luncheon
On Thursday, April 13, 2023, Corporate Council on Africa hosted its annual Corporate Council on Africa’s (CCA) Members Meeting and Luncheon in Washington, D.C. CCA’s Board of Directors, member companies, and African Diplomatic Corps convened to recognize the organization’s achievements and receive updates on the organization’s forthcoming plans for 2023, which include the U.S.- Africa Business Summit held in Gaborone, Botswana in July.
Dr. Jeffrey Sturchio, Corporate Council on Africa’s Chairman provided reflections on CCA’s strong tradition of building U.S.–Africa business relationships since its founding 30 years ago with the help of a USAID grant. Dr. Sturchio emphasized on the role the U.S.-Africa Business Summit has played in helping American and African companies plan growth and development strategies. Additionally, CCA has had a strong engagement with U.S. government officials and the African Diplomatic Corps. Dr. Sturchio concluded by discussing the investment climate on the continent. The economic growth had been robust before the pandemic but more recently, the economic growth slowed to 3.6% in 2022 and is likely to slow further to 3.1% in 2023 due to the “sluggishness of the global economy”, high inflation rates and high levels of debt among African countries. Looking at the bright side, the World Bank predicts an economic expansion in 2024 and 2025. The continent’s abundance of natural resources and good governance will continue to attract investors.
Likewise, Florizelle Liser, President and CEO of the Corporate Council on Africa discussed the organization’s mission and some of the achievements from 2022. CCA is solely focused on Africa and represents a broad range of American and African businesses in a number of sectors namely health, infrastructure, ICT, agribusiness. Since 1998, CCA has participated in 34 mission trips in 23 African countries and continuously hosts flagship conferences including the U.S.-Africa Business Summit, sideline events during World Bank/IMF Meetings, UN General Assembly, African Union, and is dedicated to arranging additional special meetings for its members. Ms. Liser also touched on the launch of CCA’s Health Security and Resilience Initiative (HSRI) second phase. Over the past year, HSRI has explored how the private sector can help African governments advance their healthcare systems particularly the public health supply chain to improve availability of diagnostics and vaccines. The HSRI’s Phase II will focus on regulatory convergence, patient access to medical quality and care, strengthening African health systems and local manufacturing. Furthermore, Ms. Liser shared the great success from the 14th U.S.-Africa Business Summit in Morocco in July 2022 and the U.S.-Africa Business Forum, an official part of the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit (USALS) in December 2022. CCA also featured 6 African Heads of State and Prime Ministers on the sidelines of USALS who discussed their views on the critical sectors that are of interest for CCA members alongside U.S. and Africa private sector leaders. Finally, Ms. Liser expressed her gratitude for being invited by U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris in a meeting in Zambia focused on digital inclusion and women economic empowerment.
Ambassador Carl Paschall, Senior Advisor to the President of Corporate Council on Africa provided further insights on the 14th U.S.-Africa Business Summit held in Marrakech, Morocco in July 2022. The event saw over 2000 participants, 250 speakers, 1 Head of State, 30 African Ministers and Government Officials and Alice Albright, CEO of Millennium Challenge Corporation was in attendance with the U.S. Delegation. Next, Ambassador Paschall touched on the upcoming U.S.-Africa Business Summit’s theme: “Increasing Africa’s Value in Global Value Chains.” CCA is inviting 38 African Heads of State, over 30 African Ministers and Senior African Government Officials and a U.S. Cabinet Level is expected to participate and advance U.S. – Africa bilateral relationships. Ambassador Paschall concluded with a few of the key focus areas of the summit which include the positive impact of AfCFTA Implementation on business activities on the continent, agribusiness, digitalization and modernization, mining, illicit trafficking, and energy.
Lastly, John Olajide, Founder and CEO of AXXESS and Vice Chair on the Corporate Council on Africa’s Board of Directors delivered concluding remarks. Mr. Olajide showed his appreciation for speaking on a panel with H.E. President Masisi from the Republic of Botswana during the U.S.-Africa Business Summit in Morocco and hosted His Excellency earlier this year in Dallas, Texas. Through these various interactions with the President of Botswana and Corporate Council on Africa, Mr. Olajide shared his admiration of the country and the various opportunities available through CCA engagement on the continent.