On Tuesday, December 7, Corporate Council on Africa (CCA) hosted the U.S.- Zambia Business and Investment Forum in partnership with Prosper Africa. The forum served as a platform to explore and engage directly with the governments of Zambia and the United States, as well as the private sector on opportunities for partnership in key sectors. The event featured H.E. Hakainde Hichilema, President of Zambia as well as Minister of Finance, Situmbeko Musokotwane and Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry, Chipoka Mulenga.
Florie Liser, President and CEO of the Corporate Council on Africa, delivered welcome remarks, emphasizing the far-reaching agenda of democratic and economic reforms initiated by the new Zambian Government. She said, “the change in Zambia’s political leadership promises to usher in a new phase in the U.S.-Zambia relationship that will facilitate increased trade, investment and commercial partnerships between the two nations and their private sectors”.
In his opening remarks, President Hakainde Hichilema reaffirmed that Zambia is open for business. He addressed his administration’s commitment to stabilizing the economy and building a long-standing relationship with the United States.
Albert Halwampa, Acting Director-General, Zambia Development Agency and Muchindu Kasangola, Chief of Investment at the Industrial Development Corporation presented live investment opportunities to over 200 attendees at the virtual forum. These opportunities cut across several of Zambia’s priority sectors: agriculture, mining, renewable energy, ICT, and tourism.
On behalf of the U.S. Government representatives from across the whole-of-government Prosper Africa initiatives highlighted new activities to increase trade and investment, including to change the narrative about investing in Africa, de-risk markets, support the advancement of Zambia’s business climate, and pursue maximum interagency collaboration to achieve our shared goals.
Participants from the United States Government included: Akunna Cook, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, U.S. Department of State; Camille Richardson, Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Office of Middle East and Africa Global Markets, U.S. Department of Commerce; Diana Njuguna, U.S. International Development Finance Corporation; Ervin Massinga, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of African Affairs, U.S. Department of State; Leslie Marbury, Acting Chief Operating Officer, Prosper Africa; Sheryl Stumbras, USAID Zambia; and Members of the U.S. Embassy Deal Team in Zambia.
To round out the forum, a panel led by key private sector business leaders, focused on highlighting investment and business growth opportunities in Zambia. The panel featured Dr. Mohamed El Sahili of Medland Health, Khululiwe Mabaso of Abbott and Bolanle Baruwa of Flutterwave. By hearing about others experiences and business goals, U.S. businesses and investors were able to learn firsthand about doing business in Zambia. Business leaders were also able to directly engage with both governments and address areas of support needed to grow their businesses in the country. The forum ended with closing remarks by Zambian Ambassador to the U.S., Lazarous Kapambwe.
The U.S.-Zambia Business and Investment Forum demonstrates how the Corporate Council on Africa is working hand in hand with the private sector, the U.S. government, African governments, and multilateral organizations to advance trade and investment through the Prosper Africa Build Together Campaign.