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Emerging Brand Africa




DALLAS – May 2, 2024 – Standard Bank, the leading bank and financial services group in Africa, will champion the vital role of global trade, economic development and robust partnerships at the opening Tuesday of a power-packed U.S.-Africa business summit.

Presidents and other top leaders from a dozen African countries will join senior Biden administration officials, corporate executives and entrepreneurs through Thursday at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center, a platform for dynamic exchanges and groundbreaking collaborations.

The summit’s theme, “U.S.-Africa Business: Partnering for Sustainable Success,” underscores the importance of forging enduring alliances that transcend borders. With Texas as an international business hub and home of a large and vibrant African diaspora community, the event carries significant weight for Dallas, a gateway to global markets and cross-cultural connections.

“Trade and investment are economic lifelines, and this meeting links immense potential in Africa with the powerhouse market of the United States,” said Anne Aliker, Standard Bank’s Group Head, Corporate and Investment Banking, Client Coverage. “Both offer abundant growth opportunities, leveraging Africa’s markets and resources while providing avenues for U.S. businesses to diversify.”

Aliker has major speaking roles at the conference as does Dele Kuti, Standard Bank’s global head of energy and infrastructure. Also in the bank’s delegation: its recently named New York CEO, Derick De Zilva.

The Corporate Council on Africa (CCA), which is hosting the 16th U.S.-Africa Business Summit, expects more than 1,500 public and private sector leaders looking to burnish economic investments, especially in diverse sectors such as technology, energy, agriculture and health care.

Standard Bank has long supported such efforts in Africa, most recently as the largest commercial bank investor in a large private fund that intends to back climate-aligned and sustainable infrastructure projects. That builds on the bank’s position as the longest standing African arranger of multi-sourced export finance to help develop sustainable infrastructure.

African countries’ effective participation in the ever-evolving international trade landscape is central to boosting the continent’s development. While African exports of goods and services have registered faster growth in the past decade, the volumes remain low, stagnant and heavily skewed toward primary goods.

Aliker said the policymakers must broaden their perspective beyond conventional methods to engage actively in today’s broad markets. Although Africa has about 18% of the world’s population, it has only about 2.9% of global GDP and only 2.2% of world exports.

Africa exported $38.1 billion worth of goods to the U.S. and imported U.S. goods worth $28.6 billion in 2023, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

“Trade is deeply rooted in Africa’s history and essential for its future development. We’re committed to using our position, presence and insight to inform and grow the continent’s trade ecosystem,” she said.

Last July, the Biden administration reported facilitating more than 900 deals across 47 African countries since 2021, for an estimated $22 billion in two-way trade and investment. Also, the U.S. private sector sealed investment deals exceeding $8.6 billion.

Discussions now are ongoing for the reauthorization of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), a cornerstone of U.S. efforts to cultivate deeper economic relations with sub-Saharan Africa, allowing countries there export certain products to the U.S. duty-free.

As for the summit, this is the first time in three years it has been staged in the U.S., after previously being in Botswana and Monaco. The CCA’s board chairman is John Olajide of Dallas, founder and CEO of Axxess, a leading health care technology company.