LIVE: President Biden delivers remarks at the U.S.-Africa Business Forum
The Honorable heads of state who are here thank you for traveling to be with us to ministers who are here thank you to government officials and my colleagues in government special thank you to my partner and colleague Secretary of State Tony blinken who did a wonderful job at lunch thank you I couldn't see you but there you are thank you to all and thank you to the industry leaders we have some of America's leading CEOs from the biggest companies to the smallest companies who took time out of their busy schedule at a very busy time of year to be here and I'd like to thank you for that and also to the African CEOs who are here I think all of us myself included feel a sense of excitement about what can be and we're just really looking forward to in the New Year cementing uh the relationships that we've begun today I will say I'm immensely proud of the announcements that we'll be making today and that the president will be making these announcements are a testament to the immense creativity and commitment of everyone in this room of everyone here U.S and African businesses our government government leaders the diaspora community and I will say they are a testament to President Biden's vision for the 21st century partnership between the United States and Africa the president is deeply committed to the continent he was deeply committed to Gathering here relatively early in the administration as an expression of our commitment and what we want to do is move from just Aid yes we need aid but move Beyond just Aid to investment Beyond just Aid to investment and partnership to unlock the potential of the private sector to the benefit of both of our countries I'll say since the first moment the president took office he's been committed to rebuilding our Partnerships not just with Africa but globally and will as we launch the strategy towards sub-Saharan Africa and his partnership for Global infrastructure and investment in the past year the president has demonstrated time and time again that the United States is indeed back under his leadership and is more committed than ever with Africa as a partner and as a friend in the months ahead under the president's direction we will build on this forum to help Drive the long-term prosperity and well-being of all of our citizens you want you may ask how do I know that because the president will make sure that we do that and I think Tony and all of us who work for him know what I mean he's a man who wants results he's an unbelievable leader he's a Visionary and I am so uh unbelievably proud to serve under him and with him so with that it is my great honor to introduce today's keynote speaker please welcome the president of the United States Joe Biden foreign it's good to see you all please have a seat and I know you're saying to yourselves make it short Biden there's a there's a semi-final game coming up [Applause] I get it I see secretary Kerry over there nodding hey John how are you pal well I want to thank secretary Mundo she is one of the brightest and best folks I have working with me and for all of you in this room for making this form a success and particularly in Prosper Africa deal room that sounds like something that we shouldn't be saying proper you know Prosper after a deal room I kept asking where is where's the deal room I think I'm looking at it uh folks I want to thank you all for being here and particularly since um I said Morocco is about to play as the first African nation in the semi-finals of the World Cup this thing we said to State leaders of regional and Global institutions and of course Representatives more than 300 companies African and American welcome to Washington and I want to recognize our co-host the U.S Chamber of Commerce and the corporate Council of Africa two great champions for building a growing ties of business and trade and investment between Africa and the United States as well as the members of my Administration and the members of Congress were here today all the members of Congress please stand up if you're here so I know can identify Who You Are there's a man all right I'm sure you're out there somewhere look this form is about building connections it's about closing deals and above all is about the future our shared future we've known for a long time that after success and prosperity is essential to assuring a better future for all of us not just for Africa I've been engaged in these issues going back to my days as a young man in the United States Senate when I was on the Foreign Relations Committee I was chairman of the African Affairs subcommittee and got to spend a lot of time in Africa I've visited almost all of your countries when I was vice president serving with President Obama we hosted the first U.S Africa leaders Summit including U.S Africa business Forum we saw so clearly the enormous potential that we could harness if we did it together and holding the first of its kind Summit in 2014 was a watershed moment to cement new kinds of Partnerships between our Nations Partnerships not to create political obligation not or Foster dependence dependents but to Spur shared success I'll emphasize shared success and opportunity because when Africa succeeds the United States succeeds quite frankly the whole world succeeds as well now eight years later the world has undergone a great many changes we're still grappling with the deadly pandemic facing down the war and instability addressing economic challenges of with global impact fighting fighting Rising food prices tackling the impacts of climate change and each of these crises is only heightened heightened the vital role African nations and peoples play to address the global challenges that drive our Global progress we can't solve any of these challenges without African leadership at the table not not trying to be nice that's a fact African ID is an innovation helping to shape the Solutions in Africa population contributing to every step so the only question when I took office was not if we'd host another U.S African
Leadership Summit but when my administration's engagement with Africa and the priority we place on these relationships began on day one we've been working steadily with regional diplomacy and Investments to demonstrate our commitment we harness decades Decades of cooperation through pepfar and president's malaria initiative and other Partnerships in global Health security to help save lives and combat cloven uh covet 19. the United States delivered 231 231 million doses of vaccines to 49 countries across Africa and work together with you to get the vaccines into the arms to hard and hard to reach communities critically we invested in Africa's capacity to manufacture its own vaccines Diagnostics and Therapeutics so Africa Africa can meet its own needs and contribute to the global supply chain and even as we worked in covid-19 we continue building stronger Health Systems and institutions and accelerating efforts to achieve Universal Health Coverage to make sure we're better prepared to tackle the health challenges including the next pandemic and there surely will be one we also Advanced our commitment to strengthen food security including expanding the feed the future program to partner with eight additional African countries and I'll be speaking more tomorrow about this effort to both address the immediate food crisis and strengthen the food system in Africa for the long term we're taking on climate crisis prioritizing Just Not Just Energy transition in America but in nations of all of Africa and meeting the Urgent needs the countries to adapt to the climate impacts that are already here just last month I traveled a cop 27 in Egypt where I announced 150 million dollars in an effort to support an adaptation efforts in Africa a down payment of my commitment to provide three billion dollars annually to Global adaptation efforts for 2024. and in a year that has seen elections across Africa we've worked together with the African Union to strengthen democracy and the core values that unite our people all our people especially young people Freedom opportunity transparency good governance now you might be thinking this is a form dedicated to deepening business ties and advancing two-way trade Investments between Africa and the United States why is Biden talking so much about all these other areas was because Africa's economic transition depends on good government healthy populations and reliable and affordable energy these things business seeks out when they're looking to invest they attract New Opportunities and they launch new Partnerships and the United States is committed to supporting every aspect every aspect of Africa's inclusive growth and creating the best possible environment for sustained commercial engagement between Africa companies and American companies the United States is all in on Africa's future and the work we've done over the past two years building on Decades of vital Investments made under previous American presidents has helped make possible the critical steps that I'm about to announce first the United States is signing the historic memorandum of understanding with the new African Continental free trade area secretary this mou will unlock new opportunities for trade and investment between our countries and bring Africa and the United States even closer than ever this enormous opportunity an enormous opportunity for Africa's future and the United States wants to help make those opportunities real we're finally implementing the African Continental free trade area it will represent one of the largest free trade areas in the world 1.3 billion people in a continent-wide market totaling 3.4 trillion dollars and with the new mou we're doing things correctly enshrining protection for workers both across Africa and in the United States looking out for small and medium-sized entrepreneurs and Enterprises to make sure they have a fair shot to compete lifting up opportunity for women-owned businesses to ask for our own businesses and businesses owned by members of historically underserved communities and supporting and investing in continents vibrant and growing Urban economies together we want to build a future of opportunity where no one no one is Left Behind second we're investing to facilitate greater regional trade within Africa including by investing in infrastructure today the Millennium challenge Corporation signed its first ever Regional transport compact with the governments of Benin and Niger this compact will invest 500 million dollars to build and maintain roads put in place policies that reduce Transportation costs making it easier and faster for ships to ship goods from the port of excuse me from the port of coup de no to neighboring log landlocked countries since the start of my Administration the mcc's announced new Investments of nearly 1.2 billion
dollars in Africa we expect the MCC to commit an additional 2.5 billion dollars across Africa in just the next three years supporting everything from agriculture to transportation to access to renewable energy in fact the MCC just announced the the excuse me just announced discussions for Partnerships with four African countries first Comp four compact Gambia Togo to boost Economic Development and a compact with Senegal to bolster Regional connections a threshold program in Mauritania to help strengthen Democratic governance and pursue policy reform to unlock economic growth these MCC Investments are part of the work we're doing worldwide through the partnership for Global infrastructure and investment I propose this initiative together with the rest of the G7 to help fill the need for Quality high standard infrastructure in Africa and a low-income and middle-income countries around the world that the G7 meeting earlier this year we announced Our intention to collectively mobilize 600 billion dollars in the next five years today's announcement joint join a portfolio of partnership for Global infrastructure and investment projects already underway in Africa including mobilizing eight billion dollars in public and private Finance to help South Africa replace coal-fired power plants with renewable energy sources and develop Cutting Edge Energy Solutions like clean hydrogen a deal worth two billion dollars to build solar energy projects in Angola 600 million dollars in high-speed Communications cable that will connect southeast Asia to Europe via Egypt and the Horn of Africa and help bring high-speed internet connectivity to countries all along the way the bottom line is simple trade runs on reliable infrastructure to support and secure resilient Supply chains and improving Africa's infrastructure is essential to our vision of building a stronger global economy that can better withstand the kinds of shocks that we've seen in the past few years third we're continuing to support Innovation and Entrepreneurship across Africa investing in the African investing in Africa's people developing human capital alongside physical infrastructure is another core aspect of the partnership for Global infrastructure and investment today I'm announcing that the U.S International Development Finance Corporation is investing nearly 370 million dollars in new projects 100 million to increase the reliable clean energy for millions of people in sub-Saharan Africa 20 million to provide financing for fertilizer to help small holder Farmers particularly women Farmers increase the yields of their crops 10 million dollars to support small and medium-sized on a small amino-sized Enterprises that help bring clean drinking water to communities all across the continent just to name a few examples and we also know we also know that one of the most essential resources of any entrepreneur or small business owner who wants to participate in the global economy is reliable and affordable access to the internet so today I'm announcing a new initiative the digital transformation with Africa working with Congress to invest 350 billion dollars to facilitate more than almost a half a billion dollars in financing to make sure people across Africa can participate in the digital economy please that includes Partnerships like new collaboration between Microsoft and visat to bring in internet access to five million Africans part of Microsoft's commitment to bring access to 100 million people across Africa by the end of the year 2025.
that means that means programs to train African entrepreneurs with a focus on women entrepreneurs to code and build skills that need to start their own businesses to secure good paying jobs and Technology with technology firms and this will include Partnerships between Africa American African-American companies to provide cyber security services to make sure Africa's digital environment is reliable and secure that brings me to my final announcement I said at the top of this forum about closing deals and we've delivered so just give me a few let's give you a few highlights from the deal room for the benefits they will deliver to Africa Cisco Systems and cyber cyber Bastion a diaspora owned small business is jointly announcing 800 million dollars in new contracts to protect African countries from cyber threats Visa is committing to putting more than one billion dollars into Africa over the next five years to further expand the operations on the continent including providing Mobile payment services for more micro small and medium-sized businesses across Africa General Electric and Standard Bank will provide 80 million dollars to improve health care services and provide access to Cutting Edge Healthcare equipment all together the form has spurred more than 15 billion dollars in New Deals which will turn lift up and and crew the lives of people all across the continent and that's the biggest deal of all these are long-term Investments they're going to deliver real benefits to people create new good paying jobs including here in the United States and expand opportunities for all our countries for the years to come all of you all of you the deals you've signed the Investments we've made together are concrete proof of the enduring commitment we're making to one another government to government business to business people to people the most important and this is just the beginning there's so much more we can do together and that we'll do together so thank you for your participation today for being part of another historic U.S African leaders Summit we've got a lot of ground to cover in the coming days and I'm eager to listen to the priorities you have for the future of the partnership between our Nations so thank you all may God protect our troops thank you very very much appreciate it thank you thank you very much thank you thanks [Music] the 2022 FIFA World Cup we are ready for another Africa battle we're gonna be talking about this one for Generations that power that passion the best from the Africans who's going to step up who's going to be a star that's why we're watching from the verge of something special