The event opened last night (12 December), where 250 entrepreneurs, investors, influencers, and government leaders participated in an investment-focused Innovators Gathering, honouring the influx of two-way investment and trade opportunities set to be announced.
The event was hosted in partnership with the Tony Elumelu Foundation, with support from Google. Speakers included Idris Elba, Yvonne Orji, Tony Elumelu, Mayors Bowser and Adams, and Secretary Blinken, with virtual remarks from former President Barack Obama.
Key takeaways from the evening included:
- Former President Barack Obama highlighted Africa’s role as an investment destination driven by a thriving start-up culture. Obama noted that U.S. investors have closed more than 500 deals in Africa since 2017, totalling about $30 billion. He closed with an invitation and a challenge: “To anyone looking for investment opportunities, I encourage you to look to Africa. Because something special is happening there.”
- “This gathering is part of our desire as Prosper Africa to strengthen cultural and economic ties between the U.S. and African nations. We are committed to driving investment in innovation and highlighting the opportunity and dynamism across the U.S.-Africa investment ecosystem,” said Leslie Marbury, Chief Operating Officer at Prosper Africa.
- Tony Elumelu shared, “The Foundation is delighted to launch a Coalition for African Entrepreneurs for foreign governments and development agencies in need of reaching last mile and vulnerable targets. We look forward to continuing this partnership with the U.S. Administration.”
This year’s summit, which begins today, will focus on deepening and expanding the long-term U.S.-Africa partnership and advancing our shared priorities, amplifying African voices to collaboratively meet this era’s defining challenges.
Participants in the summit will spend three days in Washington discussing the challenges, needs and hopes of one-fifth of the world’s population, spread over a landmass that is larger than China, India, the continental U.S. and most of Europe combined, and where as many as one-third of the world’s languages are spoken.
A key pillar of the Summit is the U.S.-Africa Business Forum on December 14, which is co-hosted by the U.S. Department of Commerce, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and Corporate Council on Africa, in partnership with Prosper Africa.
The Forum will include a Deal Room, hosted by Prosper Africa, where announcements of bold, new investment commitments between U.S. and African business and government leaders will be made public.