Investment in Africa will strengthen America, Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker argued Tuesday before the U.S.-Africa Business Forum.
The U.S.-Africa “economic relationship is fundamental to our mutual peace and prosperity,” Pritzker told the summit audience.
“We know that businesses serve as a key bridge between our continents but we also share the conviction that the ties of commerce can be stronger, deeper, and more lasting,” she added.
According to the U.S. secretary of commerce, “the time to do business in Africa is no longer five years away, the time to do business there is now.”
She added that the mutual trade and investment will “spur growth across the United States and the countries of Africa.”
Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who opened the day, also called for America’s relationship with Africa to “evolve and mature” from one based on foreign aid and international institutions to one of investment.
“That is the purpose of this forum, to recast our relationship as a full equal and advanced economic partnership,” he said. “A partnership that holds as much promise for African countries as it does for America.”
Bloomberg further warned against failing to understand the importance of Africa in the coming years.
“Countries and companies that ignore the African market do so at their own peril and that will become increasing true with each passing year,” he added.