Earlier this week, as part of the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit, President Bill Clinton moderated the opening panel at the U.S.-Africa Business Forum, hosted by Bloomberg Philanthropies and the U.S. Department of Commerce.
The panel, entitled “Expanding Opportunities: The New Era for Business in Africa,” aimed to explore the future of U.S.-African partnerships and identify new ways to strengthen business ties and enable greater economic progress. The Forum is part of this week’s U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit hosted by President Obama.
Throughout his Administration, President Clinton worked to help build a stronger and more prosperous Africa by helping to resolve conflicts, promote democracy, support human rights, invest in health and food security, provide debt relief, and integrate the continent into the global economy. In 1998, President Clinton took the first prolonged visit by a sitting American president, visiting Ghana, Uganda, Rwanda, South Africa, Botswana, and Senegal. In 1999, President Clinton hosted a four-day conference in Washington, D.C. that brought together ministers from more than 40 countries in sub-Saharan Africa to develop a framework for partnership in the 21st century. In 2000, President Clinton signed the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) which led to a significant increase in trade; between 2000 and 2014, exports under AGOA increased by more than 500 percent. The Clinton Administration also invested hundreds of millions of dollars to fight AIDS and Tuberculosis in Africa through the Leadership and Investment in Fighting an Epidemic (LIFE) Initiative and the Global AIDS and Tuberculosis Relief Act.
Through the Clinton Foundation, President Clinton continues to work on many of the issues he prioritized while in public office. The Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI) has helped reduce the cost of high-quality HIV treatment by upwards of 90 percent, expanding access to more than 8.2 million people worldwide, including in 30 African countries. The Clinton Development Initiative works in Malawi, Tanzania, and Rwanda to empower smallholder farmers to improve yields and increase income, reaching more than 35,000 smallholder farmers. Members of the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) are working to address pressing challenges in Africa, making 933 commitments that include Africa as part of their scope of work, with a total estimated value of $39.3 billion.
For more information about the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit, click here.