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By Adedapo Adesanya
The US Consulate and the Nigerian-American Chamber of Commerce (NACC) have urged local businesses to take advantage of the US Mission’s business initiatives for a greener economy.
This call was launched during the CNAC May breakfast with a theme Current Business Activities of the U.S. Mission in Nigeria held in Lagos.
Mr. David Russell, Head of Commercial Section, US Consulate Lagos, said the US Mission has several initiatives to engage and provide Nigerian businesses and NACC members with market leverage and opportunities. American.
According to him, some of the initiatives include Prosper Africa, African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), West Africa Trade and Investment Hub, Networking with USA (NUSA) and initiatives for women-led businesses.
Mr. Russell said the Biden administration was focused on bilateral trade between Africa and the United States, adding that he was committed to revitalizing partnerships based on dialogue, respect and mutually shared values.
“It means working with African partners to advance our shared vision of a better, greener future and creating jobs in our economy through two-way trade and investment,” he said.
Speaking on the benefits of Prosper Africa, one of the initiatives, Mr. Russell said it is one of the most powerful initiatives that Nigerian businesses can access to reach the US market.
“Prosper Africa is an inter-agency initiative within the U.S. Embassy that aims to build and grow economies in Africa.
“Through Prosper Africa and other broader economic initiatives, the U.S. government is committed to increasing two-way trade and mobilizing investment in Africa’s fast-growing markets.
“We respect the Biden administration’s agenda to strengthen the availability of capital, infrastructure and global partnerships,” he said.
Mr Russell added that since the relaunch of the initiative, the US government has backed more than 800 deals and investment agreements worth more than $50 billion for the two economies.
“We are focused on driving transformative investments in key sectors that will bring us closer to a greener and healthier future.
“Sectors include the digital economy, climate-smart infrastructure, financial services and healthcare,” Russell noted.
He said the mission would also promote investment and capacity building for women-led businesses, especially as they have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mr. Russell added that the West Africa Trade and Investment Hub provides advice, capacity building resources, mentorships and opportunities to companies seeking to reap the benefits of AGOA.
He advised Nigerian business owners and NACC members from various trade sectors to engage with the Trade Department of the US Trade Mission by visiting its International Trade Administration (ITA) website (www.trade.gov)
Mr Russell added that the investment and support would go beyond trade to include the entertainment sector, especially as the music genre Afrobeats and Nollywood became globally recognised.
For her part, Ms. Adebola-Williams, Chairperson of the NACC, reiterated the chamber’s commitment to increasing the volume of trade between Nigeria and the United States.
She added that the chamber would continue to engage the US Mission in Nigeria in all business and development activities for the benefit of the members.
“We therefore regularly provide our members with opportunities to keep abreast of key initiatives undertaken by the US Mission in Nigeria,” she said.