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U.S. Secretary Of Commerce Penny Pritzker Arrives in Lagos, Nigeria to Lead Fact-Finding Mission with President’s Advisory Council on Doing Business in Africa

Source: U.S. Department of State
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U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker arrived in Lagos, Nigeria to kick-off a fact-finding mission with senior U.S. business executives who comprise thePresident's Advisory Council on Doing Business in Africa (PAC-DBIA). Chairedby SecretaryPritzker, the Council was formed to advisethe President on ways to strengthen commercial engagement between the United States and Africa. This trip provides an opportunity for the PAC-DBIA members to gather facts about the commercial opportunitiesand challengesin Nigeria and Rwanda,report back to the President with strong and actionable recommendations, and develop policy ideas that will benefit both countries and raise our commercial relationship to the next level.

FollowingNigeria, the delegationwill travelto Kigali, Rwanda.

“President Obamaand I areconvinced that the American private sector, working in partnership with the African business community, can help address some of the continent's most pressing challenges, includingbuilding modern infrastructure, creating jobsand opportunityfor young people, and expandingaccess to education and the Internet,” said Secretary Pritzker. “When we think about the economic potentialof countries acrossAfrica–and Nigeriais absolutely at the top of that list–the imperative that we all face is topromote economic growth andopportunity at home, anddeepening our mutually beneficial ties of trade and commerce isnot justa nice to have, it is a must-have for all of us.”

The Secretary's trip to Nigeria and Rwanda underscoresthe Obama Administration's commitment to shifting the U.S. economic relationship with Africa from one based on aid to one based on trade and investment. Following the trip, the PAC-DBIA members will develop an actionable set of recommendation for President Obama regarding how U.S. government programs and policies can better support economic engagement between Africa and the United States.

Africa presents tremendous long-term growth opportunities, and both the U.S. government and the U.S. private sector are committed to deepening our economic and commercial engagement on the continent. The Council members specificallyselected Nigeria and Rwanda for this trip.Nigeria's middle class of roughly 50 million people is expected to help grow the country into one of the top-10 global economies by 2050.

Rwanda has taken some of the mostprogressive steps in Africa to promote economic competitiveness and has established itself as a leader in the East African Community. TheRwandan governmenthas executedseveral programs that haveled toeconomic progress,such as eliminating roaming charges for phone callsacross the region, implementing Single Customs Territory alongthe Northern

Corridor to reduce the transit-times for goods, making public investments in transportation and energy infrastructure,andofferingnear universal primary school enrollment.