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Release Date: 24 October, 2022

US Business in Africa – Highlighting the Impact of American Companies on the Continent

An initiative is underway to showcase US businesses that are actively and responsibly contributing to Africa’s economic development. Under the umbrella theme of “US businesses doing well by doing good in Africa”, the project will culminate in a prestigious awards ceremony in Sandton on Friday 28 October, followed by a conference at Wits Business School (WBS) on 29 October.

The inaugural US Business in Africa Awards (USBAA) initiative has been spearheaded by the African Centre for the Study of the United States (ACSUS) at Wits University and is set to become an annual event.  Ten US companies have been identified by the judging panel, from which the winners in three categories - large, medium and small enterprises - will be selected.

The key aim of the USBAA is to “create a culture of celebrating good business citizenship and provide positive exposure for US businesses' contribution to Africa's economic development by operating profitably,” says ACSUS deputy director, Dr Bob Wekesa.

“The initiative,” he added, “will also change the narrative on doing business in Africa by offering an updated, more accurate picture of Africa, and providing US businesses with information on the opportunities and accurate levels of risk”.

The “US Businesses Doing Well by Doing Good in Africa” Conference will draw together academics and business thought leaders from Wits University’s School of Economics and Finance and the WBS, and from institutions further afield including Lagos Business School, Strathmore University Business School, Howard University in the US and the William Davidson Institute based at the University of Michigan.

Delegates will also represent Good Governance Africa, the Africa Business Group and the Centre on African Philanthropy and Social Investment (CAPSI) based at WBS, along with other top industry and policy speakers.  In addition, the winning businesses will share their lessons learnt at the conference.

Panel discussions will include high-level discussions on the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) and the African Growth and Opportunities Act (AGOA) in relation to the global sustainable development goals (SDGs). Also on the agenda will be discussions on the changing landscape of opportunities for US businesses in Africa; Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) performance in relation to business decision-making processes, and cultural and language competencies for doing business in Africa.

Professor Mills Soko, programme director for the conference and professor of international business and strategy at WBS, says the school is delighted to be partnering with ACSUS on this ground-breaking initiative.

“WBS is excited to be hosting the conference on 29 October. Up until now there has been no Africa-wide initiative focused on highlighting the impact of American companies on the continent. We believe this initiative will make a major contribution to Africa-US relations where it matters most – the growth and development of Africa’s economies.”  

To register for the conference, please click here.

For further information, visit https://usbusinessinafricaawards.com

For media information, contact Prince Mudau (prince.mudau@wits.ac.za); Enoch Sithole (enoch.sithole@wits.ac.za), Amukelani Matsilele (amukelani.matsilele@wits.ac.za;) or Alison Gaylard (alison.gaylard@wits.ac.za)

 

Ends.

*The project is led by an Africa-U.S. governing board co-chaired by Prof Bhekinkosi Moyo and Dr Mima S. Nedelcovych. Prof Moyo is a professor at Wits University's Business School and founder of the Centre on African Philanthropy and Social Investment (CAPSI). Dr Nedelcovych is Chairman of AfricaGlobal Schaffer, a leading Washington DC and Baton Rouge LA-based advisory and project development firm.

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