U.S. Trade and Development Agency
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: MEDIA INQUIRIES:
USTDA AWARDS OVER $2.7 MILLION IN GRANTS
TO PROMOTE ECONOMIC GROWTH IN AFRICA
Grants Awarded During a Signing Ceremony at the Fifth AGOA Forum
WASHINGTON, D.C. – (June 7, 2006) Supporting the growth of key economic sectors in Sub-Saharan Africa, strengthening the U.S.-African trade relationship, and facilitating the growth of open and competitive markets are the goals of seven separate U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) grants awarded today. The grants, which total $2.77 million, are examples of the U.S. government’s commitment to Sub-Saharan Africa’s economic development under the framework of the Doha Development Round at the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA).
The technical assistance and early investment analysis grants were conferred in a signing ceremony at the U.S. Department of State during the fifth U.S.-Sub-Saharan Africa Trade and Economic Cooperation Forum. USTDA Director Thelma J. Askey signed each of the grants on behalf of the U.S. government. The grants, which are described in a separate fact sheet, specifically support the electricity sector in Nigeria and South Africa; the transportation sectors in Nigeria, Senegal and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA); and capital market development in West Africa.
“USTDA recognizes the importance of infrastructure and trade capacity to the ability of the commercial relationship between Africans and Americans to reach its full potential,” said USTDA Director Thelma J. Askey in remarks at today’s signing ceremony. “We also understand that the benefits of trade cannot accrue where the infrastructure is inadequate to support increased trade flows. As a result, our program is helping to establish the necessary infrastructure and capacity, consistent with the goals of AGOA and the Doha Development Round, for the private sector to lead in Africa’s development.”
Today’s grants represent the commitment of the U.S. government to the principles of the Doha Development Round and AGOA. The USTDA grants also demonstrate U.S. support for regional development initiatives in Africa that will increase the volume of commerce between nations and expand the role of the private sector in development.
The USTDA grants recognize the importance of infrastructure to the ability of countries to attract investment and promote economic growth. In Sub-Saharan Africa, infrastructure is also essential to the ability of countries to implement and benefit from WTO trade agreements and AGOA trade preferences. In particular, today’s grants target key sectors, such as energy, transportation, and finance, which are necessary to support broader economic growth and closer trade relations between the United States and Sub-Saharan Africa.
The competitive contracting opportunities associated with the USTDA grants awarded today will be announced on the Federal Business Opportunities website at www.fedbizopps.gov. U.S. firms should submit proposals according to the instructions contained in the Federal Business Opportunities announcement. Today’s grant recipients will individually select the U.S. firms that will provide the USTDA-funded assistance associated with their own respective grant.
The U.S. Trade and Development Agency advances economic development and U.S. commercial interests in developing and middle-income countries. The agency funds various forms of technical assistance, early investment analysis, training, orientation visits and business workshops that support the development of a modern infrastructure and a fair and open trading environment. USTDA’s strategic use of foreign assistance funds to support sound investment policy and decision-making in host countries creates an enabling environment for trade, investment and sustainable economic development. In carrying out its mission, USTDA gives emphasis to economic sectors that may benefit from U.S. exports of goods and services.
Additional Information: Fact Sheet on the USTDA Grants Signed at the AGOA Forum
Visit USTDA’s Website at www.ustda.gov