Victoria Whitney, chief operating officer of the Prosper Africa initiative, says that in the past year, the initiative, which spans 17 U.S. government agencies, has facilitated more than $22 billion worth of deals in more than 30 African countries, with agreements focusing on small and medium-sized African businesses.
This week, she announced new measures that aim to harness private U.S. investment and pour it into African entrepreneurship. Prosper Africa is one of many U.S. government initiatives aimed at bringing private investment into the continent.
Whitney cites an example of how one Ghanaian entrepreneur benefited from one of the initiatives: “Eugenia Akuete first started a shea cosmetics company, and she turned to USAID for technical assistance as well as some market intelligence, matchmaking, and networking support. “And then she also received seed capital and technical assistance from USADF, both Prosper Africa leading partners. And she attended numerous USAID-sponsored training sessions and conferences.”
The International Development Finance Corporation is the federal government’s development finance institution. It works on financing private development projects in lower- and middle-income countries. Since its launch at the beginning of 2020, it has invested more than $8 billion in 300 projects in Africa, along with the U.S. Agency for International Development, which is working on $10 billion worth of deals