Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) The University in Africa

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Why Africa?

  • Section 102 of the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), passed by the United States Congress on May 18, 2000 the Congress noted that "Sub-Saharan Africa represent a region of enormous economic potential and of enduring political significance to the United States".
  • The U.S. Government is urging private equity funds (of which there are many in New England) to invest in infrastructure projects in Sub-Saharan Africa.
  • American policymakers have shown that they recognize the opportunities in Africa as demonstrated by the historic April 1998 lengthy visit to the continent by President Clinton and President Bush's summits with African economic leaders since October 2001.
  • The Corporate Council on Africa points out that at no time in history has the climate in Africa been more favorable for U.S. companies to do business.
  • The Council notes that Africa is the second largest continent in the world and offers the combined potential of 750 million people, vast natural resources and untapped market.
  • The Council further notes that Africa is rendered even more appealing by its invigorated commitment to democracy and economic modernization, African governments' privatizing of state-run industries and looking for partnerships with US firms on infrastructure projects, revitalization of agribusiness, purchasing of new airlines, revamping of telecommunications, construction of new ports, railways, airports and roads, and overhauling of their financial institutions.
  • The U.S. Department of Commerce points out that trade between US and Africa totaled $44.4 billion in 2004, and this is larger than trade with the former Soviet Union and the Eastern European countries combined.
  • Among the business agencies and institutions that that have embarked on Africa trade are the US Export-Import Bank, US Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), and the Small Business Administration
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Last modified: Aug 22, 2005, 10:19 EDT
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The University in Africa - Worcester Polytechnic Institute
100 Institute Road, Worcester, MA 01609-2280
Phone: +1-508-831-5741 - Fax: +1-508-831-5720 - africa@wpi.edu