U.S. Should Invest More in Sub-Saharan Africa

The Washington Times (Washington, DC), May 29, 1997 | Go to article overview

U.S. Should Invest More in Sub-Saharan Africa


Jack Kemp's May 15 Op-Ed column, "Investing in Africa," and his spirited defense of the African Growth and Opportunity Bill before the House Ways and Means Committee emphasize the growing partnership between the United States and sub-Saharan Africa. Three sets of figures clearly support his contention that U.S. businesses would benefit from greater trade and investment in this region:

* The United States exports 29 percent more to sub-Saharan Africa than to the countries of the former Soviet Union.

* These U.S. exports represent only 7 percent of sub-Saharan Africa's total imports, compared with 44 percent of the European Union's total imports.

* According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, U.S. direct investment in sub-Saharan Africa generated a book return of 33 percent, compared with 12 percent in Latin America, 14 percent in Asia and the Pacific and 11 percent in Europe.

Unfortunately, success also sometimes breeds oversight, as in Mr. Kemp's otherwise excellent article.

Mauritius has registered the highest growth rates in Africa over the past decade and has cut its individual and corporate taxes to 30 percent. …

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