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REGIONSMIDDLEEAST&AFRICA


CLEAN ENERGY AND DIASPORA BUSINESSES TO BE THE NEW FOCUS OF THE CAMPAIGN


Bidenrevamps ProsperAfrica


BioNTech set to produce vaccine in Africa


Germanimmunotherapy firm BioNTech has announced the launch of the Malaria Project, which seeks to develop the first mRNA vaccine for malaria. The project is backed by the


World Health Organization (WHO) and Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC), and clinical trials are set to commence by the end of 2022. Part of the ‘eradicateMalaria’


Shea pickers have already benefited from the Prosper Africa initiative


The US president Joe Biden’s administration unveiled plans to bolster trade and investment ties with Africa on July 27, following the president’s May budget proposal, in which he requested $80m in funding to kickstart the initiative. An extension of former president


Donald Trump’s campaign of the same name, Mr Biden’s reimagined Prosper Africa initiative will target key sectors such as clean energy, health, agribusiness and transportation infrastructure. Moreover, the revamped plan


places new emphasis on supporting diaspora businesses as well as female-run companies. “Through Prosper Africa, USAID


will directly connect American investors with African businesses ripe for investment to help American businesses access Africa’s fast-growing markets and create thousands of jobs for both African and American workers,” Samantha Power, administrator at the US Agency for International Development said at the US–Africa Business Summit 2021, which was held virtually between July 27 and July 29 this year. Green energy represents a focal


point of the campaign, extending the legacy of another former president,


78


Barack Obama, and his 2013 Power Africa initiative, which aimed at increasing access to sustainable power in sub-Saharan Africa. “Recent commitments from


Power Africa, fromthe Development Finance Corporation, the US Trade and Development Agency, and the Millennium Challenge Corporation, as well as the US–Africa Development Foundation, will support the expansion of off-grid energy solutions in Africa, which represents a $24bn opportunity annually” Dana L Banks, special assistant to the president and senior director for Africa at the National Security Council, said in a press briefing. Ms Banks also cited agreements


signed by the Millenium Challenge Corporation with theWest African Power Pool and amemorandumof understanding with the governments of Burkina Faso and Cote d’Ivoire, which she says “will facilitate opportunities for increased US trade and investment in the energy sector in theWest Africa region.” Mr Biden’s re-envisioned Prosper


Africa campaign also seeks to uplift diaspora businesses and small, female-owned companies by providing them with the resources needed to connect with investors across the Atlantic.■ NAOMIGALLAGHER


initiative led by the Maltese kENUP Foundation, the project’s second goal is to establish sustainable mRNA vaccine production facilities for the prevention of various diseases across Africa. BioNTech has pioneered the development of the mRNA vaccine technology, joining forces with US pharma giant Pfizer to produce a vaccine for Covid-19. “We will do whatever it takes to


ensure a sustainable solution for the African continent and other regions affected by this disease,” said Ugur Sahin, chief executive and co-founder of BioNTech.■ NAOMIGALLAGHER


UK–Kenya investments


The British foreign secretary Dominic Raab and Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta announced a newinvestment package on July 27 that will usher in £132mof newUKdeals. Aimed at fortifying investment


ties between the two countries, the agreement also marks the launch of the International Financial Centre in Nairobi, in a formal partnership with the City of London. This collaborative establishment


of the International Financial Centre seeks to cultivate closer cooperation with the London Stock Exchange, with the hopes of streamlining trade opportunities in the region and attracting more international investment into Kenya. In addition to financial services,


other key sectorsemphasised in the package are manufacturing, affordable green housing and climate transition.■ NAOMIGALLAGHER


www.fDiIntelligence.com August/September 2021


$80M


FUNDINGREQUESTEDBYUS PRESIDENTJOEBIDENFORTHE PROSPERAFRICAINITIATIVE


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