The world’s second largest and second most-populous continent Africa has been leading in poverty, illiteracy, malnutrition and inadequate water supply and sanitation, which have altogether poorly affected the health rates in many of its countries.
Despite abundance of natural resources, the nation lacks in providing benefits to its citizens. Since, poverty could be a result of political instability, ethnic conflicts, climate change and other man-made causes, the US has attempted to improve the situations, introducing Prosper Africa initiative in 2018.
Prosper Africa Initiative
The $50 million program by the government aimed at unlocking opportunities to do business in Africa, growing the country’s middle class and promoting youth employment methods. The region is projected to have 1.52 billion consumers by 2025 — nearly five times the size of the US population.
The initiative was set to improve the diplomatic relationships between the US and the independent African countries, strengthening political, economic and cultural ties that have often worsened due to the treatment disparities of the African-Americans living in the US.
Challenges Faced by African Countries
Climate change is an existential emergency in Africa. Southern Africa’s temperatures are rising at twice the global average that has resulted in severe droughts, floods and even storms.
Much of the African countries afflicted by high rates of chronic hunger, inequality and structural poverty needed urgent funding to help mitigate the effects of climate change in the country and to fulfill the pressing urgent food and nutrition needs of millions of people.
More than 45 million people across southern Africa face severe food shortages and thus their only option has been to migrate to the western countries. As of now, the African migrants residing in the US is in millions with two-thirds from East or West Africa. The immigration phenomenon has compromised the existing resources in other nations.
Need of Prosper Africa Initiative
With the help of Prosper Africa initiative, the government aims to bring out a two-way trade and investment between the US and Africa, benefiting companies, investors, and workers in both the nations. The goal at large is to improve the business climate and enable the US to compete with China and other nations that have business interests in Africa.
US’ LNG Project in Africa
The Energy Department has been looking to bring opportunities in the fields of exploration, production and monetization of liquefied natural gas in Africa. This is because the increased use of US’ LNG would benefit both the American economy and advance energy development in the poverty-stricken continent.
Earlier this year, Texas energy company Anadarko Petroleum planned to build a $20 billion gas liquefaction and export terminal in Mozambique — the biggest such project ever approved in Africa.
To further promote the LNG project as part of Prosper Africa initiative, Assistant Secretary for Fossil Energy Steven Winberg is set to join Africa Oil Week Summit in Cape Town in November, highlighting the US’ commitment to Africa in the oil, gas and power sectors.
Amid the crisis, the government’s Prosper Africa initiative and LNG project designed to bring long-term economic development, prosperity and technology to develop own resources could be seen as a ray of hope for Africans.