From October 18-20 Deputy Assistant Secretary of State (DAS) Joy Basu visited Abuja and Lagos to discuss specific improvements to the business enabling environment, affirm positive economic reforms made by the Tinubu Administration, advocate for U.S. businesses seeking to invest in Nigeria, and highlight opportunities to deepen U.S.-Nigeria two-way trade. DAS Basu oversees Economic and Regional Affairs in the Department of State’s Bureau of African Affairs.
In DAS Basu’s inaugural visit to Nigeria, she met with Minister of Health Muhammad Ali Pate and convened government and private sector leaders in Abuja. She emphasized that the U.S. government is keen to facilitate U.S. investment into Nigeria and that additional reforms are needed to continue to create a transparent, trustworthy, and conducive investment climate. In Lagos, she brought together women from small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs), banks and venture capital firms to accelerate efforts to bridge the financing gap for women-led SMEs. She convened intellectual property lawyers, creative industry experts, and Nigerian content creators to brainstorm structural changes that would better protect and monetize creative content. She closed her trip by connecting U.S. tech startups to state government officials to explore opportunities to create a more connected and inclusive innovation ecosystem in Nigeria.
“We are building upon the rich connections that exist between our countries – our companies, our entrepreneurs, and our people – to co-create solutions to our common challenges.” DAS Basu said. “We look forward to working together to discover and deliver better ways forward, not only for the people of Nigeria and America, but also for communities around the world.”
DAS Basu’s visit to Nigeria builds upon months of sustained and operationally-focused high-level engagement surrounding the meeting of President Biden and President Tinubu at the G20 Summit in September. At that meeting, President Biden welcomed the Tinubu Administration’s steps to reform Nigeria’s economy and thanked President Tinubu for his strong leadership as the chair of the Economic Community of West African States to defend and preserve constitutional order and the rule of law in Niger and the broader region.
In recent months, the United States has underscored its enduring commitment to strengthening the U.S.-Nigeria relationship and expanding the prosperity of our peoples through several engagements, including:
- Assistant Secretary for Energy Resources Geoffrey Pyatt visited Nigeria on June 19 to establish a bilateral Energy Security Dialogue that can advance collaboration on our shared energy and climate goals.
- Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade Marisa Lago traveled to Lagos August 13-15 to hear from government leaders and the business community in search of tangible investments across all sectors.
- Global AIDS Coordinator Ambassador Dr. John Nkengasong, U.S. President’s Malaria Initiative Coordinator Dr. David Walton, and Global Fund Executive Director Peter Sands completed a joint visit to Nigeria September 11-13 in a historic show of solidarity as the leaders of the largest donors to Nigeria’s HIV, tuberculosis, and malaria response efforts.
- Deputy Secretary of Treasury Wally Adeyemo, the highest ranking Nigerian-American official in the Biden-Harris Administration, visited Nigeria September 17-19 to expand business and investment ties with a focus on entrepreneurship, youth development, and women’s empowerment.
- The United States and Nigeria were among 32 Atlantic countries to launch the Partnership for Atlantic Cooperation on September 18 at a ministerial meeting on the margins of UNGA. The forum brings together countries in Africa, Europe, North America, South America, and the Caribbean to engage in collective problem-solving and uphold a set of shared principles for Atlantic cooperation. On October 2-4, Senior Coordinator for Atlantic Cooperation Ambassador Jessye Lapenn visited Nigeria, her first global stop after the launch, to find opportunities in the marine and blue economy spaces.
- Twelve executives from leading U.S. pension-fund and financial-service providers managing over $1 trillion in assets traveled to Nigeria October 9-13 as part of a USAID-sponsored investor roadshow in partnership with the U.S. government’s Prosper Africa and Power Africa initiatives. The executives met with Nigerian companies and fund managers to explore investment opportunities in the country, particularly in infrastructure, and to build relationships among U.S. and African investors and fund managers.
- U.S. African Development Foundation (USADF) CEO Travis Adkins visited Nigeria October 15-20 to deepen trade and investment ties that can increase incomes, revenues, and jobs by promoting self-reliance and market-based solutions to poverty. The USADF is an independent U.S. government agency established by Congress to invest directly in African grassroots enterprises and social entrepreneurs.
- The U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) Sub-Saharan Africa Regional Director Heather Lanigan visited Nigeria October 16-19 to underscore the U.S. commitment to project-preparation activities that can build Nigeria’s digital, health, transport, and clean-energy infrastructure.
DAS Basu’s visit continues to demonstrate the commitment the Biden-Harris Administration made at the 2022 US-Africa Leaders’ Summit to deepen trade and investment ties with Africa in support of inclusive economic growth and shared prosperity.