Lew Says Africa Needs to Develop More Competitive Markets

U.S. Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew said Africa needs to foster a predictable investment climate while developing more open and competitive financial markets.

“To expand growth and attract greater investment, Africa will need to develop more open, secure and competitive capital markets that can provide access to financing for governments, businesses and families,” Lew said at the U.S.-Africa Business Forum in Washington today.

Though Africa is “undergoing a swift and dramatic transformation,” it will need to pursue “further economic and governance reforms, while building a more welcoming and predictable investment climate,” he said.

President Barack Obama plans to announce today $14 billion in commitments from U.S. companies for investments in Africa, a centerpiece of his goal of strengthening commercial ties to the continent.

Lew said the U.S. economy is showing “growing strength,” and the housing market “is fighting its way back.”

“Unemployment is still too high, and for far too many families, this does not feel like a recovery,” he said.

Gross domestic product expanded at a 4 percent annualized rate from April through June and the economy added more than 200,000 jobs for a sixth straight month in July.

Today’s day-long U.S.-Africa Business Forum is hosted by Bloomberg Philanthropies and the U.S. Commerce Department. Bloomberg Philanthropies is led by Michael Bloomberg, the founder and majority owner of Bloomberg LP, the parent of Bloomberg News.

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