Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew, U.S. Trade Rep. Michael Froman, World Bank President Jim Yong Kim, Combatant Commanders, and Senior Business Leaders Encourage and Applaud Expanded Role for U.S. Private Sector Involvement in Smart Power Foreign Policy

WASHINGTON—On the eve of President Obama’s trip to Africa, leaders from government, military, business, and NGOs agreed increased American private sector investment in Africa along with smarter use of federal dollars is essential to protecting U.S. security and creating new jobs at home while lessening suffering on the continent. The leaders comments came today at the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition’s (USGLC) Annual Conference, Innovations in Smart Power.

“President Obama’s trip reinforces the shared economic, humanitarian, and security interests between the United States and sub-Saharan Africa,” said Liz Schrayer, executive director of the USGLC. “And it’s a two-way equation. Sub-Saharan Africa is home to 7 of the 10 fastest growing markets in the world, and economic growth in the region is far out-pacing the United States and Europe. “

In his first address as the U.S. Trade Representative, Ambassador Michael Froman said, “As the President has made clear, trade and investment are critical components of our development policy. To achieve sustainable development, we need trade, not just aid; investment, not just assistance.”

World Bank President Jim Yong Kim addressed the important role the private sector plays working with the government to end extreme poverty, while Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew described global development as not just about doing good, but essential for our national and economic security.

The national security importance of our civilian foreign policy tools was reinforced by a distinguished panel of former and current combatant commanders—Vice Admiral Robert Harward, USN, Deputy Commander, U.S. Central Command, former Africom Commander General Kip Ward, USA (Ret.), and former SouthComm Commander General John Craddock, USA (Ret.).

The conference also displayed cutting-edge technology innovations, which are already making a difference in Africa, such as clean smoke-free cookstoves, backpacks that allow the transfer of clean water, and nutritional supplements for children.

Business leaders from some of America’s top companies discussed the importance of innovative partnerships with non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and international development agencies to do well and good.

“DSM is the world leader in nutrition, and with the power and influence that comes with such a privilege, there also comes the responsibility to work tirelessly to improve the lives of billions of people who suffer from hidden hunger. Doing well and doing good are not mutually exclusive, and Partners in Food Solutions represents a whole new way of delivering a new kind of aid.” said Hugh Welsh, President, DSM North America.

“Merck has made responding to global development challenges a corporate priority, and we work with donors, NGOs, and aid organizations around the world every day in unique public-private partnerships to improve health through effective collaboration,” said Geralyn Ritter, Senior Vice President, Global Public Policy & Corporate Responsibility Merck & Co., Inc.

More information on the conference is available at www.usglc.org.

The U.S. Global Leadership Coalition (www.usglc.org) is a broad-based influential network of 400 businesses and NGOs; national security and foreign policy experts; and business, faith-based, academic and community leaders in all 50 states who support a smart power approach of elevating development and diplomacy alongside defense in order to build a better, safer world.

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