Brazil, & The US Partnership in Africa

October 25 , 2011

Because of Brazil’s status as the second most populous community of African ethnic origin in the world…this is a continent to which we recognize a burden of debt.”

Brazil would not be what it is today without the participation of millions of Africans who helped build our country.

HE Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva

 Our Connections are Growing Stronger.

Brazil and the United States share a strong historical and cultural connection to Africa.  Both countries also have the largest African diaspora in the world.  A rising Brazil is giving back to Africa, and the United States and Brazil are cooperating to provide direct aid to and facilitate long-term investment throughout the continent.  With over 40 years of experience in the region, Africare provides a bridge between the U.S. and Brazil on one side of the Atlantic, and with Africa on the other, to help Africans forge their own paths to prosperity.

A Rising Brazil.

Today Brazil has the world’s fifth-largest population and fifth-largest landmass.  In five years it may well be the world’s fifth-largest economy.  Over the past decade it has shown that it is possible to marry robust economic growth with significant social progress. In addition to being the world’s largest producer of beef, cane sugar and coffee, Brazil has quietly become a major investor in the United States, in household names like Budweiser and Burger King, to becoming the leading producer of polypropylene and a major supplier of regional commuter and executive jets in the U.S.  On the social front, more than 20 million Brazilians—10 percent of the population—were lifted out of poverty over the last decade. Now, more than half of the population is considered middle class.  Brazil has demonstrated that inclusion of the marginalized—women, youth and the poor—can make a vital contribution to growth.

Lula's Commitment to Africa.

Thanks to the leadership of Brazil’s President Lula who left office January 1st this year  after eight years at the helm, Brazil was transformed and so was it’s relationship with Africa.   Trade between Brazil and Africa tripled, Brazilian investment in Africa increased nine-fold, a number of African countries’ debts to Brazil were forgiven, and technology transfers from Brazil have increased substantially in agriculture and health, including the establishment of Africa’s first anti-retroviral factory on the continent.. In a sign of its growing role, Brazil has pledged more to Somalia to help address the crisis in the Horn than Germany and France combined.

 Brazil and the Us Partnership in Africa.

Brazil has important lessons from its experience to share with Africa.  Brazil is an agricultural powerhouse made possible through its green revolution—using technology to dramatically improve yields and to adapt crops to tropical conditions.  Brazil is self-sufficient in energy with its sources of energy coming predominantly from renewables.  It also has made enormous progress in the fight against HIV/AIDS.   The combination of Brazil’s locally grown expertise and the substantial experience of the U.S. in managing comprehensive development programs in partnership with African governments make for a formidable partnership. Working together, the U.S. and Brazil can make a significant contribution to Africa’s development, from making available technology for more drought and disease resistant crops to African farmers to the transfer of renewable energy technology and jointly fighting the HIV/AIDS epidemic and other communicable diseases.

A New Africa

The bilateral ties between the U.S. and Brazil grow, so do opportunities for collaboration with Africa.  Over the past decade, foreign direct investment in Africa soared from $9.4 billion in 2000 to $52 billion in 2010 and broad swathes of the continent--nearly 20 countries--have enjoyed robust economic growth.  Africa’s shares of global foreign direct investment and global trade are projected to roughly double by 2050.  With a large and diverse supply of world-class quality deposits of natural resources, over one billion consumers and proven resilience to the recent economic downturn, experts predict that Africa will be the world’s next economic engine.

There are growing commercial ties between the U.S. and Brazil and both countries with Africa.  Remarkably, in this age of growing economic concern, the U.S. actually enjoys a trade surplus with Brazil (over $11 billion in 2010 resulting from $35 billion of exports).  U.S. trade with Africa continues to grow with a record $28 billion of US exports last year, which will likely be surpassed again this year.  Brazil has seen its trade with Africa quadruple since 2003 to a level over $25 billion annually which reflects the strong growth of the African and Brazilian economies.  Africa is a key future partner for both the U.S. and Brazil.

A New Africare

Helping Africa face the mega-challenges ahead of managing disease and pandemics, adapting to climate change, improving access to water and achieving food security are all areas where Africare works.  As the largest NGO working exclusively in Africa, Africare facilitates the transfer of these ideas, experiences and practices of the U.S. and Brazil into action in Africa, suitably adapted to meet Africa’s needs. As just one example, for the past few years, Africare has been receiving USAID and the Gates Foundation funds to mobilize community volunteers to carry out vaccination activities throughout the country.  Six months ago Africare reached out to the Brazilian construction giant, Odebrecht, to leverage its existing volunteer networks.  Working together under the leadership of the Angolan government, the number of confirmed cases of polio in Angola has dropped to just four in 2011—an illustration of how Africare partners with local communities, government and the private sector to promote economic growth and resilience. 

 

At this year’s Africare fundraising Gala in Washington D.C. we will honor President Lula, former president of Brasil, thanks to the generous sponsorship of Vale, the second-largest mining company in the world with investments across Africa.

Please join us November 9th to celebrate Africare and Africa’s successes---A New Africare in a New Africa--as well as the growing Africa partnership between the U.S. and Brazil.

 

 


Return to President's Corner Home >>