Dallas To Host 2024 U.S.‑Africa Business Summit May 6‑9

Returning to the U.S. for the first time in seven years, the Corporate Council on Africa’s annual U.S.-Africa Business Summit will be held at the Kay Bailey Hutchinson Convention Center in Dallas. With consumer spending in Africa slated to hit $2 trillion in 2025—and with some of the largest African diasporas living right here in North Texas—the summit could offer "immense business opportunities," the city said.

For the first time since 2017, the Corporate Council on Africa’s annual U.S.-Africa Business Summit will be held in the United States—and it’s being hosted right here in North Texas.

The city of Dallas is set to host the 2024 summit from May 6 to May 9 at the Kay Bailey Hutchinson Convention Center, “showcasing the city’s commitment to fostering global economic partnerships,” the city said.

The summit is slated to bring together over 1,500 distinguished leaders from both the U.S. and Africa, from both the public and private sectors. African heads of state will be traveling to Dallas for the event, along with international investors, senior government officials from the U.S. and Africa, Fortune 500 executives, leading small businesses, and key stakeholders from multilateral organizations, the city said

A panel of speakers at the 2023 U.S.-Africa Business Summit [Video still: Corporate Council on Africa]

“Hosting this important event is a testament to the success of Dallas as an internationally recognized leader in business, culture, and entertainment,” Mayor Eric Johnson said in a statement. “As the headquarters of eleven Fortune 500 Companies and home to two world-class airports, Dallas is the perfect location for this summit. Through this summit, Dallas will continue to attract international tourists and build relationships with foreign governments and global investors.”  

North Texas is home to some of the largest African diasporas

Many people from Africa won’t have to travel to North Texas in May—because they already live here. The region is home to some of the largest African diasporas, the city noted, with the largest Nigerian Igbo community in North America, along with migrants from Sudan, Eritrea, and Ethiopia, among others.

The ties between North Texas and Africa are economic, as well, with exports and imports between the DFW and the African continent and DFW totaling $324 million in 2023, according to the city.

Part of what’s driving that economic activity is Africa’s growing GDP, which has been expanding at an average rate of 3.3% per year, above the global average. Six of the 10 fastest-growing economies in the world are in Africa, the city noted—”offering immense business opportunities.”

“With the city of Dallas’ international affairs strategy, we are dedicated to collaborating and building international prestige with our partners, surrounding cities, and citizens across the world,” said Macs Reynolds, the city of Dallas’ senior international affairs coordinator. “The summit supports these goals.”

A scene from the 2022 U.S.-Africa Business Summit [Video still: Corporate Council on Africa]

Consumer spending in Africa set to reach over $2 trillion by 2025

Consumer spending in Africa is expected to reach $2.1 trillion by 2025, marked by a rapidly growing middle class. That spending growth is being spurred by the 2021 signing of the African Continental Free Trade Area agreement—which created a single market of 1.3 billion people and a combined GDP of $3.4 trillion.

“The 2024 U.S.-Africa Business Summit represents a significant milestone in strengthening economic ties between the United States and Africa,” Florizelle Liser, President and CEO of the Corporate Council on Africa (CCA), said in a statement. “This gathering will facilitate meaningful dialogue and collaboration, ultimately advancing mutual prosperity and sustainable development.” 

John Olajide, founder and CEO of the Dallas-based healthcare tech unicorn Axxess and chair of the Corporate Council on Africa, noted that this will be the first time the summit is being held in the United States since 2017, and the first one held outside Washington D.C. in 12 years.

“Dallas has more Fortune 500 and Fortune 1000 companies than many major U.S. cities, and we want to bring the best of Africa and have them engage to find new opportunities to work together,” Olajide said in a statement.

Four heads of state coming, and counting

Four African heads of state already plan to participate in the May summit in Dallas, including President Mokgweetsi E.K. Masisi of the Republic of Botswana; President Faure Gnassingbé of the Republic of Togo; Dr. Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera of the Republic of Malawi; and President Jose Maria Neves of Cabo Verde. Even more heads of state are expected to attend, the city said.

Summit participants “will engage in strategic dialogue on the key issues and opportunities driving U.S.-Africa trade, investment, and commercial engagement, network with key decisionmakers, and explore avenues for sustainable business partnerships between the U.S. and Africa,” the city said.

Another goal of the summit: to facilitate “direct interactions between government representatives, corporate executives, entrepreneurs, and investors to drive impactful collaboration and business deals.”

Sessions to focus on key sectors

Summit sessions will focus on key sectors that are driving business, jobs, and economic growth in the United States and across Africa—including agribusiness, energy, health, infrastructure, security, trade facilitation, ICT, creative industries, and finance.

Summit participants will have the opportunity to network with key U.S. and African private sector and government officials, as well as to explore new business opportunities, meet potential business partners, and forge new business deals, the city noted.

On a larger policy basis, the summit also provides an opportunity “to shape and advocate for effective U.S.-Africa trade and investment policies.”   

When the summit kicks off on May 6, it’ll be with a lot of experience already in the books. Over the last 30 years, the Corporate Council on Africa has hosted more than 50 U.S. and African heads of state and over 15,000 participants at its summits, according to the CCA—which represents “a broad cross-section” of member companies from small and medium-sized businesses to multinationals, as well as U.S. and African firms.

Ribbon cutting slated for May 6

Fortuitously timed for the first day of the summit, an official ribbon cutting ceremony will mark the opening of the Tanzania American Chamber of Commerce at the Dallas International District, Prism Center on Monday, May 6, at 5580 Peterson Lane in Dallas.

You can view a teaser video for the summit here.

To learn more about the summit or register to participate, you can go here.

Get on the list.
Dallas Innovates, every day.

Sign up to keep your eye on what’s new and next in Dallas-Fort Worth, every day.

One quick signup, and you’re done.  

R E A D   N E X T