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Advocate for Increased Trade Opportunities with African Nations

WHEREAS, the continent of Africa is the ancestral home of our people; and

WHEREAS, the 54 countries of Africa contain 17% of the world's population and are on track to being the home of 26% by 2050. This represents an emerging market for Black Americans who have traditionally been left out of trade opportunities on the continent; and

WHEREAS, the United States has been the major trade partner with the nations of Africa for decades, and they are now in danger of losing that position to China. The U.S. has treated the nation of Africa as vassals. Dictating the terms of trade agreements rather than negotiating as equal partners. Investment in the continent has mostly consisted of military and humanitarian aid to the governments. China has invested in infrastructure, education, and business opportunities. China's inroads threatened to close the U.S. out of these markets; and

WHEREAS, in 1956, President Dwight Eisenhower formalized and prioritized the development of sister-city relationships by creating Sister Cities International. Sister Cities International is not an official part of the government. Still, since its founding, the sitting U.S. president has been an honorary chairman of the organization, giving the institution a special status. Sister cities have been shown to have measurable direct economic benefits and provide cultural and educational people-to-people links; and

WHEREAS, in July of 2021, the Biden-Harris administration launched the Prosper Africa Build Together program. This program is supposed to energize the U.S. commitment to trade and investment with countries across the African continent. It includes a targeted, long-term effort to connect American and African businesses with new trade and investment opportunities.

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the NAACP reaffirms its 1997 Resolution on U.S. Trade and Investment, its 2003 Resolution Supporting the Efforts of the Constituency for Africa and the New Partnership for African Development (NEPAL), and its 2010 Resolution, The NAACP Strengthening its Relationship with Africa and African Diaspora.

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that the NAACP will provide information regarding Sister Cities International and Biden Administration policies and programs to its units to inform them about opportunities to network and access new trade markets with cities in African nations for possible collaboration, development and expansion of Black-owned businesses.