During its Visit to South Africa, a US Trade Delegation Focused on Female-founded Software Businesses

The US Global Diversity Export Initiative (GDEI) trade mission, orchestrated by the US Commerce Department, concluded its visit to South Africa, Ghana, and Nigeria. Led by Marisa Lago, the US Commerce Under Secretary for International Trade, the mission was focused on fostering collaboration and exploring opportunities between US and African businesses. Lago’s trip marked her fourth official visit to Africa this year, previously visiting Tanzania, Zambia, Egypt, and Nigeria.

Lago emphasized the productivity of the visit, highlighting engagements with both public and private sector representatives, as well as women business leaders. In South Africa, discussions revolved around potential partnerships in infrastructure, healthcare, and information technology sectors, with a particular emphasis on supporting women in technology fields. Lago also took the opportunity to learn from established women business leaders in the South African market.

During her time in South Africa, in commemoration of Women’s Day, Lago visited WomHub, a pan-African incubator for women entrepreneurs in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) sectors. Conversations focused on opportunities for STEM startups to advance and scale in the American market.

Throughout the mission, the digital economy emerged as a central theme. Discussions with private sector representatives and government officials in South Africa, Ghana, and Nigeria centered on the challenges and opportunities within the digital sector. These conversations are integral to the US’s Digital Transformation with Africa (DTA) initiative, announced by President Joe Biden at the US-Africa Business Forum in September. DTA aims to enhance digital access and literacy while strengthening the digital-enabling environments across Africa, aligning with the African Union’s Digital Transformation Strategy and the US Strategy Towards Sub-Saharan Africa.

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