Remarks by Andy Karas, Mission Director USAID/Southern Africa at MiDA Conference with The Standard Bank of South Africa

Speeches Shim

Wednesday, August 3, 2022
USAID Southern Africa MD addressing an investor session
Andy Karas, Mission Director USAID/Southern Africa delivering a keynote address at investors forum
USAID Southern Africa

Good morning…

Thank you very much for the kind introduction.

And to all the speakers…for your very encouraging and inspiring opening remarks.    

It is my distinct pleasure to be with you today…representing the US Agency for International Development…the development and foreign assistance arm of the United States Government.

No matter where I go in South Africa…whether here in Johannesburg…or in Cape Town…or Durban…I have been struck by the passion and resilience of South Africans…particularly the desire among South Africans to build a more secure, democratic, inclusive, and prosperous country.  

The United States, through USAID…is honored to support South Africa’s aspirations…on the journey to sustainable, inclusive development.

Today…we are honored to recognize our shared commitment…through the USAID-MiDA Program. 

At USAID, we recognize the power of the private sector…in driving economic growth…creating jobs…and advancing inclusive, social and economic development here in South Africa and around the world. 

Together, we are shaping opportunities…that improve lives…and communities.

Here in South Africa and evidence by this gathering…we have seen commitment and partnership from US stakeholders, including…the New York City Pension Fund…San Francisco Retirement Fund…Chicago Teachers Retirement Fund…Texas Teachers Retirement Fund…and CALPERS…to name a few.

Together, these partners have invested over one billion US dollars in the region…including in public markets, infrastructure, and private equity.

USAID, in advancing the US President’s Prosper Africa Initiative…continues to leverage resources…and convening power…to help raise awareness of investment opportunities…lower transaction costs …and mitigate the risk of investments…in order to generate positive, social, economic, and environmental impact.  

That is why…through programs like MiDA…we are able to demonstrate how development assistance from the American people… can be used strategically…to channel investment into critical African infrastructure…and attract the scale and expertise of the American financial sector. 

We understand that investments take time…which is why networking events such as this conference are pivotal. 

Unlocking transformational change…and private sector expansion…requires confidence…collaboration…and partnership. 

That is why investor delegations like this…are crucial for advancing this agenda of Prosper Africa…and creating opportunities. This year’s US Institutional Investor delegation includes about 15 organizations, ranging from:

  • Pension funds and pension fund trade organizations;

  • Financial institutions;

  • Asset managers;

  • Investment advisors;

Combined, these stakeholders represent over one trillion US Dollars in assets under management. Our US stakeholders are here to engage with peers in the region…including members of the Asset Owners Forum of South Africa…the Association of Black Securities and Investment Professionals (ABSIP)…and the CFA Institute. 

Together, our stakeholders will directly engage… in discussion…and site visits…and deepen our relationships.

I trust that the presentation sessions…and the discussions to follow…will help you explore mutually beneficial opportunities…and deepen investment relationships…

… for inclusive, sustainable development in South Africa…and between our countries.

There is an African proverb that reads: “If you want to get somewhere fast…walk alone. But if you want to go far…walk with your friends.”

In that spirit…thank you all for imparting on this journey, together.

On behalf of USAID/Southern Africa…I thank you all for your partnership and shared commitment.

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Morningside, Johannesburg
Issuing Country 

Last updated: November 18, 2022

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