Executive SummaryJul 11, 2023
In brief: The future of US-Africa trade and investment
By Frannie Léautier
Since 2000, US trade policy for Africa has been the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) which gives duty-free access to the US market for eligible countries in sub-Saharan Africa. With AGOA due to expire in 2025, policymakers must decide the future of US-Africa trade going forward to build on its previous achievements.
Frannie Leautier is a nonresident fellow with the Atlantic Council’s Africa Center.
Leautier notably is currently chief executive officer of SouthBridge Investment. She leads the investment activities of the firm, drawing from experience in asset management, development finance, and risk management. Prior to joining SouthBridge, Leautier was chief of staff to the president and vice president at the World Bank Group and senior vice president at the African Development Bank. Leautier held various roles at the Trade and Development Bank (TDB) Group, including vice chair of the board and special advisor to the president before becoming TDB’s first chief operating officer. She also led the asset management business of TDB, including the recent launch of a unique product for trade finance in Africa. Leautier has extensive governance experience holding advisory and governance roles on several boards, including the United Nations Foundation, Orca Explorations, AZA Finance, and African Risk Capacity Ltd.
Leautier is also a member of the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Regional Advisory Group for Africa and has previously served as co-chair for the Global Agenda Councils of the WEF. Other advisory and board roles held include with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), OCP Group, African Economic Research Consortium, Institute for Security Studies, King Badouin Foundation US, and Nelson Mandela Institute for Science and Technology.
Leautier earned her Bachelor of Science in civil engineering from the University of Dar es Salaam, and went on to receive a Master of Science in engineering from MIT and a PhD in engineering from MIT. She has authored several books and articles and lectured at Sciences Po, MIT, Harvard, and the University of Tokyo.