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US to Host Event to Commemorate 50th Independence Anniversary of 17 African Nations

U.S. President Barack Obama told African leaders attending the G-8 summit in Canada he would host an event to commemorate the 50th anniversary of independence being observed by 17 African nations.

Senior administration officials say the celebration will take place in early August.

They say the president will also invite young leaders to encourage a new generation of leadership in Africa.

The officials say the event will include discussions about the 50 years that have passed since independence as well as the key challenges that lie ahead for Africa, including development, food security, global health, and conflicts.

President Obama was in Toronto where he is attending the Group of Eight and Group of 20 summits. The president met with six African leaders at the G8 summit.

Officials say Mr. Obama told the African leaders that his father was one of the first generations of Africans who came to the United States with the hope of returning to build a new Africa.

The U.S. president's father was born in Kenya and studied in the United States.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.