News / Africa

Africa Seeks Technological Partnership at US-Africa Summit

AU deputy chairperson Erastus Mwencha and US Secretary of State John Ker
AU deputy chairperson Erastus Mwencha and US Secretary of State John Ker
Peter Clottey

Africa is looking to the United States for help modernizing industry and combating terrorism, according to the deputy chairman of the African Union (AU).

Erastus Mwencha also said AU officials are negotiating with Washington at the U.S.-Africa summit to improve the trade framework in the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) to include investment opportunities for American businesses and investors as the U.S. Congress readies to begin discussions on re-authorizing the law next year.

He said the AU also seeks American investment that would empower the over 600 million African youth by sharpening their skills so they are ready for future employment opportunities.

“The key area we have been discussing is how to invest in the future. This is very cardinal because investing in the future would mean you are looking at the youth population in Africa,” Mwencha said.

Under AGOA, Africa exports increased from $6 billion to more $30 billion and exports from the U.S. to Africa also grew sharply, according to Mwencha.

“One of the things that we have been discussing is how to strengthen the trade framework - to look at some of its weaknesses, to strengthen its positive aspect - so that we can see a better trade, a trade that has also got an element of investment because AGOA should not just be seen as a trade pact, but also an investment,” said Mwencha.

He said partnering the United States - the global leader in technological advancement - will benefit member states of the AU.                                                        

“We are saying we cannot continue in the bottom rank of value addition or not joining the global supply chain. So we need investment that can translate African products into finished products,” said Mwencha.

Some member states, including Somalia, Kenya, Cameroon and Nigeria, are battling insecurity as well as terrorism. The countries face terrorist groups including the Islamist militant group Boko Haram and the Somali-based Islamic insurgent group, al-Shabab.

Mwencha said Africa needs America’s security expertise to help combat terrorism on the continent.

“It is a global challenge that we have things like terrorism, but also the security challenges that we have had in Africa. We have been working with the US in some of those areas like in Central African Republic [CAR], in the case of the Great Lakes, Somalia. We need to work with the international community on how to combat things like terrorism and the rest. This is one of the things we have been discussing at the summit,” said Mwencha.

The African Union has proposed a standby force as well as a rapid deployment force that could be quickly positioned in countries facing insecurity. Mwencha said the AU will need logistical support for the forces to enable them to be effective when the troops are deployed.

“We would need skills, equipment, training and we would need to exchange information,” said Mwencha. “We need to work with the international community on all these kinds of things. Africa has its agenda and we are seeking support or cooperation with the international community to be able to combat the menace of terrorism.”

 

You May Like

UN Ambassador Power Highlights Plight of Women Prisoners

She launches the 'Free the 20' campaign, aimed at profiling women being deprived of their freedom around the world More

Satellite Launch Sparks Spectacular Light Show

A slight delay in a satellite launch lit up the Florida sky early this morning More

Fleeing IS Killings in Syria, Family Reaches Bavaria

Exhausted, scared and under-nourished, Khalil and Maha's tale mirrors those of thousands of refugees from war-torn countries who have left their homes in the hopes of finding a better life More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs