News / Africa

Obama: Investment in Africa Depends on Security

Obama: Investment in Africa Depends on Securityi
X
Luis Ramirez
August 06, 2014 12:20 AM
One goal of the African leaders' summit in Washington is to build on a strategic relationship that the United States has established in Africa as the continent faces a range of security threats. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Luis Ramirez

One goal of the African leaders' summit in Washington is to build on a strategic relationship that the United States has established in Africa as the continent faces a range of security threats.  

From establishing drone bases to training African troops, the U.S. has expanded its security relationship with Africa in recent years. The aim is to help African governments combat extremist groups such as Boko Haram in Nigeria, al-Shabab in East Africa and militants in the Sahel.

This week’s summit focuses on trade and investment, as President Barack Obama aims to forge a new U.S. relationship with Africa.  

In announcing U.S. companies' pledges to invest $14 billion in Africa, Obama said security is essential to prosperity.

“We're going to have to talk about security and peace because the future belongs to those who build, not those who destroy," Obama said. "It's very hard to attract business investment and it's very hard to build infrastructure and it's very hard to sustain entrepreneurship in the midst of conflict."

The U.S. military established its Africa Command in 2007, but based it at a distance - in Germany. The command has overseen operations to assist African militaries in transporting troops, sharing intelligence and reconnaissance.

There are big reasons why the U.S. needs to speed up efforts to engage more with the continent, beyond providing low-key military cooperation and aid.

"Certainly the small-footprint strategy has worked," said Michael Rubin, an analyst with the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank in Washington. "That said, we need to remember while China does $200 billion of trade with Africa each year, the United States does only half of that. So as the United States becomes much more involved in the region, more African countries are going to look for American backing, which isn’t simply diplomatic but goes into the economic and military as well."

For decades, U.S. administrations have spoken of the need to help lift Africa's people out of poverty and talked about the continent's importance. Now that Africa is home to more emerging democracies and six of the 10 fastest-growing economies in the world, Obama hopes to show that the United States is serious about partnering with the region.

Watch related video from VOA's Mariama Diallo:

US, Partners to Invest $33 Billion in Africa's Energy, Infrastructure, Banksi
X
August 06, 2014 4:18 AM
At Tuesday’s Africa Business Forum in Washington, President Barack Obama announced that the United States and partners will commit nearly $33 billion in new financing to promote U.S. investment in Africa. The money will be spent to develop clean energy, improve infrastructure and help financial institutions and other sectors. Mariama Diallo reports.

You May Like

Captured IS Militants Explain Why They Fought

Fighters from Turkey, Syria tell VOA Kurdish Service what drew them to extremism, jihad More

Security Experts Split on Kenyan Barrier Wall

Experts divided on whether initiative aiming to keep out al-Shabab militants is long-awaited solution or misguided effort More

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Officials say they hope to turn Manila into the next Macau, which has long been Asia’s gambling hub More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments page of 2
    Next 
by: Genesis from: Earth
August 07, 2014 8:10 AM
From what I've witnessed Africa is a slaughterhouse. I think Obama should spend the money on the homeless in the USA.

by: Petros Moyo
August 06, 2014 10:49 AM
Lifting people out of poverty is commendable - security is essential to prosperity. Great comments, but how does one implement this in Zimbabwe, given all that has happened there. ?

by: BORENASA from: GHANA
August 06, 2014 7:55 AM
If mr obama needs to invest in africa, he should just do it and stop talking of security. libya was a very peaceful and promising economy under gaddafi, but mr obama incited and supported an uprising that has destroyed libya all in the name of democracy. after this mess that has been caused, obama now preaches security. where was that thought before the invasion and destruction of peaceful libya? hipocracy at its best.
In Response

by: Abinet from: UK
August 11, 2014 4:54 AM
That is "learning from mistakes mean'

by: Babey from: Sweden
August 06, 2014 6:38 AM
Africa could grow faster if they were not poisoned by the islamization.One of the biggest worries in Africa today is the middle East sickness which comes along the religion. We have hot spots like north east nigeria, somalia, mali, CAR. If there is religious freedom Africa can do better business, Corruption, Leaders and their henchmen taking out term limit from constitution are some of the problems
Politechnics, and better schools are a security solution

by: Olivier from: Rwanda
August 06, 2014 2:29 AM
But People lets be realistic here, at this point I will give only one example on how we are (us Africans) being manipulated by the U.S and the west in general: Take a look at this beautiful nation Libya, learn its History but tell me what happened recently,

Mr Obama is busy saying Africa needs to build up its security for the investors to come and invest, yes good enough, when Mr Kadaffi was fight the labels who are destroying the nation was restricted to fight them back because he knows he will not loose any of American soldier he says" NO JET IN SKY" who's now suffering people in field.

The guns are ringing, the Americans are flying back home....come people treat us like humans, not ants, but from my heart I want to assure who ever is thinking of keep killing that one day we will have a say, one day it will change.

ONE DAY WE WILL ALL ENJOY THIS BEAUTIFUL WORLD

by: Peter Cohee from: Milton MA
August 05, 2014 9:58 PM
Does anyone really care what Mr Obama says about anything?

by: Galdino Sebit from: texas
August 05, 2014 9:29 PM
Indeed there future belongs to those who build their economy and infrastructure. However, many countries in Africa have corrupt leaders ,destructive and poor in human rights records. The US must put emphasis on good leadership above all.

by: Sisal from: US
August 05, 2014 8:48 PM
Waste of time and money u.s. money and time take care of your backyard.

by: bryan from: socal
August 05, 2014 8:40 PM
I have an idea. Why don't we start using money to pay off our debt instead of digging a deep hole to help other countries. Once we're out of debt, we can look at our budget and CONSIDER something like this. This gov. spending habits are just as bad as 95% of our people.

by: Franco
August 05, 2014 5:08 PM
Caution before you invest in sub-Saharan Africa: The problem is not about lack of funding or investment. It is still that old vice called corruption. Most African countries have valuable natural resources, for example Nigeria receives over $100 billion in oil revenue annually, but the money is nowhere to be seen. Government officials stash the people's money away in foreign bank accounts. This $14 billion will likewise be share up among the leaders and returned to Swiss and other banks in personal accounts. Good gesture by America, but America does not owe any African country anything. If the people are left to go through much hardship, then they will learn not to accept corruption by their leaders.
In Response

by: Abinet from: UK
August 11, 2014 4:57 AM
Very true what you state. The problem is America does not want to be left out from the spoils as China is busily digging in!
Comments page of 2
    Next 

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More