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

    Top US General: Turkish Media Report ‘Absurd'

    General Dunford rejects ‘irresponsible' claims of coup involvement by former four-star Army General Campbell, who led NATO forces in Afghanistan before retiring earlier this year

    Video Saving Ethiopian Children Thought to Be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at efforts of one African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children

    Protests Over Western Troops Threaten Libyan 'Unity' Government

    Fears mount that Islamist foes of ‘unity' government plan to declare a revolutionaries' council in Tripoli

    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 

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunitiesi
    X
    VOA News
    July 25, 2016 5:09 PM
    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Calm the Waters: US Doubles Down Diplomatic Efforts in ASEAN Meetings

    The United States is redoubling diplomatic efforts and looking to upcoming regional meetings to calm the waters after an international tribunal invalidated the legal basis of Beijing's extensive claims in the South China Sea. VOA State Department correspondent Nike Ching has the story.
    Video

    Video Four Brother Goats Arrive in Brooklyn on a Mission

    While it's unusual to see farm animals in cities, it's become familiar for residents of Brooklyn, New York, to see a little herd of goats. Unlike gas-powered mowing equipment, goats remove invasive weeds quietly and without adding more pollution to the air. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, this is a pilot program and if it proves to be successful, the goat gardener program will be extended to other areas of New York. Faith Lapidus narrates.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora