News / Economy

Trade, Investment, Growth Are Key Issues at US-Africa Summit

Trade, Investment, Growth Are Key Issues at US-Africa Summiti
X
Jim Randle
July 30, 2014 8:36 PM
Business leaders from African nations are visiting key U.S. energy and transportation facilities, seeking ideas and contacts to solve problems that slow economic development. It is an effort to boost U.S. investment in Africa and increase economic growth and employment on both sides of the Atlantic. Trade and investment issues are an important part of a summit between President Barack Obama and many African leaders that will take place early in August in Washington. VOA’s Jim Randle reports.

Business leaders from African nations are visiting key U.S. energy and transportation facilities, seeking ideas and contacts to solve problems that slow economic development. It is an effort to boost U.S. investment in Africa and increase economic growth and employment on both sides of the Atlantic.

Trade and investment issues are an important part of a summit between President Barack Obama and many African leaders that will take place early in August in Washington.  

Business leaders from African nations have been visiting U.S. airports and energy facilities over the last couple of years.

They are seeking solutions for their countries' infrastructure problems, as well as business contacts and investors who could provide new technology and financing.

Improving infrastructure

More inspection trips are planned, including visits to energy facilities in Houston and Chicago's O’Hare airport just before the Washington summit.

The head of the U.S. Trade and Development Agency, Leocadia Zak, said solving infrastructure problems would help African economies grow faster because farmers and others could get their products to market more easily.

“The cost of transportation is really inhibiting their ability to market those goods successfully in the region as well as in their own country,” said Zak.
Given the right conditions, African markets can flourish. For example, the number of mobile phones in Africa has soared from 15 million to 800 million since 2000, according to a scholar at the Atlantic Council.

J. Peter Pham said such growth is aided by Africa's natural resources and fast-growing population, which already tops one billion people.  He said Africa’s population eventually may exceed that of India or China and change global markets.

"It [Africa] is a very young population -- by mid-century a quarter of the world’s workers will be in Africa. So it will be a locus of production and jobs as well as a potential marketplace," said Pham.

'Transactional event'

That's why the U.S. is bringing together hundreds of CEOs from both sides of the Atlantic in search of investment opportunities in Africa, according to U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Linda Thomas-Greenfield.

“We hope this is a transactional event where leaders will leave and CEOs leave with some ideas how they might move forward in a proactive way on investment in the continent,” she said.

Some African nations are major oil and mineral producers, and many of their exports go to China.

China has invested billions of dollars in Africa over the past decade, and along with the European Union has replaced the U.S. as Africa’s largest trading partner.

Beijing's expanding influence in Africa worries some critics who say China does little to promote human rights and good governance.

Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield said Chinese investment could be good if it leads to more development and jobs for Africans.

She said skillful bargaining with potential foreign investors and stronger efforts to clean up corruption will help Africa prosper.

You May Like

Key Al-Shabab Commander Captured

Zakariye Ismail Hersi was captured in a raid Saturday morning in the town of El Wak near the border with Kenya More

Relations Between Pakistan, Afghanistan Key to Fighting Taliban

A Pakistani official tells VOA that anti-terrorism campaign has resulted in improved counter-terrorism cooperation with Afghanistan More

160,000 Displaced by Flooding in Malaysia

Prime Minister Najib Razak visits hard-hit Kelantan state, announces nearly $145M in additional relief for victims More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: leko from: South Africa
July 31, 2014 12:27 AM
I won't be disappointed , at all , if Zuma doesn't attend this preferred friends of America ... we need progressive leaders from Russia , China etc. who treat African leaders as equals than picking & dividing Africans. We can do quite well without USA .

sies .

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Estimates Rising of Foreign Fighters in Iraq, Syriai
X
Jeff Seldin
December 24, 2014 11:38 PM
Foreign fighters are making more of a mark on the battles raging across Syria and Iraq than initially thought. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more.
Video

Video Estimates Rising of Foreign Fighters in Iraq, Syria

Foreign fighters are making more of a mark on the battles raging across Syria and Iraq than initially thought. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more.
Video

Video Russians Head Into Holiday Facing Economic Malaise

Russian preparations for the New Year holiday are clouded by economic recession and a tumbling currency, the ruble. Nonetheless, people in the Russian capital appear to be in a festive mood. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video Mombasa in Holiday Tourism Slump Due to Security Fears

Kenya's usually popular beachside tourist destination of Mombasa is seeing a much slower holiday season this year due to fears of insecurity as the country has suffered from a string of terror attacks linked to Somali militants. Mohammed Yusuf reports for VOA on how businessmen and tourists feel about the situation.
Video

Video For Somalis, 2014 Marked by Political Instability Within Government

While Somalia has long been torn apart by warfare and violence, this year one of the country's biggest challenges has come from within the government, as political infighting curtails the country's progress, threatens security gains and disappoints the international community. VOA's Gabe Joselow report.
Video

Video US Political Shift Could Affect Iran Nuclear Talks

Secretary of State John Kerry’s efforts to resolve Iran’s nuclear crisis are continuing into 2015 after Iran and six world powers failed to agree by a November deadline. U.S. domestic politics, however, could complicate efforts to reach a deal in the new year. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins has the story.
Video

Video NYSE: The Icon of Capitalism

From its humble beginnings in 1792 to its status as an economic bellweather for the world, the New York Stock Exchange is an integral part of the story of America. VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports from Wall Street.
Video

Video Islamic State Emergence Transforms Syria and Iraq in 2014

The emergence of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria as a potent force in early 2014 changed the dynamics of the region. Their brutal methods - including executions and forced slavery - horrified the international community, drawing Western forces into the conflict. It also splintered the war in Syria, where more than 200,000 Syrians have died in the conflict. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell looks back at a deadly year in the region -- and what 2015 may hold.
Video

Video Massive Study Provides Best Look at Greenland Ice Loss Yet

The Greenland ice sheet is melting faster than predicted, according to a new study released in the Proceedings of the National Academic of Sciences that combines NASA satellite data and aerial missions. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the finding means coastal communities worldwide could be at greater risk, sooner, from the impact of rising seas.
Video

Video US Marines, Toys for Tots Bring Christmas Joy

Christmas is a time for giving in the United States, especially to young children who look forward to getting presents. But some families don't have money to buy gifts. For nearly 70 years, a U.S. Marines-sponsored program has donated toys and distributed them to underprivileged children during the holiday season. VOA's Deborah Block tells us about the annual Toys for Tots program.
Video

Video France Rocked by Attacks as Fear of ISIS-Inspired Terror Grows

Eleven people were injured, two seriously, when a man drove his car into crowds of pedestrians Sunday night in the French city of Dijon, shouting ‘God is Great’ in Arabic. It’s the latest in a series of apparent ‘lone-wolf’ terror attacks in the West. Henry Ridgwell looks at the growing threat of attacks, which security experts say are likely inspired by the so-called "Islamic State" terror group.

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

All About America

AppleAndroid

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.8183
JPY
USD
120.36
GBP
USD
0.6436
CAD
USD
1.1591
INR
USD
63.474

Rates may not be current.