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.
    Jim Randle

    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

    Clinton, Trump and the 'Woman’s Card'

    Ask supporters of Democratic front-runner in US presidential campaign, and they’ll tell you Republican presidential candidate is playing a dangerous hand

    Russian Censorship Group Seeks Chinese Help to Better Control Internet

    At recent Safe Internet League forum in Moscow, speakers from both nations underscored desire for authorities to further limit and control information online

    Video Makeshift Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Free classes in Islamabad park serve a few of the country’s nearly 25 million out-of-school youths; NGO cites ‘education crisis’

    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.
    Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensionsi
    X
    April 29, 2016 12:28 AM
    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensions

    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Bangladesh Targeted Killings Spark Wave of Fear

    People in Bangladesh’s capital are expressing deep concern over the brutal attacks that have killed secular blogger, and most recently a gay rights activist and an employee of the U.S. embassy. Xulhaz Mannan, an embassy protocol officer and the editor of the country’s only gay and transgender magazine Roopban; and his friend Mehboob Rabbi Tanoy, a gay rights activist, were hacked to death by five attackers in Mannan’s Dhaka home earlier this month.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.
    Video

    Video West Urges Unity in Libya as Migrant Numbers Soar

    The Italian government says a NATO-led mission aimed at stemming the flow of migrants from Libya to Europe could be up and running by July. There are concerns that the number of migrants could soar as the route through Greece and the Balkans remains blocked. Western powers say the political chaos in Libya is being exploited by people smugglers — and they are pressuring rival groups to come together under the new unity government. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Russia’s TV Rain Swims Against Tide in Sea of Kremlin Propaganda

    Russia’s media freedoms have been gradually eroded under President Vladimir Putin as his government has increased state ownership, influence, and restrictions on critical reporting. Television, where most Russians get their news, has been the main target and is now almost completely state controlled. But in the Russian capital, TV Rain stands out as an island in a sea of Kremlin propaganda.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora

    World Currencies

    EUR
    USD
    0.8769
    JPY
    USD
    107.28
    GBP
    USD
    0.6842
    CAD
    USD
    1.2528
    INR
    USD
    66.384

    Rates may not be current.