News / Africa

US-Africa Summit Underway in Washington

US Faces Challenges in Effort to Invest in Africai
X
Luis Ramirez
August 04, 2014 10:54 PM
U.S. President Barack Obama this week hosts the largest-ever summit of African leaders in Washington to talk about boosting U.S. engagement with the continent. The U.S. leader hopes to foster capacity building, investment in infrastructure, food security, and increasing trade with a region long neglected by U.S. administrations. VOA White House Correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Related report by Luis Ramirez.
VOA News

The administration of President Barack Obama is working to strengthen ties with Africa at a three-day summit in Washington for some 50 African heads of state.

Monday's opening forums touched on a range of issues including security, health, the environment and corruption.

At one panel focused on trade, South African President Jacob Zuma urged the United States to renew the trade agreement, African Growth and Opportunity Act, when it expires next year.

Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud focused on security issues, saying extremists threaten to hamper progress in eastern Africa, while Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn touched on climate change.

China, Europe and Japan have all held similar events to encourage investment in Africa, but the White House denies its Africa Summit is in response to increasing investment in Africa from China.

U.S. businesses have generally been hesitant to invest in Africa despite the high growth rates seen in many countries.

WATCH: Related video from VOA's Mariama Diallo

US-Africa Leaders Summit Underwayi
X
August 05, 2014 4:36 AM
President Obama is hosting leaders from across Africa in Washington for a three-day summit - the first such gathering of its kind. The summit is to focus on trade and investment, and highlight American commitment to many African issues including security, health, food, environment and civil society engagement. Mariama Diallo reports.

Billions of dollars in new funding is expected to be announced for Power Africa during the summit. The program’s goal is to add 10,000 megawatts of generation capacity and 20 million new electric customers in Africa by 2018.

Private industry has committed $7 billion to the program since it was announced last year by President Obama.

U.S. officials say only four African leaders were excluded from the talks — the presidents of Zimbabwe, Sudan, Eritrea and the Central African Republic.

On streets outside the State Department, demonstrators protesting U.S. engagement with leaders of Ethiopia and the Democratic Republic of Congo were a reminder of the risks of attracting investment to countries ruled by corrupt and repressive governments.

President Obama is scheduled address a U.S.-Africa Business Forum on Tuesday and take part in sessions Wednesday focused on economic growth, regional security, and good governance.

The United States is set to unveil nearly $1 billion in business deals, more funding for peacekeeping, and billions of dollars for food and power programs during the summit.

Top US officials weigh in

At one Monday panel on African civil society, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry urged participants to push for democracy and individual rights in their countries.

At an earlier gathering on economic opportunity, Kerry outlined some of the U.S. goals

"It's also why were determined to deepen our partnership and deliver on remarkable opportunities for peace, for security, for economic growth, and perhaps for most important in the context of what brings us here today, the empowerment of people through their government, through their civil society," he said.

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden also addressed summit participants, saying the African continent has some of the world's fastest growing economies, and that those countries will help shape future developments in the world.

"We're on the cusp where the continent of Africa establishes itself as among the ranks of the world's most prosperous economic and free nations," he said. "In your hands, with your help, Africa can and will go so much further. You're the fastest growing economies in the world, and quite frankly the success of the rest of the world depends in part on your success."

Ebola outbreak

This week's summit coincides with an Ebola outbreak in several West African nations. President Obama said last Friday the United States is closely following the situation. He had said African officials from at-risk countries would be screened for the disease before entering the U.S.

The leaders of Sierra Leone and Liberia canceled their summit trips to Washington because of the outbreak.

  • Representatives from various African nations gather at the opening session of the U.S. - Africa Leaders Summit, in Washington, DC, Aug. 4, 2014.
  • Secretary of State John Kerry (left) and World Bank Chairman Jim Yong Kim arrive for a meeting of the U.S.- Africa Leaders Summit, at the World Bank, Washington, DC, Aug. 4, 2014.
  • Mali President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita (right) arrives to attend the U.S. - Africa Leaders Summit, at Andrews Air Force Base, Maryland, Aug. 3, 2014.
  • The U.S. and Ivory Coast national flags are displayed in a public bus station station, in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, Aug. 3, 2014.
  • Djibouti President Ismail Omar Guelleh arrives in the U.S to attend the U.S.- Africa Leaders Summit, at Andrews Air Force Base, Maryland, Aug. 3, 2014.

Some information for this report comes from AP and Reuters. VOA White House correspendent Luis Ramirez contributed to this report.

 

You May Like

Lion Cecil's Killing Sparks 'Canned Hunting' Debate in S. Africa

Conservationists believe incident, which triggered worldwide outrage, will reshape debate about practice in which hunters are allowed to target animals bred for hunting More

Taliban's New Leader Says Jihad Will Continue

Top US Afghan diplomat also meets with Pakistani, Afghan officials following news of Mullah Omar's death More

Environmentalists Issue Warning on Mekong Biodiversity

Scientists say decades of economic development, hydropower-dam construction, lax law enforcement and trafficking have taken their toll More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments page of 2
    Next 
by: pamba Ogwal from: london, UK
August 06, 2014 11:52 PM
There is nothing true that can come out of the USA. They are afraid of the help china is bringing to africa. The western countries want africa to remain very poor so that they may loot all our resources. They don't and will never want to see africa developed

by: Sunny Enwerem from: Lagos Nigeria
August 06, 2014 3:12 PM
Too bad he's repeating the same old mistake .

by: Anonymous
August 06, 2014 9:08 AM
It must be African freewill and respect. Not western impose and arrogant attitude. How can you be friends someone without respecting him and his ways of life. We as African are not be anyone babysitter .Africa stands for it self. America with European idea

by: leko from: East London .South Africa
August 05, 2014 9:14 AM
Obama doesn't recognised or respect African Union proving we're still a begging continent , Africa rising slogan is a farce .Viva King Obama .

by: Mp Apipila from: South Africa
August 05, 2014 6:47 AM
the summit still and should be considered as a good move for US and the African leaders, we need to continue to talk about issues that affect us as all, there is no other way to say this that this summit is a response for US to respond to China, Japan and France that did the same thing, the US has a imperial influence on Africa and it should change the way to engage with Africa that is learning how to become independent from the US as the china is stepping in the African yard, many Africans do things very bad on the behalf of the US, like corruption, dictatorship rules and no respect of human right as they are sure that as long as they offer all the advantages to US for not speaking out for them, they are fine. US should take this opportunity to change they way of trading with Africa, can you imagine the situation where Russia is going to play the same game as China trying for Africans countries, Europe and US might loose out, so this is the time to engage African leaders to commit to the good government rules for their countries.

by: Sylva from: Nigeria
August 05, 2014 2:44 AM
The summit essence is probably to speed up the pace at which the well being of both countries whose representatives are summoned, to a viable form.

by: Marcus Gbalah from: Ganta, northern Liberia
August 05, 2014 2:35 AM
I wish to extend my profound gratitude to the United States Government for this brilliant idea ( African Summit).

My recommendation is for the US Government to critically see the problems that Africa is faced with today. Terrorism and corruption, the continent has left on the wayside because these things. The World super power should work on modalities to see this continent changed with standard living and corruption minimize.

I am a twenty- four year old Liberian. I will be glad to see the US investing in Africa especially in those countries that are thriving with corruption and poor economic system like Liberia and others.

by: Organize Pan-Africanism
August 05, 2014 1:48 AM
This summit is to further conceal U.S. imperialism's design to deepen neo-colonialism with accelerating investments in Africa's mineral resources and strengthening U.S. militarism, via Africom and drone missile implants throughout Africa's soil, to protect this vested interest. U.S. Imperialism is using Barack Obama by way of deception to make it appear as if America is concerned about Africa's next generation with an emphasis on political stability by encouraging them immitate U.S. democracy, but in reality the African leaders are being set up to create a political atmosphere that will allow the U.S. to choose and support the political party in African countries that's closest to carrying out it's foriegn policy of opening Africa up for further exploitation, of it's mineral resources and labour, for the sole purpose of entangling them in debt with IMF and World Bank loans, to widen the space for a rapid accumulation of profits (this is what is meant by Africa having some of the fastest growing economies in the world). The strategy of the Obama administration, coaxed by the U.S. capitalist class, is to thwart China's and the European Union's investment efforts in Africa-China's efforts being a little less callous than Europe's. Nevertheless, American capitalism is seeking to get as much mileage out of their disguise, Obama as an African president before he leaves office, just to maintaian Africa as a base to extract natural resources. The U.S. has already lost ground to China who is now the number one producer of iindustrial products in the world; it has the U.S. $3 trillion debt! Taking Africa as a resource base would prove to be detrimental to the U.S. economy-financially, with regard to currency; the Pound and Euro is stronger than the U.S. dollar and this has America worried-especially if international trade is carried out by currency other than the U.S. dollar. Thus, the things that will help develop Africa, the U.S. is not concerned about because it does not serve its' capitalist class interest. To develop, Africa needs to unite, similarly like the United States, China, the Europen Union, and what was once called the Soviet Union; there needs to be one government to plan out a socialist policy for the redistrbution of resources, and the elimination of exploitation of workers. Secondly, if the U.S. or any country would like to help, they can support the creation of industries, so that Africa can make its own machinery to extract its own mineral resources and make finished products. This will qualify fair trade, and a level playing field among nations. Thirdly, Africa needs to emphasize an education system based on the creation of technology; which means youth must be taught, science, math and engineering. Fourthly, Africa needs a mass political party to facilitate its development based upon an ideology and philosophy that comes from their own history and culture. Lastly, Africa needs infrastructure, roads, communication networks, to harness its full energy capacity from hydro-electric, fossiil fuels, wind, solar to nuclear. These areas niether Obama and the owners of his mask, the capitalists class, is concerned about, nor is the African laeders who only want a few crumbs in dollars that fall from the capitalist table in the course of sellling their soul to their U .S. white master! The shame of it all is that those leaders were made to take a medical examination for ebola, which demonstrate thier willingness to submit to white supremacy, degradation, humilation just to eat at the white house, while their populous starve at home!
In Response

by: Chris Anold Msipa from: Harare, Zimbabwe
August 06, 2014 8:42 AM
I wouldn't agree with you more. I think what Africa needs to do is to have confidence in its own people and resources in order to get out of the poverty that characterizes its populations. However, having said that, we shouldn't continue pointing at imperialism unless we can avoid it. We should, instead, channel our energies and resources correctly and see if we cannot beat the imperialist powers. Poverty is what is making us succumb to all the ills that nature can unleash or allow such powers to unleash upon us. With all the riches of the continent, no one country in Africa should be crying foul whenever the North treats us bad. Yet we are still neck-deep in suffering while our leaders travel the world with a host of delegates who will have nothing to do but shopping during such trips; when the rest of the population suffers.

It is time for Africa to wake up and forget all the political nonsense (revolutionary hangover) that tends to ignore the major task of economic emancipation.
How can we continue to sing HEROES when we still swim in the mud of absolute poverty, disease, hunger and illiteracy; which are causing our people to rise against each other? But we are.And we will continue to until kingdom come, if we are not careful.

by: Gavin Griffith from: Tucson, Az
August 04, 2014 10:22 PM
Why is anyone from uganda there?

by: Prince Shadrach Banigo from: Austin/TX
August 04, 2014 5:57 PM
Lacks of coordinated & proactive effort to investigate and prosecute financial crimes is a leading concerns for outside investors. As an African, I love to live with MY name. Africa Leaders will have to demonstrate their commitments to helping ensure the integrity of their financial system by revising any immunity protection clause, for politicians & public employees, in any corruption case. This is what Leadership in the 'NEW WORLD ORDER' is all about !!!!
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.
Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missionsi
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X
George Putic
July 30, 2015 8:59 PM
Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missions

Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Civil Rights Leaders Struggled to Achieve Voting Rights Act

Fifty years ago, lawmakers approved, and U.S. President Lyndon Johnson signed, the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The measure outlawed racial discrimination in voting, giving millions of blacks in many parts of the southern United States federal enforcement of the right to vote. Correspondent Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights leaders who were on the front lines in the struggle for voting rights.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Hometown of Boy Scouts of America Founder Reacts to Gay Leader Decision

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video 'Metal Muscles' Flex a New Bionic Hand

Artificial limbs, including the most complex of them – the human hand – are getting more life-like and useful due to constant advances in tiny hydraulic, pneumatic and electric motors called actuators. But now, as VOA’s George Putic reports, scientists in Germany say the future of the prosthetic hand may lie not in motors but in wires that can ‘remember’ their shape.
Video

Video Russia Accused of Abusing Interpol to Pursue Opponents

A British pro-democracy group has accused Russia of abusing the global law enforcement agency Interpol by requesting the arrest and extradition of political opponents. A new report by the group notes such requests can mean the accused are unable to travel and are often unable to open bank accounts. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video 'Positive Atmosphere' Points Toward TPP Trade Deal in Hawaii

Talks on a major new trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations are said to be nearing completion in Hawaii. Some trade experts say the "positive atmosphere" at the discussions could mean a deal is within reach, but there is still hard bargaining to be done over many issues and products, including U.S. drugs and Japanese rice. VOA's Jim Randle reports.
Video

Video Genome Initiative Urgently Moves to Freeze DNA Before Species Go Extinct

Earth is in the midst of its sixth mass extinction. The last such event was caused by an asteroid 66 million years ago. It killed off the dinosaurs and practically everything else. So scientists are in a race against time to classify the estimated 11 million species alive today. So far only 2 million are described by science, and researchers are worried many will disappear before they even have a name. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Scientists: One-Dose Malaria Cure is Possible

Scientists have long been trying to develop an effective protection and cure for malaria - one of the deadliest diseases that affects people in tropical areas, especially children. As the World Health Organization announces plans to begin clinical trials of a promising new vaccine, scientists in South Africa report that they too are at an important threshold. George Putic reports, they are testing a compound that could be a single-dose cure for malaria.
Video

Video 'New York' Magazine Features 35 Cosby Accusers

The latest issue of 'New York' magazine features 35 women who say they were drugged and raped by film and television celebrity Bill Cosby. The women are aged from 44 to 80 and come from different walks of life and races. The magazine interviewed each of them separately, but Zlatica Hoke reports their stories are similar.
Video

Video US Calls Fight Against Human Trafficking a Must Win

The United States is promising not to give up its fight against what Secretary of State John Kerry calls the “scourge” of modern slavery. Officials released the country’s annual human trafficking report Monday – a report that’s being met with some criticism. VOA’s National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more from the State Department.
Video

Video Washington DC Underground Streetcar Station to Become Arts Venue

Abandoned more than 50 years ago, the underground streetcar station in Washington D.C.’s historic DuPont Circle district is about to be reborn. The plan calls for turning the spacious underground platforms - once meant to be a transportation hub, - into a unique space for art exhibitions, presentations, concerts and even a film set. Roman Mamonov has more from beneath the streets of the U.S. capital. Joy Wagner narrates his report.
Video

Video Europe’s Twin Crises Collide in Greece as Migrant Numbers Soar

Greece has replaced Italy as the main gateway for migrants into Europe, with more than 100,000 arrivals in the first six months of 2015. Many want to move further into Europe and escape Greece’s economic crisis, but they face widespread dangers on the journey overland through the Balkans. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Stink Intensifies as Lebanon’s Trash Crisis Continues

After the closure of a major rubbish dump a week ago, the streets of Beirut are filling up with trash. Having failed to draw up a plan B, politicians are struggling to deal with the problem. John Owens has more for VOA from Beirut.
Video

Video Paris Rolls Out Blueprint to Fight Climate Change

A U.N. climate conference in December aims to produce an ambitious agreement to fight heat-trapping greenhouse gases. But many local governments are not waiting, and have drafted their own climate action plans. That’s the case with Paris — which is getting special attention, since it’s hosting the climate summit. Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at the transformation of the French capital into an eco-city.

VOA Blogs