Obama announces USD 33 bn to support development across Africa

US President Barack Obama has announced a commitment of USD 33 billion to support development across Africa during a three-day summit with dozens of leaders from the continent.

Reuters| Last Updated: Aug 06, 2014, 11:28 AM IST

Washington: US President Barack Obama has announced a commitment of USD 33 billion to support development across Africa during a three-day summit with dozens of leaders from the continent.

These investments would unlock the next era of African growth, the US President said in his address to a galaxy of African leaders at the US-Africa Summit being hosted by him.

The three-day summit is being attended by leaders from more than 50 African countries.
"The us is making a major and long-term investment in Africa`s progress. Taken together, the new commitments across our government and by our many partners total some USD 33 billion. That will support development across Africa and jobs here in the US. Up to tens of thousands of American jobs are supported every time we expand trade with Africa," he said.

"As critical as all these investments are, the key to unlocking the next era of African growth is not going to be here in the United States, it`s going to be in Africa. And so, during this week`s summit, we`ll be discussing a whole range of areas where we`re going to have to work together - areas that are important in their own right, but which are also essential to Africa`s growth," he said.

Citing the example of Kenya-born Kusum Kavia; whose family was originally from India, Obama said she is an example of what`s possible - a long-term partnership with Africa.
"Kusum Kavia was born in Kenya; her family was originally from India. Eventually, she emigrated to the us and along with her husband started a small business in California. It started off as a small engineering firm. Then it started manufacturing small power generators. With the help of the Export-Import Bank...They started exporting power generators to West Africa. In Benin, they helped build a new electric power plant," he said.

"It has ended up being a win-win for everybody. It`s been a win for their company, Combustion Associates, because exports to Africa have boosted their sales, which means they`ve been able to hire more workers here in the US. They partner with GE; GE is doing well. Most of their revenues are from exports to Africa. It`s been a win for their suppliers in Texas and Ohio and New York," he said.

"It`s been a win for Benin and its people, because more electricity for families and businesses, jobs for Africans at the power plant because the company hires locally and trains those workers. And they hope to keep expanding as part of our Power Africa initiative. So this is an example of just one small business. Imagine if we can replicate that success across our countries," Obama said.

Asserting that the US is determined to be a partner in Africa`s success - a good partner, an equal partner, and a partner for the long term, Obama said: "We don`t look to Africa simply for its natural resources; we recognise Africa for its greatest resource, which is its people and its talents and their potential."
The us, he said, does not simply want to extract minerals from the ground for its growth.
"We want to build genuine partnerships that create jobs and opportunity for all our peoples and that unleash the next era of African growth. That`s the kind of partnership America offers," Obama said.