Obama hosts 50 African leaders to strengthen ties with Africa

Facing competition from China and other emerging powers, US President Barack Obama is hosting leaders of over 50 African countries in an unprecedented high- powered summit here, aimed at strengthening ties with Africa - home to some of the world`s fastest growing economies.

PTI| Last Updated: Aug 05, 2014, 12:49 PM IST

Washington: Facing competition from China and other emerging powers, US President Barack Obama is hosting leaders of over 50 African countries in an unprecedented high- powered summit here, aimed at strengthening ties with Africa - home to some of the world`s fastest growing economies.

The three-day US-Africa summit, which kicked off yesterday, constitutes the largest engagement by any American President with such a large group of African leaders at the same time.

"We see this as an historic opportunity to strengthen ties with our African partners and highlight America`s longstanding commitment to investing in Africa`s development and its people," White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest told reporters at his daily news conference.

"The summit theme - `Investing in the Next Generation` - reflects the common ambition to leave our nations better for future generations by making concrete gains in peace and security, good governance, and economic development," he said.
The US-Africa Summit is being attended by a galaxy of African leaders including South African President Zacob Juma and Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan.

State Department Spokesperson Jen Psaki echoed Earnest`s words, saying "there`s long been bipartisan support for US engagement with Africa, and the summit will build on that record."

The US-Africa summit opened with a civil society forum to underscore the longstanding investment in strong democratic institutions and Africa`s next generation of leaders.

"We support the aspirations of Africans from our open and accountable governance and respect for human rights. And we are deepening our connection with Africa`s young leaders who are promoting positive change in their communities," she said.
President Obama would today address US-Africa business forum, which will provide opportunities for increased investment and trade between America and the continent.

"Africa, home to six of the world`s ten fastest-growing economies, wants American investors who are looking to Africa like never before. In doing so, they`re creating new jobs and opportunities for Americans at home and abroad. Today`s challenge is to ensure these gains are expanded and spread to benefit of all of Africa?s people," Psaki said.