6 August 2014

Africa: Obama Meets With African Leaders At Summit

President Barack Obama holds three public forums with African leaders on Wednesday, the final day of a massive three-day summit in Washington.

Obama is scheduled to speak at sessions that will focus on sustainable economic growth, peace and stability and good governance across the African continent.

Fifty African heads of state and government are attending the unprecedented summit. Late Tuesday, the White House hosted a state dinner for the visitors, where the president noted his African heritage and said that for his family, the bonds between the U.S. and Africa are deeply personal.

Earlier, Obama announced $33 billion in U.S. private and public investment in various African countries.

Speaking at the U.S.-Africa Business Forum, he said the investment and financing commitments will support both African and American jobs. The bulk of the commitments will come from private sector companies like Coca-Cola and IBM.

The president emphasized that the U.S. is interested in more than just the abundance of natural resources to be found in Africa.

He said the Power Africa program introduced last year will aim to bring electricity to 60 million Africans, triple the previous goal.

But he cautioned that Africa's future will be made on the continent, not the United States.

Obama said the U.S. will do more to help African nations trade with each other. He said it should not be harder to export goods to your neighbor than to export goods to Los Angeles or Amsterdam.

As the worst Ebola outbreak on record rages on in West Africa, Obama told African leaders that keeping their citizens healthy and putting a health care system in place will ensure their countries' future economic success.


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