US-Africa Summit yields $37 billion commitment

The US has committed $37 billion in investment to Africa. The investment will cover areas such as military assistance, trade expansion, infrastructure development, education and job creation.
The deal was announced by US President Barack Obama who met with 50 African leaders in Washington DC from 4-6 August in what is being considered a historic event, as the US seeks to reposition itself as a major partner in the face of growing Chinese influence and trade with the continent.
The $37 billion deal includes includes a three- to five-year U.S. security plan to help deal with threats to security, such as Boko Haram in Nigeria, al-Shabab in Somalia, and radical groups in the Sahel.
“We will join with six countries who have recently demonstrated a track record as peacekeepers: Ghana, Senegal, Rwanda, Tanzania, Ethiopia and Uganda,” President Barack Obama said. “And we will invite countries beyond Africa to join us in supporting this effort because the entire world has a stake in peacekeeping in Africa.“
The deal will see focussed investment on the growing youth population to tackle the challenges of providing a good infrastructure, education and jobs.
Employment will get a boost with another announcement this week — a $33 billion investment by private and public companies like Coca-Cola and IBM.
Although Africa faces many challenges, President Obama said the Washington summit showcases Africa’s emergence as a new and prosperous continent.
Africa has six of the 10 fastest growing economies in the world. And the continent’s population is expected to double by 2050, which brings challenges as well as potential.
African leaders have commended the move by President Obama. President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya said the summit would seek to reverse negative side of Africa’s story which has been given prominence for far too long.
“This summit gave us an opportunity to profile the positive side,” President Kenyatta said.
Credit: VoA

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