US to Invest $33bn In Africa

US President Obama has committed to a $33bn investment and support program in order to foster economic relations with Africa, $14bn of which will be delivered by American companies.

 

The US-Africa Business Forum was organized in Washington D.C. within the framework of the US-Africa Leaders’ Summit with a view to foster economic relations between the US and the African countries. 50 presidents, civil society organizations and businesspeople attended the very first US-Africa Summit. The Summit also proved to be the biggest organization by the US involving African leaders. In his closing speech at the event, US President Barack Obama pledged providing $33bn in funds in order to bolster economic relations with Africa, of which $14bn will constitute investments to be made by American companies in Africa. 
At the closing ceremony of the forum, attended by more than 100 American companies, President Obama said African countries have tremendous potential, adding ‘’We are not interested in Africa for its natural resources. We are well aware that the biggest asset of Africa is the talents and the potential of the African people. We commit to being a partner to Africa’s success.” Obama noted that despite facing massive problems and challenges including poverty, warfare and disease, African countries are among the fastest developing economies of the globe, stressing that the continent has the fastest growing telecommunications industry of the world. Obama argued that the US should increase its exports to African countries, which will create new jobs in the US and strengthen the national economy. “I would like to see Africans buying more American goods and Americans buying more African products,” Obama said, stressing that African countries should also boost trade with one another. President Obama said the governmental programs and private sector investments will reach $33bn in total, which will create significant funds for African countries. Obama emphasized that the main impetus should still come from within Africa itself. 
 
Export incentive and support programs
 
Among the American companies to invest $14bn pledged within the scope of the historic summit are Coca Cola at $5bn, General Electric (GE) at $2bn, Marriott at $200mn and IBM at $66mn. American companies will be provided with $7bn in export incentives in order to boost American exports to Africa. Within the framework of the program, Export-Import Bank, the official export support organization of the United States, will offer $3bn funds to companies seeking to export to Africa. Furthermore, the Africa Empowerment Program initiated by US President Obama last year will be endowed with an additional $12bn funding. More than 20mn African households and businesses will receive reliable power supply under the project. 





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