President Barack Obama has invited the leaders of nearly 50 African nations. For the first ever United States /Africa Leaders Summit in Washington, D.C. from August 4th to August 6th. Leaders from fifty African states including The Gambia’s President are to attend the three day summit that will primarily focus on trade, investment and security of the African continent.
The idea came up in 2013 when Obama was on a multi country tour of Africa. America’s annual trade with the African continent is about $85 billion compared to china which is about $200 billion. The summit will focus on trade and investment opportunities, democracy and security. However the summit has already been a bit eclipsed with talks of the deadly Ebola virus outbreak in West Africa.
Obama hopes to use the summit to highlight growing trade and investment ties to the continent, as well as pledges for significant infrastructure projects, with a particular focus on boosting electricity generation and distribution in six sub-Saharan countries.
China, Europe and Japan have all held similar events to encourage investment in Africa, but the White House denies its Africa Summit is in response to increasing investment in Africa from China. U.S. businesses have generally been hesitant to invest in Africa despite the high growth rates seen in many countries. The administration of U.S. President Barack Obama is working to strengthen ties with Africa.