President Obama announces US$33 bln in commitments for Africa

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Addis Ababa, 6 August 2014 (WIC) - President Barack Obama, seeking to strengthen America's links with Africa, announced on Tuesday (August 5) some US$33 billion in commitments, aimed at shifting U.S. ties with Africa beyond humanitarian aid and toward more equal economic partnerships.

Much of this came from private-sector companies interested in Africa, the home to six of the world's fastest-growing economies and a rapidly expanding middle class with increased spending power.

During closing remarks at a forum that brought together U.S. and African politicians and business leaders, President Obama said the US had to “do better, much better; I want Africans buying more American products and I want Americans buying more African products."

The business forum was part of the US Africa Leaders Summit and about a hundred U.S. companies were represented at Tuesday's conference.

US companies announced $14 billion in investments for Africa including a $5 billion investment from Coca-Cola; $2 billion from GE by 2018; $200 million across Africa by Marriott, and a $66 million commitment by IBM to provide technology services to Ghana's Fidelity Bank.

The Government added another $12 billion in new commitments for the Power Africa initiative from the private sector, the World Bank and the Government of Sweden.
President Obama also announced $7 billion in new government financing to promote U.S. exports to and investments in Africa including $3 billion in financing from the U.S. Export-Import Bank aimed at supporting American exports to Africa over the next two years.

The president also signed an executive order on Tuesday creating an advisory committee of private sector representatives to advise the White House on ways to boost economic ties with Africa. (MoFA)