Africa-US Summit ‘a success’

08 August 2014

African leaders and the United States have agreed to work together to build stronger trade ties between the two continents, said President Jacob Zuma at the closing of the historic two-day US-Africa Leaders’ Summit.

Hailing the summit as a major success, President Zuma touted the inroads made at the summit including the more than 33 billion US dollars in investments in Africa, announced by President Barack Obama.

President Zuma said the conference managed to put together almost all African leaders under one roof to discuss common interests with the United States, a crucial market for African goods.

African Growth Opportunity Act 

The meeting at the US State Department has dispelled doubts regarding the Obama administration’s support for the renewal of the African Growth Opportunity Act (AGOA) next year.

America has changed its earlier stance on conflict resolution on the continent and will not send any troops to Africa in times of crisis but will instead leave this to the continent’s leaders and the African Union.

Regarding SA’s being part of AGOA, President Zuma said that it was important because people said South Africa was developed and didn’t need AGOA. Everyone had realised that South Africa was a key player in integrating the continent and if South Africa was pulled out it would destabilise that process.”

Africa welcomes all business relations 
As home to six of the world’s 10 fastest-growing economies and a rapidly expanding middle class, President Zuma said the summit was an indication of Africa’s growth and the willingness of America to take Africa on board to expand mutual growth.
“Africa is saying here we are, we are ready to do business and whoever wants to do business with Africa must come. “

US-Africa strengthen ties
At the end of the summit, Obama said leaders from both sides emerged more determined to strengthen ties between the US and Africa.

“By discussing tangible actions that can be taken to deepen the US-Africa partnership, the Summit fostered stronger ties between the US and Africa,” Obama said.

New financing to promote US exports to Africa
Apart from 33 billion US dollars in new financing to promote US exports to and investment in Africa, US companies will also sign deals in clean energy, aviation, banking, and construction worth more than 14 billion US dollars in addition to 12 billion in new commitments under the President’s Power Africa initiative from private-sector partners, the World Bank, and the government of Sweden.
By Chris Bathembu
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