US-Africa summit to announce nearly $1bn in business deals

04 August 2014

The US will announce nearly $1bn in business deals, increased funding for peacekeeping and commit billions of dollars to expand food and power programmes in Africa during a summit this week, BD Live reports.

President Jacob Zuma will be in the front row at the August 5-6 summit in Washington to which US President Barack Obama invited 50 of Africa’s 53 heads of state or government “in good standing with the US and the African Union (AU)”. This criterion has excluded Eritrea, Sudan and Zimbabwe.

US officials said the summit hopes to showcase US interest in the fast-growing region through a series of government-private partnership deals to boost trade and investment. Seven of the world’s fastest-growing economies are in Africa.

The US is also hoping to arrest the decline of its political influence and economic clout in Africa. But US officials have played down questions over whether the summit is in response to China’s growing presence. Instead, they have emphasised that US interests go beyond Africa’s oil and minerals, on which China is focused.

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