More News from the US Africa Summit
7th Aug 2014 The US Africa Summit is still in the news with the US continuing the process of its various commitments to Africa.
A press release from the White House shares that, in a meeting with President Goodluck Jonathan, The Vice President Joe Biden welcomed the Nigerian government’s work to improve its business climate, which continues to attract U.S. investors. Nigeria and the US agreed on the importance of deepening trade and investment, and the critical role that access to electricity—including through the advancement of Power Africa—plays in supporting that goal. Boko Haram also came up, with President Goodluck and Vice President Biden discussing efforts to counter Boko Haram, the United State’s commitment to support Nigeria in the fight against terrorism and the need for Nigeria to continue to work on improving socioeconomic and security conditions in northern Nigeria.
For Ghana was the signing of a compact worth $498 million and representing the largest U.S. Government transaction to date under the Obama Administration’s Power Africa initiative. The sum is also expected to catalyze at least $4 billion in private investment and activities from U.S. and other businesses in Ghana’s energy sector over the coming years.
The compact, signed between Ghana and the Millennium Challenge Corporation, celebrates Ghana’s commitment to good governance as well as the Ghanaian Government’s bold reforms.
South Africa came under the spotlight with a meeting between Vice President Biden and President Jacob Zuma, on the sidelines of the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit. According to the White House Press release, The Vice President and the President spoke about the significance of the Summit and the importance of U.S. engagement with African countries. Also discussed was the need to increase U.S. trade and investment opportunities in South Africa, and about the renewal of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). President Zuma and Vice President Biden also discussed African peacekeeping capabilities, including support for an African rapid response mechanism, to help address peace and security needs on the continent.
President Obama also spoke at the US Africa Business forum, announcing several steps that will be taken to boost African – American trade. Some of the steps include the renewal of the African Growth and Opportunity Act, $7 billion in new financing to promote American exports to Africa, the Trade Africa initiative which will see America increase its investments to help African partners boost intercontinental trade.
President Obama is quoted as saying “ We all know what makes Africa such an extraordinary opportunity. Some of the fastest-growing economies in the world. A growing middle class. Expanding sectors like manufacturing and retail. One of the fastest-growing telecommunications markets in the world. More governments are reforming, attracting a record level of foreign investment. It is the youngest and fastest-growing continent, with young people that are full of dreams and ambition.”
And guys, while the Summit involves a lot of serious business, there was also some more grooving with a US –Africa Summit dinner which held on the 5th of August. The White House went all out to make sure that guests had a rollicking good time.
Entertainment was provided by musical legend Lionel Richie who sang some of his greatest hits. And the menu! Well, the menu was meant to show the beautiful flavours of both African and American food and featured American dishes with African flavours. Guests started off with chilled spiced tomato soup, socca crisps and coriander oil and micro cilantro. Healthy eating was definitely on the menu with a chopped farmstand vegetable salad paired with soured cream dressing, crispy onions and a pumpkin seed vinaigrette. Next was a lovely main course of grilled dry-aged beef, chermoula and crispy plantains, braised summer greens and sweet potatoes plus coconut milk. And as if that wasn’t enough food, dessert was an indulgent cappuccino fudge cake with Madagascar vanilla scented papaya and salted caramel sauce.