News

Obama to announce $14B in investments in Africa

Obama to announce $14B in investments in Africa

AFRICAN INVESTMENTS: Nigeria's President Goodluck Jonathan, center, departs a reception for leaders attending the US-Africa Summit on Capitol Hill in Washington, Monday, Aug. 4. The gathering was hosted by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the House Foreign Affairs Committee. President Barack Obama and his administration are trying to strengthen ties with Africa, grappling with issues such as investment, poverty, terrorism, corruption and deadly diseases. Photo: Associated Press/J. Scott Applewhite

By Jeff Mason

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama will announce on Tuesday that U.S. businesses have committed to investing $14 billion in construction, clean energy, banking, and information technology projects across Africa, a White House official said.

The announcement will occur at the U.S.-Africa Business Forum, part of a three-day Africa summit in Washington meant to showcase U.S. interest in improving trade and investment in the region.

“These investments will deepen U.S. economic engagement in Africa, fueling growth that will support broader African prosperity and emerging markets for US businesses, which will support jobs in both the United States and Africa,” the White House official said.

Obama will take part in a discussion with corporate chief executives and government leaders at the event, which will be attended by Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker, former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and former President Bill Clinton.

The business forum will allow dozens of African heads of state to mingle with U.S. and African executives, the official said. It will focus broadly on investment in finance, infrastructure, energy, agriculture, and consumer goods.

More than 90 U.S. companies are slated to participate including Chevron Corp

In a brief preview of Obama’s remarks, the White House did not give specifics on the nature of the business deals or identify which companies were involved.

“These agreements represent conclusive evidence that America is open for more business with Africa as the Continent’s economic ascent is just beginning,” Pritzker said in a statement.

“Each day, 250,000 Americans go to work in jobs supported by exports to Africa and these deals will lead to increased prosperity on both sides of the Atlantic in the months ahead,” she said.

The Obama administration has billed the summit as the first of its kind, but it comes long after Africa gatherings hosted in recent years by China, India, Japan and Europe, suggesting the United States is largely playing a game of catch-up for access to a market in several growing industries.

(Reporting by Jeff Mason; Additional reporting by Lesley Wroughton; Editing by Eric Walsh)

Latest Headlines

in Local

Collins, Bellows Square Off in 2nd Debate

GENERIC VOTE

BANGOR, Maine (AP) _ Republican Sen. Susan Collins and Democratic challenger Shenna Bellows are squaring off in another debate.

in Local

Court: Maine Agency Can Campaign Against Bear Vote

BEAR-LARGE

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) _ A Portland judge says the state's Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife can use its resources to campaign against a statewide referendum to ban certain bear-hunting tactics.

in Local

30 Maine Guard Members Home from Middle East

GENERIC NATIONAL GUARD

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) _ About 30 members of the Maine National Guard are home from a six-month deployment to Afghanistan.

in Local

Police Waiting on Autopsy in Lewiston Baby Death

Newsradio WGAN

LEWISTON, Maine (AP) _ Maine's state Medical Examiner's Office is still preparing an autopsy report for a baby found unresponsive in a Lewiston bathtub.

in Local

Maine’s High Court Allows Grand Falls Wind Farm

GENERIC WIND FARM

GRAND FALLS TOWNSHIP, Maine (AP) _ Maine's highest court is upholding a state Board of Environmental Protection decision to give a developer the go-ahead to build a wind farm on Passadumkeag Ridge in Grand Falls Township.