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US companies to invest $14b in Africa - Obama

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US Secretary of State John Kerry,

(L-R) Kenya president Uhuru Kenyatta, Uganda president Yoweri Museveni, US Secretary of State John Kerry, Djibouti president Ismail Omar Guelleh, and Ethiopia prime minister Hailemariam Desalegn during the US -Africa Leaders Summit in Washington, DC on Tuesday. PHOTO AFP 

By  AGENCIES

Posted  Wednesday, August 6   2014 at  16:04

In Summary

The US-Africa Leaders Summit is an effort to strengthen US ties with Africa as China increases its African investments.

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WASHINGTON DC- US companies have pledged $14b of investment in Africa in areas such as energy and infrastructure, US President Barack Obama has said.

The announcement came at the first US-Africa Leaders’ Summit, attended by more than 40 African heads of state.

The summit is an effort to strengthen US ties with Africa as China increases its African investments.
Mr Obama also hosted a dinner for African leaders at the White House.

The deals announced on Tuesday included a $5b partnership between private-equity firm Blackstone and Aliko Dangote, Africa’s richest businessman, for energy infrastructure projects in sub-Saharan Africa, as well as more investments in Mr Obama’s Power Africa initiative.

According to the White House, Power Africa received an additional $12b in pledges towards its effort to develop energy supplies in Africa through a mix of investment and state involvement.

The World Bank announced a $5b investment in Power Africa and General Electric said it had committed $2b to help boost infrastructure and access to energy.

“We gave it to the Europeans first and to the Chinese later, but today it’s wide open for us,” said General Electric chief executive Jeff Immelt.

Mr Obama also said the US would offer an additional $7b of financing through the Doing Business in Africa (DBIA) Campaign, bringing the total new US commitments to investment in Africa announced on Tuesday to $33b.

“Up to tens of thousands of American jobs are supported every time we expand trade with Africa,” said Mr Obama.

The three-day summit ended yesterday.