Africa 22.9.2016 03:23 pm

Africa’s progress is important to the entire world – Obama

FILE PICTURE: US President Barack Obama.

FILE PICTURE: US President Barack Obama.

‘Wherever I’ve gone, from Senegal to South Africa, Africans insist they do not just want aid, they want trade,’ Obama says.

“Africa is essential to our progress. Africa’s rise is not just important to Africa, it’s important to the entire world,” declared United States President Barack Obama

“Yet, too many people across the continent still face conflict and hunger and disease,” said Obama during his address at the US-Africa Business Forum in New York on Wednesday.

The US president said Africa was on the move. The continent is home to some of the fastest-growing economies in the world and a middle class projected to grow to more than a billion customers.

“An Africa of telecom companies and clean-tech startups and Silicon savannahs, all powered by the youngest population anywhere on the planet.”

“And wherever I’ve gone, from Senegal to South Africa, Africans insist they do not just want aid, they want trade,” Obama added.

“They want partners, not patrons. They want to do business and grow businesses, and create value and companies that will last and that will help to build a great future for the continent.

“The United States is determined to be that partner – for the long term – to accelerate the next era of African growth for all Africans. And that’s why, over the past eight years, we’ve dramatically expanded our economic engagement.

“We launched Trade Africa, so that African countries can sell goods and services more easily across borders – both within Africa and with the United States.

“We created Doing Business in Africa campaign to help American businesses – including small businesses – pursue opportunities across Africa.

“Nearly 300 American companies have taken trade missions to Africa, with more than 8 000 African buyers attending US trade shows,” said Obama.

If you are an African entrepreneur or an American entrepreneur looking for more support, more capital, more technical assistance, there has never been a better time to partner with the United States.

Commitments from the Export-Import Bank and the US Trade and Development Agency have doubled. Investments by the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, the US government’s development finance institution, have tripled.

“Nearly 70% of Millennium Challenge Corporation compacts are now with African countries. And we’ve opened up and expanded new trade and investment offices, from Ghana to Mozambique,” said Obama.

Through Power Africa initiative, the United States is mobilising more than 130 public and private sector partners — and more $52 billion – to double electricity access across sub-Saharan Africa.

“Meanwhile, our Global Entrepreneurship Summits in Morocco and Kenya and our Young African Leaders Initiative are giving nearly 300 000 talented, striving young Africans the tools and networks to become the entrepreneurs and business leaders of the future,” said Obama.

– African News Agency (ANA)

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