US-Africa summit opens in Washington

US-Africa summit opens in Washington

More than 40 African heads of state have arrived in the United States ahead of US-Africa summit that opens on Monday, 4 August 2014, in Washington DC.

Security, bilateral trade, human rights and justice, development and democracy, among others, are on the agenda of this highly-publicised event that ends on August 6.

The summit’s theme is “Investing in the Next Generation”, the White House said, adding that it will focus on the next generation which is at the core of a government’s responsibility and work.

This summit is also an opportunity to discuss ways of stimulating growth, unlocking opportunities, and creating an enabling environment for the next generation.

The US, which exercised an ‘absolute control’ on the African continent in the 70s, 80s and 90s, was overtaken by China as the ‘new master’ of the continent in the dawn of the 21st century as African leaders looked east for a ‘no-strings attached’ financial support.

But President Barack Obama reiterated that Africa was part and parcel of the US’ top priorities, pledging that America will never again stand aside and look while African leaders were destroying the continent.

To demonstrate that new determination, US top officials warned African heads of state, including DRC President Joseph Kabila, not to amend their constitutions in the aim of seeking a third term in office.

“I do not see the countries and peoples of Africa as a world apart, I see Africa as a fundamental part of our interconnected world – partners with America on behalf of the future we want for all of our children,” Obama said.

Furthermore, the White House said the summit was a platform for the US to strenghten bilateral ties with Africa.

The summit, the first of its kind, will also highlight the depth and breadth of the US commitment to  African, advance its shared priorities and enable discussion of concrete ideas to deepen the partnership.

That partnership must be grounded in mutual responsibility and mutual respect, the US government said.

Photo: The White House. Credit: White House/Destination 360

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