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Obama Building Africa Legacy by Changing U.S. Approach

By Margaret Talev Aug 3, 2014 12:01 AM ET


Photographer: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images U.S.
President Barack Obama delivers remarks on the economy at the Uptown Theater in Kansas City, Missouri, on July 30, 2014.

Approaching his final two years in office, President Barack Obama is seeking to build a legacy in Africa by shifting the U.S. approach on the continent to investment from aid.
The son of a Kenyan and the first black U.S. president is playing host this week to the first U.S.-Africa Leadership Summit, where his administration says it expects more than $900 million in deals to be signed as part of a focus on development driven by private business.

“The importance of this for America needs to be understood,” Obama said at an Aug. 1 news conference. “Africa is growing and you’ve got thriving markets and you’ve got entrepreneurs and extraordinary talent among the people there.”

Trade and business, he said, “that’s the kind of relationship Africa is looking for.”
In welcoming 50 delegations to Washington for three-days of meetings beginning tomorrow, Obama is working to overcome perceptions on the continent that sub-Saharan Africa has been an afterthought for his administration. For the past five years, Obama’s foreign policy has focused on its heavily promoted pivot to Asia, crises in North Africa and the Middle East, winding down wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and, more recently, confronting a more assertive Russia.

Bush’s Initiative

By contrast, former President George W. Bush won praise for his initiatives in sub-Saharan Africa, including from Obama. The biggest part of that was a $15 billion commitment to prevent and treat HIV infections, known as Pepfar, and a $1.2 billion program to fight malaria.

Uganda’s ambassador to the U.S., Oliver Wonekha, and Ambassador Steve Matenje of Malawi, both Obama fans, said in interviews last week that Africans expect more from Obama, even as they appreciate the African initiatives he’s announced to date and understand that U.S. fiscal challenges and international crises have consumed his attention.

“This is a big thing for Africa,” Wonekha said of the summit. “We want investment. There isn’t enough investment coming from the United States.”
While calling Obama “an inspiration to many Africans,” Matenje said, “Maybe he needs to do more to help African countries.”

The summit “gives him an opportunity to show the continent that at the end of his term we will see a clearly defined legacy,” Matenje said. “That’s what we expect -- that this will be a turning point.”
the US President Obama is welcoming 50 African leaders at Washington DC for an economic forum, promising more investments toward Africa.

I think he has recently read the Book from Dambisa Moyo, strong advocate for more investments in the emerging countries (Dead Aid - why aid is not working and there is a better way for africa)

Trade and business, he said, “that’s the kind of relationship Africa is looking for.”


here is my favorite sentence. because that 's exactly what China, India, Turkey, Brazil are doing in Africa. No aid, only investment !!
that's exactly the opposite way that the West have done in the last 60 years : giving unlimited perfusion to the Third world.

Maybe the US and the West finally understood they are losing globally, and Africa's rise is only attributed to successful investments, mainly from emerging markets.
Now they also want some pieces of the cake, and China's (dangerous) rise scares the US (read my post : China to overtake the US next year..)

Aid is deadly weapon designed to keep people under poverty line, maintaining them permanently dependent and vulnerable. it was not designed to create growth and uplift countries from misery to prosperity.

It's time for Africa to shift from Aid relationship to trade and business !! :banana:

more details :
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-08-03/obama-building-africa-legacy-by-changing-u-s-approach.html
 

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Its what people have been saying for years, so this is a welcome shift in policy.

Lets just be careful and keep a close eye on investment that might be predatory and/or environmentally/socially disruptive.
 

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From Dr Tedros Adhanom's Facebook page

"Greetings from DC! We had a very successful #US #Ethiopia Business & Investment Summit in #LosAngeles. At the Summit Mr. Brien Morgan, managing partner of Detente Group announced a 3 bln US dollars investment on wind energy in our country. In addition, KKR Group announced to double its investment on flower investment. Salim group submitted a proposal to establish household appliances assembly plant. Many others have shown strong interst to invest in Ethiopia. The outcome of the summit exceeded our expectations & we are very happy."
3 Billions investments ! if true that is impressive and huge for Ethiopia !

we have to be careful, such event often bring optimistic news, but they need to be applied !

so, I' optimistic and I think it is going to happen ! :cheers:

Obama, dont forget to read the second book of Dambisa Moyo : Winners take All - China"s race for ressources and what i means for the world. :lol:
 

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With the US and the west in general, economics is a tool for political dominance, this is the case in western nations and western politics in general, the more money you have the more political influence you gain. The Chinese on the other hand have no interest in the politics of African or other countries.

Personally I believe the US is doing this now, not out of genuine economic necessity, as the Chinese, but because it is becoming certain that, the US and the West is loosing the political leverage they held on Africans for ages, through their aid programs, because of the influx of Chinese investment to Africa.

Few years ago they were preaching to Africans "watch out Africans!!, the Chinese want to colonize you economically through their investment". News like, "Chinese rush to exploit Africa", "China corrupting African governments", "China dumping its products on Africa", etc,,, were very common in the western press,,,, and now they say investment is the way forward for Africa, how ironic.

I welcome any investment, but African governments have to be careful not to ditch their special and genuine relationship with the Chinese, and fall again into a trap of financial and economic reliance on the western camp. because I have a feeling that is the intention of the West.
 
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