Obama announces $33B in commitments for Africa

Takes aim at shifting U.S. ties with Africa beyond humanitarian aid and toward more equal economic partnerships
Associated Press
Aug 6, 2014

Seeking to strengthen America's financial foothold in Africa, President Barack Obama announced $33 billion in commitments Tuesday aimed at shifting U.S. ties with Africa beyond humanitarian aid and toward more equal economic partnerships.

The bulk of the commitments came from private-sector companies, including Coca-Cola and General Electric, underscoring Africa's growing appeal to businesses. The continent is home to six of the world's fastest-growing economies and a rapidly expanding middle class with increased spending power.

Yet Obama noted that U.S. trade with the entire African continent is about the same as its trade ties with Brazil and that just about one percent of U.S. exports go to sub-Saharan Africa.

"We've got to do better, much better," he said during closing remarks at a daylong session that brought together U.S. and African politicians and business leaders. "I want Africans buying more American products and I want Americans buying more African products."

The U.S. is hardly alone in seeing economic potential in Africa, with China, Europe and India moving aggressively to tap into Africa's growing markets. China in particular is hungry for oil, coal and other resources and is eager to develop the roads, bridges and ports needed to pull them out of Africa.

"We also realize we have some catching up to do," said Michael Bloomberg, the former New York mayor and billionaire businessman who opened the summit Tuesday. "We are letting Europe and China go faster than the U.S."

Obama has sought to cast the U.S. as a better partner for African nations than China, arguing that his administration has a long-term interest in the continent's success and is not simply seeking to extract resources for its own purposes.

"The United States is determined to be a partner in Africa's success," he said. "We don't look to Africa simply for its natural resources. We recognize Africa for its greatest resource, which is its people, their talents and their potential."

The business forum is part of an unprecedented three-day summit underway in Washington, with nearly 50 African heads of state in attendance. Obama was hosting the leaders at a White House dinner Tuesday night.

About 100 U.S. companies were represented at Tuesday's conference. Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of State John Kerry also addressed the attendees, as did former President Bill Clinton, who declared that the U.S. has "only barely scratched the surface" of Africa's economic potential.

In conjunction with the meeting, U.S. companies announced $14 billion in investments for Africa. Among them: a $5 billion investment from Coca-Cola to fund manufacturing lines and production equipment; $2 billion investment from GE by 2018; $200 million in investments across Africa by Marriott, and a $66 million commitment by IBM to provide technology services to Ghana's Fidelity Bank.

The White House also touted another $12 billion in new commitments for Obama's Power Africa initiative from the private sector, World Bank and the government of Sweden. Obama announced the Power Africa initiative last summer, setting a goal of expanding electricity access to at least 20 million new households and commercial entities.

The president said that with the new financial commitments, he was boosting that goal to 60 million homes and businesses.

Obama also announced $7 billion in new government financing to promote U.S. exports to and investments in Africa. That includes $3 billion in financing from the U.S. Export-Import Bank aimed at supporting American exports to Africa over the next two years.

The Ex-Im Bank is at the center of a political controversy in Washington, with some Republicans seeking to shutter the bank and threatening to block its reauthorization when Congress returns from recess this fall. The GOP lawmakers seeking to shut down the bank argue that its spending is politically motivated and unnecessary.

GE CEO Jeff Immelt, who was among the business leaders participating in Tuesday's summit, appealed to Congress to renew the bank's charter, saying its existence signals to other countries that the U.S. government believes in investing overseas.

"The fact that we have to sit here and argue for it is just wrong," Immelt said.

Obama also signed an executive order Tuesday creating an advisory committee comprised of private sector representatives who will advise the White House on ways to boost economies ties with Africa.

Comments

Contango

Pres. Obama: "I want Africans buying more American products and I want Americans buying more African products."

We'll sell 'em military hardware to help kill each other and we'll buy more cacao.

Africans know the U.S. for our military, they know the Chinese as business and investment partners.

coasterfan

I would agree with those comments.

The past 40 years of American history contains a trail of unnecessary wars that America entered, each and every one with a Republican as Commander in Chief.

doglegright

Hey Coaster....
Which president just sent airstrikes into Iraq?

Hmmmm... Wasn't a Republican one....

The Big Dog's back

You right wingnuts have no standing to criticize anything happening in Iraq. Your president cheney phuch that country all up.

doglegright

The reason it is "phuched" up according to you is that Obama pulled everyone out instead of leaving a peace keeping force. He also waved off intelligence that stated ISIS was taking control of Iraq.

This is an obama blunder.... Iraq was fine after the surge that Obama opposed. You can lie all you want, but it won't change history.

doglegright

It's "Promise Kept!" per Obama.

http://www.whitehouse.gov/iraq

mikeylikesit

nuke africa

anthras

Re:"nuke africa"

Don't nuke Africa Biden said the Nation of Africa should join the world's most prosperous countries

YoMamma

What about 33 billion for America? We need to take care of our own!! We will borrow money from China to give to Africa... Beam me up!

deertracker

Can you read?

abigbear

spread the wealth when will anyone get it.....

Contango

Re: "We will borrow money from China to give to Africa."

The Chinese buy our debt, then we'll loan the money rec'd to Africa to buy our stuff AND that of the Chinese.

Wjones44

Maybe we can send the illegals there.

Contango

Re: "send the illegals there,"

After seeing our great "rule of law" where most of 'em don't even bother showing up for their hearings, they'll want to come here.

"Report: 90% of illegals skip immigration court appearances; 135,000 will go missing"

http://washingtonexaminer.com/re...

Wjones44

The Australian Navy stops the illegals on the water and turns them around and the ones who make it to land are shipped off to an island. We should take lessons from Australia on immigration.

coasterfan

Yeah, that is a problem. If only funding for any/all types of government oversight weren't constantly being cut by conservatives in Congress, we could do a better job of policing the situation.

The latest example: Obama asks for $3.7 billion to address the problem. House GOP instead proposes 1/6 of that ($696 million), and then even THAT small amount doesn't get approved.

Wjones44

I wouldn't give that douche bag Obama a dime!

Contango

Re: "funding,"

The simplistic, knee-jerk socialistic answer for every social issue.

SassieSuzieSez

How about investing in America/Americans for a change??? We aren't even taking care of ourselves here. WTF!!!!

The Big Dog's back

You looking for a handout sassie?

Contango

Re: "The Ex-Im Bank,"

Should U.S. taxpayers REALLY help fund McDonald's to sell hamburgers overseas?

Crony capitalism DC style. End the political slush fund.

Contango

President Barack Obama's solutions for world peace and U.S. economic prosperity:

Democrat fundraisers and golf outings.

coasterfan

President George W. Bush's solutions for world peace and U.S. economic prosperity. Invade countries who didn't even attack us, inflaming the entire Middle East into greater anti-U.S. sentiment. Make sure both wars are unfunded, taking America from a $230 Billion surplus to a $1.6 Trillion deficit. Then, as icing on the cake, push for deregulation that leads to the Wall St./housing meltdown, a worldwide financial crisis and the biggest U.S. recession in 90 years.

Contango

Re: "President George W. Bush's,"

About as relevant as who the coach of the Cleveland Browns was in 2001.

anthras

Mr. coasterfan says "Make sure both wars are unfunded, taking America from a $230 Billion surplus to a $1.6 Trillion deficit."

How did the surplus happen? Clinton did lower the capital gains taxes and although there was a tax reduction it did increase revenue because of increased business. Then the Republican congress shout down the government . Clinton and congress then negotiated spending cuts so with increased revenue plus spending cuts it did create a surplus however the economy was starting to decline prior to Clinton leaving office.

Contango

Re: "How did the surplus happen?"

Also, a lot of cap-ex spending in prep. for Y2K led to increased fed tax revenue.

The wheels started coming off the Dot.com bubble in Mar. 2000, leading to an economic downturn.

These lefty bozos know neither financial history or economic reality.

So why has the fed debt increased almost $8 trillion since Pres. Obama took office?

coasterfan

President George W. Bush's solutions for world peace and U.S. economic prosperity. Invade countries who didn't even attack us, inflaming the entire Middle East into greater anti-U.S. sentiment. Make sure both wars are unfunded, taking America from a $230 Billion surplus to a $1.6 Trillion deficit. Then, as icing on the cake, push for deregulation that leads to the Wall St./housing meltdown, a worldwide financial crisis and the biggest U.S. recession in 90 years.

Dr. Information

Factually coaster, it was Clinton who pushed subprime loans (loan sharking) and told America on record that everyone deserved to own their own house, no matter what they were making. This was a giddy feeling for everyone. Then the FDIC told banks under Clinton, "hey, you guys need to make more risky loans OR we are going to lower your score". Then every Tom, Dick and Harry who was working a 15 dollar an hour job was at the bank buying a home they couldn't afford and the banks knew this but again your lover Clinton said everyone deserves to own. THIS ALONE Caused the housing inflation where a 150k house was then being sold for 230. You couldn't keep a house on the market if you tried. Realtors loved it, the banks were selling loans and making money and the INVESTORS who banked on the fact (without us knowing) that most of these loans were going to go into default, bet against the American public and made a ton of money in the long run.

Thank Bill C, he started the housing crash.

SassieSuzieSez

You must ask yourself ... Would the USA be doing this, if our President wasn't born in Africa??? But I guess that's OK too. He gets a free pass, even though Arnold couldn't!!!

meowmix

OMG--I can't believe people like you who believe that tripe actually exists. But then again, if your "Arnold couldn't" comment refers to Arnold Schwarzenegger then please, disregard this comment. There really are bigger idiots than Trump still spewing that garbage.

coasterfan

Amazing that some people STILL believe that Obama wasn't born in America, even after this fake conspiracy was completely debunked.

These are the sort of people who would vote for Ted Cruz, who actually WAS born in another country (on December 22, 1970 in Calgary, Alberta).

44846GWP

Wow, go get your G.E.D., don't be ignorant.

DirkDiggler

Makes sense, gotta take care of your ancestoral continent !

deertracker

You guys are pitiful!

freespeech1

His approval numbers are an abysmal 40% Who's pitiful? Americans are waking up to this frauds ineptness and arrogance. Keep the head in the feedbag, just where obummer and the dnc want it to be.

deertracker

YOU are the most pitiful. Now get lost!

freespeech1

Typical response from the koolaid gang. Maybe next time you might want to try showing some sort of intelligence in your responses instead of name calling and such. Loosen the feed bag ole liberal one and keep defending your messiah and king obummer. Remember 40% approval, at least some of you lemmings are waking up.

The Big Dog's back

Repub congress approval is less than 10%. So if Obama's 40% is abysmal, that must mean Repub congress is down in that right wingnut pit.

freespeech1

Way to spin that puppy, that number is the entire congress. Last time I checked democrats were part of that. You guys love that feedbag

wasthere

So 40% is good in your eyes? What a freaking clown you are.

The Big Dog's back

Better than 10%. And they didn't poll me.

coasterfan

Obama's approval numbers don't really matter, do they? He isn't running for office, and it's a virtual certainty that Republicans are going to disapprove of everything he does (even if he decides to do something they previously supported).

Congressional approval numbers are around 10-15% last time I checked, and the American public decidedly voted for Obama in the last 2 elections. So, it's not like the GOP has a better option available.

It's not that we think Obama is perfect. It's that we are absolutely certain that things would be MUCH MUCH MUCH worse under Republican leadership. We lived through the Bush years and haven't forgotten just how horribly bad things were in 2007-2008. We also have noticed that the GOP hasn't backed off one whit since that time with regards to policy/ideas: they STILL want to do all the things that caused the recession in the first place. If anything, thanks to the teaparty, the GOP moved further right and doubled down on all the bad ideas they showed us during the Bush years. No thanks.

So, as far as having one's "head in the feedbag", we Dems wonder how conservatives can still be so supportive of ideas that have clearly been proven to be stunningly wrong for America.

freespeech1

Oh so now poll numbers don't matter ? Flavor of the day with you dems.

deertracker

Poll numbers definitely didn't matter in the last election. Ask Karl!

grumpy

Yep the House under repube control had 13% approval, the Senate under dim control had 13% approval. Seems like both parties approval was the same... since they didn't seperate them in the poll we must figure both the House and Senate were considered the Congress. Both parties had 13% approval. If not prove it was one House of Congress and one party.

Contango

Re: "He isn't running for office,"

FLOTUS disagrees.

http://www.politico.com/story/20...

Contango

Re: "pitiful!"

lol

The REAL "pitiful" ones are the programmed, dumbed-down Democrat useful idiots who would believe ANYTHING coming out of the pie hole of the Incompetent-in-Chief.

deertracker

What is so wrong with the private sector investing in Africa dummy?

Really are you ...

That is flipping awesome! We give them weapons to fight amongst themselves. We build their economy, we take their natural resources. They rebel our presence there, and use our weapons to fight us. Sweet!

We are good at rebuilding other nations. For example: Japan nearly destroys our pacific fleet at Pearl Harbor. The United States shows Japan that we do not take lightly to an attack on American soil, we drop the atomic bomb on Japanese soil. After the end of WWII we went and rebuilt Japan. Did Japan come and rebuild Pearl Harbor?

But then again our presence in Germany. Ronald Regan had Mikhail Gorbachev tear down the Berlin Wall.

If our leadership should throw that type of money at rebuilding the United States, we could really be something. Not only throwing it at rebuilding but also at technology. If the US used the money to rebuild herself, with the use of American based companies, the money would stay in The United States. Although it would go straight to the top, it would stay here.

Contango

Re: "we went and rebuilt Japan."

Strategic and political.

The U.S. didn't need a political power vacuum with the Soviets so close.

The Russians still hold the Kuril Is.

Decades ago when the ¥ was strong, the Japanese used to vaca in Hawaii. They helped to add to the economy.

OMG.LOL.WT_

When did vaca become the abbreviation for vacation? I immediately think of "cow".

Contango

Re: "vaca"

That's an old one. Google the word. Guess what comes up?

OMG.LOL.WT_

I know what it brings up. The urban dictionary. We've sunk to a new low.

Contango

Re: "We've sunk to a new low."

More like 'valley speak' from decades ago.

OTOH, the texting acronyms are real highbrow. AUNTM.

deertracker

Didn't you know pooh was cool OMG?

JACKEL

And Europe ! 13 Billion at that time 130 billion equivalency in 2006 !

Contango

Why doesn't Pres. Obama suggest that the U.S. spend a few million for the construction of a complimentary Statue of Liberty on either the West Coast or the southern border celebrating FREE food, shelter, medical care & education?

It could be called the 'Statue of FREE Cash & Prizes.'

He could sell it as a jobs program. YEA!!!!

downthemiddle

Africa is a giant Detroit.. And it will take Western civilization down.. .. Through disease, poverty and ignorance.

The Asians wont go near the place.

Obama is dragging us there.

deertracker

Have you ever been to Africa or Detroit? Are Chinese people considered Asians?

SamAdams

Do I care if American companies want to invest in Africa? Well, yes -- but given we've now got the highest corporate taxes in the world, I don't blame them! And certainly private industry has every right to invest wherever it sees fit to invest.

Do I care if the federal government spends tax dollars it doesn't have to PROMOTE those private investments? Hell, yes! Most of the economic problems we have are the direct result of government sticking its nose into private enterprise. Clearly, government never learns...

The Big Dog's back

sam, do you ever think before you write? The UAE has the highest corporate tax rate in the world. The UAE is a mecca for business. Shoots your theory right where the sun doesn't shine.

freespeech1

Your wrong there feedbag boy,

http://taxfoundation.org/blog/us...

The Big Dog's back

The "tax foundation" is run by right wingers.

http://www.gfmag.com/global-data...

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

Oil companies specifically pay the rate that is quoted.

"Basis - Income tax decrees have been issued by five of the seven Emirates..., but currently are only enforced on the income of oil and gas exploration and production companies, branches of foreign banks, and certain petrochemical companies under specific government concession agreements, at flat rates of 50%/55%..."

http://www2.deloitte.com/content...

Aside from that you chose a pretty tax-free state to tout as fitting your needs. I commend you, Big Dog, that's very conservative of you! Especially when you consider how booming that area is with commerce. Maybe we should use them as an example eh?

Here's what Big Dog supports:

No income tax
No capital taxes
No inheritance tax
No various duties
No payroll tax
Etc...

SamAdams

Looks like it's your made up "facts" that are getting some light shined on them NOW, eh, Rover?

The Big Dog's back

Read above.

JACKEL

National Corporate Taxes

Federal corporate taxes are also scarce in the UAE. The only companies charged corporate income taxes are oil, gas and petrochemical companies and branches of foreign banks.

Read more : http://www.ehow.com/facts_682528...

The Big Dog's back

Read above. 55% no matter how you skew it.

grumpy

"The UAE is a mecca for business."

You are 100% correct! The reason is that 55% corporate tax is ONLY on oil companies... and subsidiaries of foreign banks. ANY other company the corporate tax is 0% So the vast majority of companies pay no corporate taxes... makes quite a good reason to have a company in UAE 0% tax rate for corporate and individuals... We could do the same in the USA. I wonder if puppy would back that same tax rate... with the same exceptions? (ONLY oil and gas companies and subsidiaries of foreign banks)

Shoots YOUR theory right where the sun doesn't shine. 0% corporate tax sure does attract business don't it?

https://en.santandertrade.com/es...

Tax Rate

corporate tax (exception of oil and gas companies and subsidiaries of foreign banks) 0%. There are no taxes levied by the Federal Government on income or wealth of companies and individuals.

No wonder Haliburton moved their headquarters there 0% tax rate for them! I wonder if Ford and GM are looking into this? 0% taxes for NON oil and gas companies and all individuals!!!

Great find puppy.

deertracker

The answer is NO BD! No thought at all. Sham is a right wingnut whacko!

grumpy
Dr. Information

Obama giving away more American dollars? No way..............

Donegan

This ought to give everyone the sense of who is important to this guy and who is not. YOU as a citizen are the enemy and are to be exploited, Foreigners are the recipients of your tax money.
The liberal/Progressives do not care because they hate their fellow citizens as well. You can see it everyday in these blogs.

OMG.LOL.WT_

I see little difference between this administration and previous one in throwing away vast amounts of money on OTHER parts of the world. The way they control us is by making us think that the "parties" are different.

Donegan

I agree. The only difference with the Progressive/liberals is the amount of disdain for their own citizens. I realize the rich do not really like the poor but in this political atmosphere you have liberals excusing abuses against our own citizens. To put it bluntly, The liberals are more rabid in their lust for power they advocate for government over reach.

deertracker

You CONS are just sore LOSERS!

Donegan

Thanks for a example of Liberal/progressive hate of their fellow citizens Deer but Dog has already provided a example. Wait your turn to look anti-American please.

Contango

Re: "making us think that the "parties" are different"

Members of which party are strongly supporting the continuation of the Ex-Im Bank and who wants to eliminate it? Hmmm.

http://thehill.com/policy/financ...

The Big Dog's back

Hey numbnuts, even the S&P says income inequality is ruining America.

http://time.com/3083100/income-i...

OMG.LOL.WT_

Interesting article. The tea party fringe SAY (politicians will say anything)they want to get rid of it but I predict Big Business will win that argument. "Give me control of a nation's money and I care not who makes it's laws" — Mayer Amschel Bauer Rothschild

Contango

Re: "The tea party fringe,"

You despairingly refer to the TEA Party adherents as "fringe," write that they are insincere and yet you write that the two major parties are not dissimilar.

What is it that you want?

“An unlimited power to tax involves, necessarily, a power to destroy,”

- Daniel Webster

OMG.LOL.WT_

What do I want? Off Topic!

The Big Dog's back

Just you right wingnuts.

Donegan

Thank you for a example of a Liberal/progressive. Full of hate for their fellow citizen based upon political opinion, You would have fit in great in Germany in the 30's.

Dr. Information

I finally got it. Big Dog hates Republicans so much and I finally know why. He was screwed so hard, literally by an ex bf who happened to be a Rep and he just cannot get over it. The hatred is finally explained. Big Dog, I feel bad for you. Rant on.

The Big Dog's back

Just right wingnuts, not all Repubs. Get it straight.

JACKEL

Numbnuts, Wingnuts and what was your major ? Typical response from Libs ! When you don't agree call names.

The Big Dog's back

Are your whittle feelwins hurt?

deertracker

LOL!

Really are you ...

Great. Now that we are on the topic of Africa. 2 US citizens where brought to the United State after contracting the Ebola Virus. But after a person contracts a virus, doesn't the virus remain in the body after that person becomes well? If that's the case these citizens could be walking amongst us still carrying the Ebola Virus.

OMG.LOL.WT_

Just because you are paranoid doesn't mean they aren't out to get you.

Really are you ...

Not paranoid. Questioning what is possible. In Africa this stuff has been clearing villages. Was it the near dead, zombies, that spread it? Or was it also the ones that had it, felt better, and transferred it to the next viliage? Can't happen here. Right?

Dr. Information

Its been clearing villages because the people over there are really dumb. They are handling and washing these dead bodies with no protection on because its custom to do so.

deertracker

This is your chance to show your intelligence by staying home. Close the blinds and windows too.

joemama1

When are we going to find a couple billion for the school systems??

The Big Dog's back

Earlier today, S&P downgraded Kansas' credit rating as a direct result of the Tea Party tax cuts enacted by Gov. Brownback in 2010, proving that not only do massive tax cuts NOT pay for themselves, but they can -- and often do -- devastate an economy. Don't let your state be next.

downthemiddle

Aren't you supposed to be over at 913 licking prestons boots?

downthemiddle

Go work on a bone..

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

Big Dog's source is "Occupy Democrats" Facebook here. Of course he won't tell you because he seems to be too lazy to even include a simple citation or included hyperlink in the even that a fellow, party-first partisan may want to read more. But who cares, right?

It's just another opportunity to be unnecessarily partisan when, instead, he could have taken a measured and mature approach from an article on either Bloomberg (http://www.bloomberg.com/news/20...) or even Kansas.com (http://www.kansas.com/2014/08/06...).

Erie County Resident

This idiot wants to give his homeland $33B and he shorts the USA on every count.
He screws the vets, homless people, Social Security people, etc.
But heavens no he gives Africa money and always his welfare entitlement crowd.
Before he even opens his mouth I'm going to scrape the dog poo off my shoes.

lunchtime 175

what about all the homeless people right here in the united states????? If all the money that is sent overseas would be spent to help people right here in the united states things would be a bit better for people living day to day on almost nothing and here Obama wants to give away $33 Billion dollars to another country. What ever happened to NoBama ??

Dr. Information

Obama only cares about the homeless people when it comes time to vote. Don't you guys remember, free cigs and booze if you hop on a bus and vote real quick?