US-Africa Summit Echoes more on how the US does not know about Africa

This Forum is important to enable Africa and the USA partner in improving relations that will synergize into the development of economic development, investment priorities, energy, governance, transparency, accountability and security.
US Africa summit round table -DotConnectAfrica
US Africa summit round table -DotConnectAfrica
WASHINGTON - Aug. 15, 2014 - PRLog -- The summit has been cited as the first in many such similar summits that will strive to unit America with Africa and the main objective of Mr. Barack Obama, the President of the United States, was to address the continent’s trade, investment and security. The summit has been seen by different stakeholders as a way of ensuring that the United States get a stake in what China has been reaping as a result of their heavy investment in Africa.

President Obama also announced a $37 billion investment in Africa, and another $110 million annual support to African Union peacekeeping efforts, at the end of the premier US-Africa Leaders’ Summit held in Washington DC, United States of America from 4-6 August 2014.

President Obama who welcomed leaders from across the African continent to the nation’s capital for a three-day U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit, the first such event of its kind said “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. That partnership must be grounded in mutual responsibility and mutual respect.”

DotConnectAfrica (DCA) was amply represented by its Diaspora Constituency at the Summit and happy to see these developments and partnerships being fostered.

During a session at the summit, the Sudanese-British telecom’s billionaire Mo Ibrahim, the Founder, MSI Cellular Investments, later renamed Celtel and Founding Chair, Mo Ibrahim Foundation commented about American investor’s knowledge of Africa by saying the following “Wherever you go in Africa there is Chinese business people, there is Brazilian business people. None of us went to Brazil or to India and China to tell them to come and invest in Africa. They find out themselves and they come and invest… Why must we come and inform this ‘misinformed’ American business? You guys invented Google, invented all these media platforms. Use it, please,”

His statement goes a long way in showing what most African influencers, such as Ms Sophia Bekele, have previosly stated.   While moderating the NYF Africa Summit held in  Libreville, the capital of Gabon earlier this year in May,  Ms.Bekele pointed out to her panellists – Mr. Robert Wolf former, external economic advisor to President Obama and Mr Dante Paradiso, Charge de Affair for US Embassy Gabon – that America needs to have a similar program to YALI where Americans are sent to Africa to learn more about Africa, like the Peace Corp concept and not necessarily come to give aid to Africa.  This is in line with what Gabon's President Ali Bongo Ondimba, when speaking before the assembly of the 2nd annual New York Forum Africa, urged Africans to work towards the development of their  people, in order to create greater wealth by stating that: "We are not beggars!"   This will also help America see that Africa is made up of 54 individual countries, whose decisions cannot just be made by one body an inter-governmental body like the African Union AU.

Yet another commentator during the summit said "There is  also a big misconception by certain United States organizations that Africa is represented by the African Union,  which is a big mistake, African countries are Sovereign states, and each country develops its own policy be it commerce, internet and technology, health, security or tourism. The commentator said “US centric companies all think we are the same and such organizations as African Union represent Africa, that is a not the situation, we are all individually doing what is best for us, Africa  is made up of 54 countries.”

DCA is happy with the steps America is taking to bridge the gap between Africa and America with the pioneering of the U.S.-Africa Leaders’ Summit. With the theme “Investing in the Next Generation,” the U.S.-Africa Leaders’ Summit built on Obama’s 2013 trip to Africa and highlights the U.S. commitment to Africa’s people, security and democratic development.  With a focus on deepening the U.S.-Africa partnership, the discussions and focused for ways the United States and Africa can:

• Expand cooperation on peace and regional security.
• Promote inclusive and sustainable development.
• Bolster trade and investment.
• Create an enabling environment for the next generation of Africans.

This Forum is seen as important to enable Africa and the USA partner in improving relations that will synergize into the development of governance, transparency, accountability and investment priorities.

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Tags:US-Africa Summit, Dotconnectafrica, Sophia Bekele, Mo Ibrahim, President Obama
Industry:Business, Government
Location:D.C. - Washington - United States
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