President Obama Welcomes Leaders from Across Africa to Washington, DC

The U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit is an historic opportunity to strengthen ties with our African partners and highlight America’s longstanding commitment to investing in Africa’s development and its people.

The Summit theme, “Investing in the Next Generation,” reflects the common ambition to leave our nations better for future generations by making concrete gains in peace and security, good governance, and economic development.  There has long been bipartisan support for U.S. engagement with Africa, and this Summit will build on that record.

As a partner, the United States brings a unique approach to the table, as we are focused on building African capacity and integrating Africa into the global economy and security order. In a world filled with challenges, we see enormous opportunities in Africa – to create new markets; consolidate democratic progress; and advance human rights and development.

Our Administration has pursued a series of initiatives in Africa focusing on building African capacity.  Power Africa aims to double access to electricity on the continent.  Our food security efforts are combating famine and promoting sustainable agriculture.  Our global health efforts are dramatically reducing deaths from preventable disease and have enabled the promise of an AIDS-free generation.

The Summit includes a landmark U.S.-Africa Business Forum, which will provide opportunities for increased investment and trade between America and the continent. Africa, home to six of the world’s 10 fastest growing economies, wants American investors, who are looking to Africa like never before. In so doing, they are creating new jobs and opportunities for Americans at home and abroad, reinforcing the notion that Africa’s economic growth is intertwined with our own. Today’s challenge is to ensure these gains are expanded and spread to benefit all of Africa’s people, which will create new markets for our goods, and more stable and democratic governance abroad.

At the same time that Africa is growing economically, conflict, crime, and terrorism continue to threaten many communities and constrain the continent’s prosperity.  The Summit will advance shared goals to build African capacity to counter transnational threats and participate in U.N. and African Union peace operations.

The Summit will also underscore our longstanding investment in strong democratic institutions and Africa’s next generation of leaders.  We support the aspirations of Africans for more open and accountable governance and respect for human rights, and we are deepening our connection with Africa’s young leaders who are promoting positive change in their communities.