Billion dollar deals expected at Africa summit

Billion dollar deals expected at Africa summit

2014-08-03 16:32

Washington - The US will announce nearly $1bn in business deals, increase funding for peacekeeping and commit billions of dollars to expanding food and power programmes in Africa during a summit this week, development and US officials say.

US officials said the summit starting on Monday in Washington of nearly 50 African leaders hopes to showcase their interest in the fast-growing region through a series of government-private partnership deals to boost trade and investment.

The spread of the deadly Ebola virus in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone is also a reminder of the vast development needs that persist in some of the region's poorest countries despite rapid economic growth and investment.

China threat

Administration officials have played down questions over whether the summit is in response to China's growing presence in the region. Instead, they have emphasised American interests go beyond Africa's oil and minerals, where China is focused.

"You will see a series of announcements on agriculture and food, and power and energy," Rajiv Shah, the administrator of the US Agency for International Development (USAid), told Reuters. "We will make big announcements that demonstrate these are big ambitions we can take on with our African partners and the private sector."

Energy boost

Shah said there will be new support for Power Africa, a privately-funded programme launched by US President Barack Obama last year to install 10 000 megawatts of new generation capacity and connect 20 million new customers across Africa by 2018.

The programme had already met that goal after just one year, Shah said. "Next week we will announce a more than doubling of our aspirations," he added.

Shah said while companies pledged $7bn to the programme last year, next week "we will be in excess of $20bn" in new investments. The World Bank is expected to make a major contribution toward the programme, according to Bank officials.

The programme is also likely to be expanded from the six nations - Ethiopia, Kenya, Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria and Tanzania - that currently benefit from Power Africa.

Food and farms

There will also be significant increases in private sector support for US-backed food and agricultural programmes in Africa, including the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition, development officials said.

The programme was launched in 2012 to bring together African governments, the private sector and donors to boost investment in agricultural production after a massive 2008/09 food price crisis, which sparked unrest in developing nations.

An announcement worth billions of dollars by a large US beverage company is expected to boost purchases from African farmers, according to one official, who declined to elaborate.

African growth act

The summit will include a business conference on Tuesday bringing together African leaders and American CEOs.

US commerce officials said close to $1bn in various business deals will be announced covering different sectors and involving several African countries.

Trade ministers will spend a day discussing ways to improve the US trade programme with Africa, known as the African Growth Opportunity Act, or Agoa, which gives African countries duty-free access to US markets. Agoa expires in September next year and will need congressional approval for renewal.

In other funding increases, the State Department is expected to announce a further $60m a year for peacekeeping training in six African countries, according to US officials.

  • Ons Mense - 2014-08-03 17:17

    The West again trying to uplift the African burden on the human race?

      David van Tonder - 2014-08-03 17:52

      @Anthony, who cares if the US has a hidden agenda. We have a saying in Afrikaans that goes 'die een hand was die ander' which means if you help me, I'll help you. In the end it is a win win situation and besides its not like China does not have the exact same agenda.

      derek.l.kan - 2014-08-03 17:53

      And why the US shouldn't benefit ??? Africans always want things for mahala

  • mholthuysen - 2014-08-03 17:31

    And how much will disappear and end in the political "elites" pockets? 95% or all?

      Ike Jakson - 2014-08-03 17:53

      Most of it!

  • Gerrit Cramer - 2014-08-03 17:52

    Just more Foreign money to be lost in the cesspool of corruption!

  • Bruwer - 2014-08-03 17:53

    So Africa is for sale to the highest bidder , why don't Africa do things for themselves , Billions of $ under our feet and we will not see a cent of it

  • Stephanes Heunis - 2014-08-03 17:56


  • Stephanes Heunis - 2014-08-03 17:58


  • Hennie Cloete - 2014-08-03 18:08

    More dollars, more corruption!!!!

  • Solly Nobela - 2014-08-03 18:08

    Nw I c y US want to control d world...they use steal from poor n implement rules dat r against bible..thump down US.

  • Solly Nobela - 2014-08-03 18:10

    Nw I c y US want to control d world...they use steal from poor n implement rules dat r against bible..thump down US.

  • Teko Mohaeka - 2014-08-03 18:11

    Youll love Msholozi for building his cattle and poultry a Michael Jackson-like mansion

  • George Gibbs - 2014-08-03 18:43

    Hope that the money gets to all those projects and people - Africa has the highest corruption an maladministration rate. I'm sure some people are running their hands already!

  • Neliswa Mlondolozi - 2014-08-03 19:08

    I think united states or any one who wants to help africa must look at other options than to hand their money to our gorvements, the must employ poeple and teach them how to use the aid money, so that it can reach the right poeple.

  • Jamill Ahmed - 2014-08-03 19:13

    Hi teko how are you my brother

  • Jamill Ahmed - 2014-08-03 19:15

    Hope zuma is not going to tell them his planning on drilling for gas and oil off our coast

  • Graeme Musto - 2014-08-03 19:59

    Yes, us.poor tax paying bastards will pay the up front billions, then pay more over the years come while the ANC fat cats get fatter because they know their SHORT

  • Mike Wood - 2014-08-03 20:44

    Rather the Americans than the Chinese.

      Hugo Pelzer - 2014-08-06 01:08

      I agree. The Chinese will woo any leader, no matter what the situation in the respective country, to get what they want. Sad as it is, they're not too fussed about human rights abuses etc.

  • paul.d.murison - 2014-08-03 21:11

    Be careful that China don't take over the world. Keep your eyes open.

  • Andrew Taylor - 2014-08-04 03:42

    "Billion dollar deals"... more like "billion dollar steals" If McDonalds was a South African political party, I'll have a crack at guessing the slogan: "Corruption - I'm lovin' it ;) "

  • Havalarf Allday - 2014-08-04 09:11

    Please, Mr Obama and the US Summit Committee, if you do give SA any money, please make sure it is an amount that our Mr Zuma can read. He knows how to spend big numbers, but he's not too clued up when reading them.

  • Hugo Pelzer - 2014-08-06 01:02

    Huh? Where's all the rants from African leaders telling the Yankees to keep their noses out of African business now?

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