The United States Government has said that 50 African heads of governments and states have signified interests to participate in the 2014 US-Africa Leaders Summit scheduled to open in Washington DC on August 4.
US Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield, stated that the summit, which she described as “the first of its kind” was aimed at strengthening ties with “one of the world’s most dynamic and fastest-growing regions.”
Thomas-Greenfield spoke during a telephonic media briefing with some journalists on the continent, monitored by our correspondent in Lagos on Thursday.
According to her, the summit with the broad theme, “Investing in the Next Generation,” will focus on US-African partnership, particularly in the containing the challenges posed by extremist groups, such as the Boko Haram in West Africa, Al Shabaab in East Africa.
The top US diplomat noted that the US government was working closely with its Nigerian partners and all other countries affected by the Boko Haram insurgency in the West African sub-region.
Thomas-Greenfield said, “We are working with Nigeria and Nigeria’s neighbours. Following the kidnapping of Chibok girls, we sent a large inter-agency team to Nigeria to work with the Nigerian government in terms of developing a strategy for dealing with how to get the Chibok girls returned and also on how to deal with the Boko Haram.
“We have participated in a lot of discussions with leaders in the region (West Africa). The Nigerian government is also going to host us very soon to follow up on the areas of discussions. We have assisted Nigeria with information that we have been able to gather and we would be having a meeting while the summit is
taking place on Boko Haram.”
“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.”
President Obama in August will welcome 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. This Summit, the largest event any U.S. President has held with African heads of state and government, will build on the President’s trip to Africa in the summer of 2013 and it will strengthen ties between the United States and one of the world’s most dynamic and fastest growing regions. Specifically, the August 4-6 Summit will advance the Administration’s focus on trade and investment in Africa and highlight America’s commitment to Africa’s security, its democratic development, and its people. At the same time, it will highlight the depth and breadth of the United States’ commitment to the African continent, advance our shared priorities and enable discussion of concrete ideas to deepen the partnership. At its core, this Summit is about fostering stronger ties between the United States and Africa.
The theme of the Summit is “Investing in the Next Generation.” Focusing on the next generation is at the core of a government’s responsibility and work, and this Summit is an opportunity to discuss ways of stimulating growth, unlocking opportunities, and creating an enabling environment for the next generation.
Program of Events
Throughout the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit, African leaders will have an opportunity to engage with President Obama, his Cabinet members, and other key leaders, including business executives from the U.S. and Africa, Members of Congress, and members of civil society.
Discussions will center on how to encourage progress in key areas that Africans define as critical for the future of the continent: expanding trade and investment ties, engaging young African leaders, promoting inclusive sustainable development, expanding cooperation on peace and security, and gaining a better future for Africa’s next generation.
President Obama invited all African heads of state or government in good standing with the United States and the African Union to attend the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit. An invitation was also extended to the African Union Chairperson.
– White House
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