Obama to announce U.S. businesses will invest more than $14 billion in Africa

At the U.S.-Africa Business Forum on Tuesday, President Obama announced that the U.S. plans to expand its business presence in Africa, investing billions into banking, trade, construction and technology. (AP)

This post has been updated.

Speaking at a landmark meeting of African leaders, President Obama will announce Tuesday that U.S. companies plan to invest more than $14 billion in the continent in sectors including banking, construction and information technology.

Obama's remarks will come at the end of the U.S.-Africa Business Forum, a day-long program focusing on business opportunities, trade, development, infrastructure and investment. Speakers and attendees include former president Bill Clinton, Wal-Mart president and chief executive Doug McMillon, MasterCard president and chief executive Ajay Banga and World Bank President Jim Yong Kim.

The summit is the first time an American president has brought together all of the continent's leaders, and officials are focused on strengthening financial and trade ties between African countries and the United States. The business forum is the keystone of a push to shift the focus on Africa toward one of economic potential and away from war and disease.

"We want to do business with these folks," Obama said at a news conference Friday.

Obama also plans to participate in a discussion with the leaders of various countries and a number of CEOs. More than 300 people are expected to attend Tuesday's program.


Members of the Army 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment, The Old Guard, carry the flags of Mauritania, right, and Guinea-Bissau in front of Mauritania President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz's plane at Andrews Air Force Base on Monday. President Obama is gathering nearly 50 African heads of state for the U.S. Africa Leaders Summit in Washington. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

Ghana's Fidelity Bank is to announce Tuesday that it has chosen IBM for a five-year contract to manage its technology infrastructure and services.

“In the rapidly changing Ghanaian banking industry, with far more players and competition than ever before, consumers are entitled to expect benchmark service and protection from these unique market challenges," said Edward Effah, managing director of Fidelity Bank. "It is my belief that our partnership with IBM will enable us to deliver and exceed these stakeholder expectations.”

IBM opened an African research laboratory last year and has opened offices in seven African countries.

Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker said the forum "serves as a catalytic opportunity for American companies to increase economic partnerships and investment in Africa."

Pritzker said about 250,000 Americans work in jobs that are supported by African exports. The agreements that Obama will announce will only add to that number, she said. "These agreements represent conclusive evidence that America is open for more business with Africa as the Continent’s economic ascent is just beginning," Pritzker said.

Katie Zezima covers the White House for Post Politics and The Fix.
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