President Obama has invited African leaders for a summit in Washington D.C. from August 4-6 next week. More than 200 business and political leaders from both the U.S. and Africa will be attending the summit which will focus on the continent’s development and the U.S. role in partnership and investment.
Obama invited all African nations that are currently in good standing with the United States or are not suspended from the African Union. Leaders from Egypt, Madagascar, Sudan and Zimbabwe will not be attending. Egypt, is not eligible to attend as it is currently suspended from the African Union. There will also be no invitation for Sudan, whose president, Omar al-Bashir, has been indicted by the International Criminal Court (ICC). The United States has sanctions against the Zimbabwean government of Robert Mugabe and his key officials over human rights abuses, political intimidation of opposition parties and role back of democracy.
Guinea-Bissau and Madagascar will not be attending the summit as well. The U.S. has concerns over the subversion of democracy in both nations.
One notable inclusion is Kenya, where President Uhuru Kenyatta is currently awaiting a delayed trial at the ICC on charges related to violence after an election in 2007 that left 1,000 people dead.
A White House statement said the trip would “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.”
U.S. Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker when speaking to the Wall Street Journal, said deals worth billions of dollars would be reached at the meeting, adding that more money would be advanced to Africa for various development projects.
First Lady Michelle Obama, and former First Lady Laura Bush and the Bush Institute, will host a day-long spouses’ symposium at the Kennedy Center focused on the impact of investments in education, health, and public-private partnerships as well.
Throughout his years in office, President Obama has held numerous conferences and events focusing on building partnerships and investment for African nations. This upcoming summit is a continuation of that policy.
More information about the event can be found at the White House’s website.