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Jonathan, Obama to Participate in CEO Business Forum

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Presidents Goodluck Jonathan and Barack Obama will, as part of the programme organised for the African Leaders Summit next month, participate in a CEO/Business Forum.

The two presidents will be joined by top corporate chieftains and government officials from the US and Africa at the forum.
The summit whose theme is, ‘Investing in the Next Generation’, the first of its kind by an American President, is billed for August 4 to 6 in Washington DC. 

Briefing THISDAY yesterday, Nigeria’s Ambassador to the US, Professor Ade Adefuye, said President Goodluck Jonathan is expected to participate actively in the discussions at the summit.

This is because, his views would be sought on the issue of peace and security, trade and investment.

The forum’s main peg will be anchored on strengthening trade and financial ties between the US and Africa, but Adefuye added that the summit would be the right platform for Nigeria to showcase her sustainable growth and development potentials as leader of the continent.

According to him, “Nigeria as the largest trading partner of the US in sub-Saharan Africa, with $36 billion in annual trade, mostly in oil and gas sector with much more unrealised potential in the non - oil sector, will have an opportunity to demonstrate its commitment to sustainable economic growth and development in the continent.

“Part of the summit’s programme will be discussions between Nigeria and the US trade officials on the future of the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) programme and “US plans to pursue renewal of AGOA legislation beyond 2015. African countries are pressing for a renewal of the AGOA legislation for 15 years after 2015,” Adefuye emphasised.

The office of the US Secretary of Commerce Penny Spritzer had earlier announced to a group of business leaders in Lagos, May 21 that he and the former New York Mayor, Michael R. Bloomberg would host the forum, with President Obama as the keynote speaker.

Adefuye added that the Business Forum would intensify efforts aimed at strengthening trade and financial ties between the United States and Africa and seek ways of creating partnerships that would promote trade, accelerate job growth, and encourage investment.

“The Forum will focus on US private sector engagement in Africa in the areas of finance and capital investment; infrastructure; power and energy; agriculture; consumer goods; and information and communication technology.

“The theme of the summit is ‘Investing in the Next Generation’, focusing on the next generation is the core agenda of the US – Africa Leaders’ Summit, to discuss ways of stimulating growth, unlocking opportunities, and creating an enabling environment for the next generation,” he stressed.

Adefuye said African leaders would engage with business executives from both sides of the Atlantic on conversations about successes and solutions to increase trade with and invest in Africa, while Presidents Jonathan and Obama would participate in the conversation with CEOs and government leaders from the United States and Africa.

“This summit is the first of its kind and the largest event held ever by any United States President with African leaders. The Chinese has invited African leaders to Beijing; they have met with European leaders but have not met with the American leaders. President Obama is determined to make a difference.

“After visiting Africa last year, President Obama launched a new Africa sub-Sahara policy. It is in the implementation of this policy that he asked African leaders to meet with him in Washington DC from August 4th to 6th 2014. The objective of the summit is to strengthen ties between the United States and Africa,” Adefuye added.

African leaders, he said, would engage with President Obama, his cabinet members, and other key leaders, including business executives from the US and Africa, members of Congress, and members of the civil society.

The discussions will also centre on how to encourage progress in key areas that Africa define as critical for the future of the continent and these include 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.

The issues to be discussed include Trade and Investment, Democracy and Good Governance, Peace and Security, President Obama signature programmer ‘Young African Leaders Initiative’ (YALI), and Power Africa.

It is not clear if Nigeria’s President’s wife, Mrs. Patience Goodluck Jonathan will be at the summit, but US Firs, Lady Michelle Obama, will as part of the summit, and in partnership with former First Lady, Laura Bush and the Bush Institute, host a spouses symposium on the last day of the summit August 6, at the Kennedy Centre focused on the impact of investments in education, health and public-private partnerships.

The summit will be kick-started by a programme dedicated to the Civil Society Forum with a focus on ‘Investing in Women, Peace and Prosperity,’ followed by ‘investing in Health: Investing in Africa’s Future.’ ‘Resilience and Food Security in Changing Climate’ comes next, while ‘Combating Wildlife Trafficking,’ closes the day.

The second day of the summit August 5 marks one of the main events, the US-Africa Business Leaders Forum, hosted by Bloomberg Philanthropies and the US Department of Commerce.

The Obamas on the occasion of the US-Africa Leaders Summit would conclude the day with a White House Dinner
The last day of the summit comes with top of the event, the US-Africa Leaders Summit with session one focusing on ‘Investing in Africa’s Future.’

The afternoon will host a family photo for the heads of delegation, while under Session two, ‘Peace and Regional Stability’ will take the front seat followed by ‘Governing for the Next Generation’ with evening marking ‘Obama’s Press Conference.’

Article Credit: Thisdaylive

Updated 4 Years ago

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Tags:     Presidents Goodluck Jonathan     Barack Obama     CEO/Business Forum.