Africa Summit Ends as Chinese Edge Challenged
As Barack Obama concluded the biggest ever meeting by a U.S. president with African leaders, U.S. businesses are searching for opportunities on the continent after a decade of entrenched Chinese investment.
Obama’s administration sought to use the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit that ended in Washington yesterday as a way to spur investment in a continent that holds some of the richest mineral deposits, fastest-growing economies and a burgeoning middle class. While China has stolen a march on the U.S., with its trade with Africa surpassing $200 billion last year — more than double that of the U.S. — contrasting investment styles mean American businesses have the potential to profit.
“Does America want to invest in infrastructure in roads? Probably not,” Bob Collymore, chief executive officer of Safaricom Ltd., East Africa’s largest mobile-phone operator, said in an interview in Washington. “I don’t think there’s a question of competing.”