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‘Billions’ on Table at Leaders Summit

REUTERS   in 
August 5, 2014

Officials brush off questions over whether major meeting is in response to China’s growing influence.

The United States will announce nearly $1bn in business deals, increase funding for peacekeeping and commit billions of dollars to expanding food and power programs in Africa during a summit this week, officials said.

US officials said the August 4-6 summit in Washington of nearly 50 African leaders hopes to showcase US interest in the continent through a series of government-private partnership deals to boost trade and investment.

The spread of the deadly Ebola virus in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone is also a reminder of the vast development needs that persist in some of the continent’s poorest countries, despite rapid economic growth and investment.

Administration officials have played down questions over whether the summit is in response to China’s growing presence in the continent.

Instead, they say American interests go beyond Africa’s oil and minerals, areas on which some say China is focused.

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