Security as well as regular power supply under “Power Africa” will top the agenda of the meetings that United States president Mr Barrack Obama will hold with President Goodluck Jonathan and other African leaders in Washington, DC, from today to Wednesday.
The White House will push initiatives like “Power Africa”, a privately funded plan to bring electricity to 20 million households across sub-Saharan Africa.
Six African countries have been selected for the project and Nigeria is first on the list. Companies have pledged $9 billion, and the White House is likely to announce more support at the summit meeting.
The four-day meeting which is tagged
“Investing in the Next Generation” will
include a civil society forum with
discussions on investments in health,
women, food security and power. There would be a high-octane conference to stimulate trade and investments.
According to Professor Adebowale
Adefuye, Nigeria’s ambassador to the
United States, President Jonathan and his counterparts will be brought in contact with American companies’ chief executives to discuss investment opportunities in Africa and conclude deals.
Adefuye added that other activities on
economy development were the
discussions on the issue of re-
authorization of AGOA, stressing that it was an American government system of preferential access to goods produced in Africa as a way of stimulating trade in the continent.
President Jonathan, who arrived in
Washington yesterday with his delegation,.is expected to meet congressional and business leaders as well as the media. He will address members of the Nigerian community and will be hosted to a reception by the two leading American business conglomerates, the US Chambers of Commerce and the Cooperate Council for Africa, after the meeting of African leaders with Obama.
The strategic importance of Nigeria
makes President Jonathan’s personal
attendance important. Nigeria is the
largest economy in Africa, America’s
largest trading partner and the country described by Vice President Joe Biden as America’s anchor in Africa. America is actively assisting Nigeria in coping with its current security challenges.
According to Ambassador Adefuye, the Embassy of Nigeria has been able to effectively counter negative perception about Nigeria on government’s reactions and activities to contain Boko Haram and end the kidnap of Chibok girls.
He noted that the key stakeholders in
business, politics, and think-tanks were now convinced that the government did all that it could to deal with Boko Haram and get the girls freed, adding that a series of well-coordinated actions to deal
with the menace of Boko Haram in
perpetuity was on.
According to the US national security
adviser, Ms Susan Rice, the meeting is intended to build a deeper relationship with Africa based on mutual interests and mutual respect. In each of the sessions, there will be some very straight talks, and give and take. Invitations were sent to 50 heads of state.
Also, American officials emphasized that it is not a meeting with the AU even though the chairperson of the AU is invited. This is the justification of the exclusion of some African countries with which America does not enjoy good relations for a variety of reasons.