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Obama to unveil $17 billion in US corporate investments in Africa

Published on Aug 6, 2014 12:14 AM
Former New York mayor Michael R. Bloomberg speaks during the US-Africa Business Forum on the sidelines of the US-Africa Leaders Summit in Washington, DC, on August 5, 2014. US companies are planning US$14 billion worth of investments in Africa, a White House official said Tuesday as Washington seeks to strengthen commercial ties during the historic US-Africa Leaders Summit. With the United States seeking to counter the Chinese and European trade dominance in Africa, a White House official said the investments will span a range of industries, including construction, clean energy, banking, information technology, and others. -- PHOTO: AFP 

WASHINGTON (REUTERS) – US companies pledged new investment in Africa on Tuesday as part of US$14 billion (S$17.5 billion) in construction, clean energy, banking, and information technology projects to be unveiled by US President Barack Obama at an event showcasing US economic interest in the fast-growing region.

Business leaders told the US-Africa Business Forum they wanted to seize opportunities in the region, home to six of the world’s 10 fastest growing economies, although some said they may have been late to the party.

“We gave it to the Europeans first and to the Chinese later but today it’s wide open for us,” said General Electric chief executive Jeff Immelt, who on Monday announced a US$2 billion investment in infrastructure and worker skills.

The forum, part of a three-day Africa summit in Washington, will allow dozens of African heads of state to mingle with US and African executives and spotlight projects to improve infrastructure, finance, supply chains and energy security.

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