From August 4 to August 6, the White House is hosting the first ever United States-Africa Leaders Summit. During the summit, U.S. President Barack Obama aims to strengthen ties with Africa’s leaders and engage in conversation on investing in the future of the continent.
The summit, hosts 50 African leaders in good standing with the U.S. and is focused on trade and investment in Africa. They are also discussing food security, availability of clean water and sustainable housing.
With the continent in the midst of a serious Ebola outbreak, some gears may be shifted toward providing reliable healthcare facilities to the millions who suffer from health problems due to impoverished conditions throughout rural Africa.
Healthcare is a hopeful topic of discussion for the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit, as the healthcare inequality gap proliferates in both countries. In South Africa, healthcare for the impoverished is increasingly difficult to attain, as no one seems to be making the initial investment to build a hospital where effective healthcare can be provided on a public scale.
Another significant highlight of the summit is climate change. Africa’s rural agriculture relies on the rain. In recent years, Africa has suffered from harsher and more frequent environmental changes, and so Obama has opened a dialogue on implementing sturdier agricultural infrastructure to positively impact food security among African nations.
This has big implications for Africa’s impoverished population, as 65 percent of the entire continent relies on agriculture as their source of livelihood. If environmental conditions can be dealt with more productively, agricultural output will increase. This will have real and beneficial effects on conditions by raising wages and lowering the price of food. Thus, Africa’s impoverished population will have greater buying power.
Obama is also hopeful that his discussions on trading partnerships will have a positive impact on job markets in Africa. In doing this, African companies will be seeking foreign investment and will prove that the continent has more to offer than just commodities and natural resources. If significant investment is secured, many tangible benefits will be brought back to American soil, as these companies will be capable of expanding the economy and beginning to employ Africa’s promising youth.
All in all, the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit has a lot of potential for aiding Africa’s population.
– Conner Goldstein