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Obama calls for sustainable investment in Africa



Barack Obama has called for a new model for African countries to improve their self-sufficiency in the energy and food production sectors, and for the continent to “unleash the next era of African growth”.

In a visit to Tanzania, the US president said he wanted to see Africa focus its investment not only on aid and help, but on trade and partnerships.

He launched a new $7 billion US project called Power Africa, which aims to double access to electricity in the sub-Saharan region, where only 9% of people currently have access.

Obama said, “We don’t want to just provide food, we want to increase food self-sufficiency. 

When it comes to power, we’re not just building power plants ourselves – we’re working with the various governments that are involved to think about what are the laws and regulations that are required to sustain it, and how do we leverage the private sector to put more money in.

So ultimately, the goal here is for Africa to build Africa for Africans. And our job is to be a partner in that process, and Tanzania has been one of our best partners.”

Obama stressed the importance of small farmers and manufacturers in boosting Africa’s investment in healthcare, education and clean energy.

Talking about a new programme named Feed the Future he said, “Our Feed the Future programme has allowed us to work together to help more than 14,000 farmers here to better manage their crops and increase their yields by almost 50%. 

“That means higher incomes and a ladder for families and communities to greater prosperity. And we’re very proud of the work we’ve done with the Tanzanian government.”

In June, the UK government launched a new scheme to encourage businesses and private investors to promote social impact investment in Africa. Meanwhile earlier this year, the Zambian vice-president said that the continent should look at long-term sustainable investment to capitalise on its enormous resources.

Further reading:

Government lauds UK impact investment as part of solution to African hunger

Africa told to invest heavily in education to ‘stop poverty transmission’

Africa told to invest sustainably for the long-term

UK developer set to build Africa’s largest solar farm

Charity sees 600% sales boost on its way to placing solar lights in every African home