Obama renews pledges for African infra(2)

President Obama reiterated his administration’s commitment to help provide the continent's emerging economies with essential infrastructure.

President Barack Obama renewed his pledges during the US-Africa Business Forum this week to collaborate with African countries to build the infrastructure needed for the continent's economy to flourish.

This comes as part of a series of steps announced by President Obama at the forum to help boost economic ties between the US and Africa.

Investment commitment to the Power Africa Initiative, announced by the president last year, will be tripled to more than $26 billion, according to a statement on the White House's website. The initiative aims to bring electricity to more than 60 million homes and business across Africa.

In conjunction with the forum, a number of American companies have announced new partnerships in Africa.

“Blackstone will invest in African energy projects. Coca-Cola will partner with Africa to bring clean water to its communities. GE will help build African infrastructure. Marriott will build more hotels. All told, American companies – many with our trade assistance – are announcing new deals in clean energy, aviation, banking, and construction worth more than $14 billion”, President Obama said.

General Electric intends to invest $2 billion across Africa by 2018, with one of the focus being building infrastructure, it said in a statement.

As a founding partner of President Obama’s Power Africa Initiative, GE committed to help bring online 5,000 megawatts of new electric generation capacity in cooperation with the Initiative's government and other private sector partners across six partner countries, including Nigeria.

GE's “Country-to-Company” agreement with the Government of Nigeria, will also be renewed for another five years. The agreement encourages the development of infrastructure projects and the transfer of skills and technology, according to the statement.

At the same time, GE will supply approximately $1 billion in railway and power equipment to Angola, under a bilateral agreement signed this week between the Export-Import Bank and Angola's Ministry of Finance to finance infrastructure development projects in the country.