Obama Says U.S. Exports Have Room To Run In Africa
President Obama, speaking at the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit on Tuesday, spotlighted $14 billion in new investments in Africa by U.S. companies involved in construction, technology and finance.
"The United States is determined to be a partner in Africa's success," Obama said. "I want Africans buying more American products. I want Americans buying more African products."
The White House says U.S. exports to Africa hit a record $50.2 billion in 2013, up 40 percent since 2009. These exports supported 250,000 U.S. jobs, according to the administration.
The three-day gathering, organized by the Obama administration, brought together leaders of nearly 50 African nations and almost 100 U.S. companies.
The new business deals Obama mentioned involve a $5 billion investment from Coca-Cola for production equipment; a $2 billion investment from General Electric for a range of projects; $200 million in investments in hotels by Marriott International; and a $66 million commitment from IBM to provide Ghana's Fidelity Bank with technology services.
But while Obama's visit marked the day's high point, other speakers did star turns too.
Former President Bill Clinton, who moderated an opening panel, charmed the African leaders, telling them their nations "are a very important part of our future."
The African continent has roughly 200 million people between the ages of 15 and 24. Clinton said those young people represent a "massive opportunity for American business."
One of the panelists, Wal-Mart CEO Doug McMillon, agreed, saying the retail giant is eager to embed itself in Africa's economy, so long as the rule of law is enforced.
He said he's hopeful that African nations "are going to do the right things to create the right rules, create transparency, some of those infrastructure investments so that the whole thing works."
Here are highlights of speakers and panelists who chatted with journalists:
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