During his visit to Africa last year, President Obama announced that his administration would host the first-ever U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit as part of an ongoing campaign to open a new chapter in America’s relationship with the region. For years, U.S. engagement in Africa has emphasized poverty reduction, foreign aid and addressing catastrophes, like the tragic spread of HIV/AIDS. While critically important, these priorities have not fully kept pace with dramatic changes occurring across the region, as Africa today has emerged as one of the world’s premier destinations for cutting-edge innovation and inspiring entrepreneurship. This upcoming summit presents an unparalleled opportunity for the U.S. government and people to recalibrate their approach to this rapidly changing region.
On August 4, the Brookings Institution convened a high-level forum of entrepreneurs and leaders in business, government, civil society and the media. The event explored priorities for U.S.-Africa policy; business strategies for economic growth and development; innovation; governance; and shifting perceptions of Africa in the eyes of the rest of the world.
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