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US pledges $7-bn aid for Africa

US pledges $7-bn aid for Africa
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Announcement comes as China aggressively engages continent Johannesburg (Agencies): US President Barack Obama pledged $7 billion on Sunday to help...

Announcement comes as China aggressively engages continent ObamaJohannesburg (Agencies): US President Barack Obama pledged $7 billion on Sunday to help combat frequent power blackouts in sub-Saharan Africa. Funds from the initiative, dubbed Power Africa, will be distributed over the next five years. "More than two-thirds of the population of sub-Saharan Africa is without electricity, and more than 85% of those living in rural areas lack access," the White House said in a statement. Sub-Saharan Africa will need more than $300 billion to achieve universal electricity access by 2030, the statement said. The preliminary setup will include Ethiopia, Kenya, Liberia, Nigeria , Tanzania, Uganda and Mozambique.
Obama honours Madiba legacy
Obama's announcement came during his trip to South Africa, the continent's biggest economy. The visit is part of his three-nation trip that started in Senegal and will end in Tanzania this week. The trip aims to bolster U.S. investment opportunities, address development issues such as food security and health, and promote democracy. It comes as China aggressively engages the continent, pouring billions of dollars into it and replacing the United States as Africa's largest trading partner. � The possibility of a meeting between the two historic figures � the first black president of the United States and the first black president of South Africa � was so tantalizingly close. But with Nelson Mandela fighting for his life in a Pretoria hospital, President Obama abandoned his hope for a visit and instead on Saturday used every stop here to talk in emotional and sweeping terms about what Mr. Mandela meant to the world, and to him. "I expressed my hope that Madiba draws peace and comfort from the time that he is spending with loved ones," Obama said after a meeting with some of Mandela's children and grandchildren. "I also reaffirmed the profound impact that his legacy has had in building a free South Africa, and in inspiring people around the world � including me," he said.
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