Obama Promises More U.S., Private Investment In Senegal

Obama Promises More U.S., Private Investment In Senegal

President Barack Obama promised U.S. and private-sector money for food security in Senegal to the tune of an additional $181 million, according to a report in BusinessWeek.

Obama toured a food security expo in Dakar, Senegal as part of his three-country tour, under way in Africa. The assistance is “helping people to become more self-sufficient, and it’s creating new markets for U.S. companies,” he said, according to the report.

For its part, Senegal promised to give more access to credit for small farmers, better target seed and fertilizer subsidies, tackle corruption and offer tax exemptions to its value-added tax system, the report says.

Senegal is the latest country to join the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition, organized in 2012 by the U.S. with other Group of Eight member countries, the African Union, African heads of state and the private sector, said Raj Shah, administrator for the U.S. Agency for International Development, in the report.

The alliance asks member nations to change tax policy and promise to tackle corruption in exchange for its help getting private investment commitments. The goal is to lift 50 million people out of poverty by 2022. More than 70 companies have committed to invest $3.7 billion for seed and agricultural processing and marketing, according to a fact sheet distributed by the White House, the BusinessWeek report said.

Other countries in the alliance include Tanzania, Ethiopia, Ghana, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Mozambique, Benin, Malawi and Nigeria.