Obama urges new partnership model

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From Chisha Mutale in Washington D.C

Washington D.C, August 7, 2014, ZANIS–US President Barack Obama has addressed about 47 Heads of State and Government at the opening session of the U.S.- Africa Leaders Summit in Washington D.C. yesterday.

President Obama opened the Summit with an emphasis on seeing a new model of partnership between Africa and America as equals that focus on Africa’s capacity to solve problems and to grow.

He appreciated the valuable contributions made by the faith community who he said have helped sustain US-Africa relations.

Mr. Obama said the faith community, though many, reminded the world of its inherent dignity of every human being and the need to be rooted in empathy and compassion for all.

The US President said there was need to look at the opportunity to expand trade that can create jobs and new trade deals which he said was an important step to accelerate investment.

He said leaders at the summit would look at the area of strengthening governance upon which economic growth and free societies depend.

Mr. Obama further stated that deepening security cooperation against common threats was an important topic that needed to be discussed at the Summit which is the first of its kind to be hosted by an American President.

Earlier, Former US President George W. Bush commended Zambian First lady Dr. Christine Kaseba for championing the fight against cervical cancer in Zambia.

Speaking yesterday at the one day symposium for spouses entitled Investing in Our Future at the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit, Mr. Bush said many African First ladies such as Dr. Christine Kaseba have led efforts to end mother to child transmission of HIV which is the first step necessary in creating an Aids free generation.

Mr. Bush also said the success of any nation is impossible without the political participation and economic empowerment and health of women.

The former US President stated that women and young girls are particularly vulnerable to HIV/AIDS as a result of poverty and violence.

He said women with HIV are 45 times likely to develop cervical cancer as their bodies no longer have the ability to fight infections.

Mr. Bush said this fatal link between cervical and breast cancer are the number one killer in women in Africa.

The former President said this prompted the Bush institute to launch the pink and red ribbon campaign a public private partnership that combats cancer in women.

He said the yellow and red campaign is currently in three African countries which including Zambia, Tanzania and and Botswana.

The former President said the pink and red ribbon campaign is expanding to include Ethiopia and Namibia.

Mr. Bush said the goal of the campaign is to create working modules and to provide partnerships that additional countries over time can incorporate into their own national plans.

The symposium was hosted by the Office of First Lady Michelle Obama, the George W. Bush Institute, and the U.S. Department of State.

The spousal meeting brought together First Lady Michelle Obama, Mrs. Laura Bush, African first spouses from nearly 30 countries, leaders from non-governmental and non-profit organizations, private sector partners, and other leading experts.

And President Obama held a news conference last evening as the three-day U.S.- Africa Leaders Summit in Washington, DC drew to a close.

President Obama said African leaders at the summit pledged to step up efforts in pursuing reforms that attract investment, reduce barriers that stifle trade and to promote regional integration.

He said the U.S. would also increase support to help build Africa’s capacity to trade with itself and the world.

The U. S President also recognised the need to empower women if any meaningful  development was to take place in Africa.

The Summit which started on the 4th of August ended yesterday on the 6th of August with African leaders optimistic about their partnership with America.