|By PR Newswire||
|August 22, 2014 08:43 AM EDT||
KIGALI, Rwanda, Aug. 22, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Leaders of more than 50 African countries are all back home from the first ever US-Africa Summit held in Washington D.C., August 4–6, 2014. For Rwanda, the list of sealed deals is cause for a smile.
Marriott Hotel will open a $60 million facility in Kigali early 2015. Connecticut-based chain Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide, Inc. announced Rwanda entry in May to be complete in 2018. Symbion Power, a US energy firm, agreed to extract methane gas from Lake Kivu and produce 50MW electricity, joining Contour Global, a New York based power Supplier, expected to generate 100MW.
US Vice President Joe Biden said Africa is ripe for investment, singling out Rwanda as a "most improved environment" for business globally. It is ranked second by the World Bank's 2014 Doing Business index. President Obama committed a $550 million security partnership with Rwanda and several other countries. Rwanda President Paul Kagame said the commitment is an enabler for "Africa to stand on its own feet and deal with issue of development and growth."
Another $60 million was announced for thousands of troops in the Central Africa Republic, South Sudan, Sudan, Haiti and Mali.
During the summit, President Kagame was engaged in various discussions, including an interactive session at the Aspen Institute in Colorado, attended by Madeleine Albright, former US Secretary of State, and Governor John Hickenlooper of Colorado. Kagame attended a dinner hosted by Marc Holtzman, Chairman of Meridian Capital, and Samuel Robson Walton, Chairman of Wal-Mart; and another in Washington honoring Andrew Young, one of America's most accomplished diplomats and civil rights activists. Former US President Bill Clinton attended.
Kagame later joined a debate where he said Africa is seeking partnership not dependence. "Through this partnership, imagine the kind of growth and development that can be unleashed," he said. "Each of the members in this partnership has responsibilities and a role to play."
Rwanda will also gain from the additional $10 million in US funding for the U.S.-Africa Clean Energy Finance Initiative. A private group was awarded $670,000 to carry out feasibility studies for small hydro-power dams in northern Rwanda. The energy initiative will supply power to Shyira Hospital and villages bringing electricity to thousands of households in northern Rwanda.
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