President Obama used his weekend trip to Africa to pledge millions of dollars in aid and loans that will help African countries develop their economies and fight violent extremism.
The U.S. will contribute $40 million before the fiscal year ends in September to counter violent extremism in East Africa. The administration also pledged $465 million in "new training, equipment, capacity building and enabling assistance to partners in Africa," according to a White House statement.
Obama will host a summit during the United Nations General Assembly at the end of September where participants will make "significant, new and concrete commitments to fill gaps in existing peacekeeping missions and plan for future ones" in Africa, according to the White House.
On the business side, the White House pledged to back up to $450 million in loans made to small and medium-sized businesses by Kenya's Equity Bank Group through the Overseas Private Investment Corp. The government's development finance institution is also considering funneling $100 million into Goldman Sachs' "10,000 Women" initiative, and a women's entrepreneur program of the International Finance Corp.
USAID will guarantee $25 million in loans made through a new Deutsche Bank fund focusing on "social enterprises targeting the financial services, energy and health sectors around the world, including sub-Saharan Africa," according to the White House.
The administration also secured pledges from the private sector: Chase Bank Kenya will lend more than $580 million to entrepreneurs, focusing on small and medium-sized businesses and women-owned enterprises: Village Capital is offering $13.2 million in "seed" funding; the Coca-Cola Africa Foundation pledged $4.5 million for a youth empower initiative; and the Global Entrepreneurship Network committed $100 million for local entrepreneurs.
On the elections front, the U.S. is spreading $21 million among Kenya, Somalia and Uganda to "encourage participation in the electoral process," strengthen political parties and increase civic engagement, according to a White House statement.