Thursday, May 03, 2012

President Obama Invites African Leaders To G8 Food Security Talks

Update: CLICK HERE for all posts about the President's new Africa food security initiative
President Obama has invited the leaders of four African nations to this month's G8 Summit to discuss food security, the White House announced on Wednesday. The leaders will convene on May 19th, the second day of the Summit at Camp David, the presidential retreat in Maryland. The invited leaders are: Yayi Boni, Chairperson of the African Union and President of Benin; Prime Minister Meles Zenawi of Ethiopia; President Jakaya Kikwete of Tanzania; and President John Atta Mills of Ghana. (Above: The President and Mills in the Oval Office in March)

The President and the leaders will have "a discussion session on accelerating progress towards food security in Africa," Press Secretary Jay Carney said.

The leaders of France, Britain, Italy, Germany, Canada, Japan and Russia will also join President Obama at Camp David.  They are expected to discuss a follow up to the L’Aquila Food Security Initiative, created in 2009, following global food price spikes and riots in 2008 that caused concern about food availability in developing countries.  Under the agreement, countries agreed to fund both food aid and agricultural development and infrastructure assistance for the poorest countries around the globe.

President Obama visited Ghana in July of 2009, and Mills last visited President Obama at the White House for an Oval Office bilateral on March 8th. The President discussed the work of USAID's Feed the Future program in boosting food security in Ghana.

"Our Feed the Future program -- we’ve been able to help increase productivity there," President Obama said.

*Photo via the Government of Ghana