The first-ever US-Africa Leaders Summit wrapped up late last week. While it’s too early to calculate the real impact of the convocation, I wanted to log some of the more easily quantifiable information, ranging from the trivial to the (potentially) significant.

Here is the numerically focused run down:



African heads of state made the trip to Washington. Top officials led delegations from another five countries, including Liberia and Sierra Leone whose presidents stayed home to deal with the threat posed by the spread of Ebola, while four leaders were not invited.



factsheets were released by the White House over the course of the three-day summit. The factsheets cover a wide range of US-Africa policy-relevant subjects ranging from boosting trade and investment to combating wildlife trafficking.



representatives are to be included in a proposed Steering Group on Africa Trade and Investment Capacity Building, as outlined in a Presidential Memo released on August 4. It’s great to see increased attention on improving the effectiveness of AGOA, so let’s hope for clear goals and delineations of responsibility from the onset, because that is a lot of perspectives to squeeze around a conference room table.



members of Congress attended the White House dinner on Tuesday evening (based on this list). The summit came at a tough time for members of Congress, many of whom were anxious to head back to their districts for the August recess, with the midterm elections a mere three months away. It was an important signal of commitment that some key members did stick around.



of the 90 US companies that participated in the US-Africa Business Forum, cohosted by Bloomberg Philanthropies and the US Department of Commerce, also appear on the 2014 Fortune 500 list. Engaging the world’s largest companies to discuss investment in Africa is arguably less important than attracting the right ones, but by quite a few measures, the Business Forum boasted an impressive guest list.


14 billion

(dollars) in new, publicly announced commitments from US companies to invest in deals in Africa, according to remarks from President Obama. We don’t know details about most of these pledges, and with a variety of sources it can be tough to make all the numbers add up, but here are some highlights:

  • $2 billion from General Electric to boost energy infrastructure
  • $5 billion in investment from Coca-Cola over six years
  • $200 million in investment from Marriott
  • $2.5 billion from Blackstone Group for energy projects (jointly funded with a commitment from Dangote Industries, a Nigerian firm)
  • $698 million from the Carlyle Group for energy infrastructure
  • $2 billion in investment from IBM over seven years

In addition to the US private sector, the Administration publicized support for improved energy access on the continent from the Government of Sweden ($1 billion) and the World Bank ($5 billion).


scheduled road closures in Washington, D.C. between Sunday August 3 and Wednesday August 6 (this is an approximation based on incidences rather than length of road).


journalists asked questions about Africa during President Obama’s final summit press conference on the evening of Wednesday, August 6. Now admittedly, there is a lot going on in the world at the moment, but whether the greater focus on Africa that accompanied the summit will have staying power remains to be seen. If the media is any gauge, the increased attention may not be long-lived.