Not only trade, investment, but also gay rights on US-Africa Leaders Summit agenda?

Investment and trade, including tourism, is part of the agenda for the US Africa Summit upcoming in the US capital next week. What about gay rights?

Not only trade, investment, but also gay rights on US-Africa Leaders Summit agenda?

Investment and trade, including tourism, is part of the agenda for the US Africa Summit upcoming in the US capital next week. What about gay rights?

US President Obama says: “I do not see the countries and peoples of Africa as a world apart; I see Africa as a fundamental part of our interconnected world – partners with America on behalf of the future we want for all of our children. That partnership must be grounded in mutual responsibility and mutual respect.”

Human rights and gay rights activists in the United States on Tuesday urged President Barack Obama to ensure that the issue of anti-gay discrimination in Africa is on the agenda at next week’s summit in Washington with more than 40 African leaders.

The Human Rights Campaign, a national gay rights organization, and Human Rights First, which advocates aggressive U.S. stances on human rights issues abroad, issued a statement depicting the summit as a “once-in-a-generation moment” to promote equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Africans.

According to the two groups, 37 African countries with more than 800 million residents have laws criminalizing LGBT relationships, and leaders of 32 of those countries have been invited to the Aug. 4-6 summit.

Among the invitees are Presidents Yoweri Museveni of Uganda and Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria, who signed harsh anti-gay laws earlier this year.

In response to Uganda’s law — which strengthens penalties for gay sex and makes life sentences possible for violators — the U.S. imposed visa bans on some Ugandan officials and halted or redirected funding from institutions involved in human rights abuses.

Shawn Gaylord, Human Rights First’s advocacy counsel for LGBT rights, expressed support for these steps and called on the Obama administration to conduct a full diplomatic review of U.S. policy in Nigeria.

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This international gathering is going to close streets, restrict parking, detour buses and generally add to commuting difficulties on the west side of the the US Capital District (Washington DC) next week.

The centers of activity during the U.S.–Africa Leaders Summit will be in the Foggy Bottom neighborhood, around the White House and in Southwest Washington north of Maine Avenue and east of the Tidal Basin. Key events will be held at the National Academy of Sciences, the World Bank, the White House and the Mandarin Oriental hotel.

US President Barack Obama will welcome leaders from across the African continent to the Nation’s Capital for a three-day U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit, the first such event of its kind. This Summit, the largest event any U.S. President has held with African heads of state and government, will build on the President’s trip to Africa in the summer of 2013 and it will strengthen ties between the United States and one of the world’s most dynamic and fastest growing regions.

Specifically, the August 4-6 Summit will advance the Administration’s focus on trade and investment in Africa and highlight America’s commitment to Africa’s security, its democratic development, and its people. At the same time, it will highlight the depth and breadth of the United States’ commitment to the African continent, advance our shared priorities and enable discussion of concrete ideas to deepen the partnership. At its core, this Summit is about fostering stronger ties between the United States and Africa.

The theme of the Summit is “Investing in the Next Generation.” Focusing on the next generation is at the core of a government’s responsibility and work, and this Summit is an opportunity to discuss ways of stimulating growth, unlocking opportunities, and creating an enabling environment for the next generation.

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