Obama: Africa can be next center of global economic growth
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Obama: Africa can be next center of global economic growth

Ahead of trip to Kenya, Ethiopia, US president signs trade legislation and extols continent’s potential

US President Barack Obama speaks at the 116th National Convention of the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, July 21, 2015. (AFP/Saul Loeb)
US President Barack Obama speaks at the 116th National Convention of the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, July 21, 2015. (AFP/Saul Loeb)

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama said Wednesday Africa has the potential to be the next center of global economic growth.

Obama spoke at a White House celebration marking the signing of the African Growth and Opportunity Act. The law lets sub-Saharan African countries sell products like textiles in US markets duty-free.

Despite its challenges, Obama said, Africa is incredibly dynamic and resilient, with extraordinary opportunities for the US. The trade law will continue to encourage good governance, labor rights and human rights in Africa, he added.

Congress first passed the act in 2000 and reauthorized it this year as part of a package of trade bills. The act was set to expire in September.

Obama travels later this week to Ethiopia and Kenya.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press.

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