On Aug. 4, USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack will join President Obama, members of Congress and other U.S. government officials to welcome African heads of state and government leaders for the first-ever Africa Leaders Summit. This historic summit, the first of its kind, will bring leaders from across the African continent to the nation's capital and further strengthen U.S. ties with one of the world's most dynamic and fast-growing regions. The theme of the summit, which will run from Aug. 4 to Aug.6, is “Investing in the Next Generation.”

Over the course of the three day conference, Secretary Vilsack will attend several high-level events and meetings to discuss ways of improving agricultural systems and build better trade capacity in Africa. On Aug. 4, he will speak on a panel titled “The Power of Partnerships” at the National Academy of Sciences where he will highlight U.S.–Africa cooperation to address resilience and food security in a changing climate. He will also address the urgency of developing climate-smart agriculture, and how accurate, transparent data systems are instrumental to agricultural productivity. Later that evening, the Secretary will participate in a dinner roundtable with several African Heads of State, to discuss issues affecting agriculture and food security in Africa. On Aug. 5, he will attend the U.S. – Africa Business Forum to stress the importance of trade, both regional and global, to economic development.

Building on the progress made since President Obama’s trip to Africa last summer, the Summit will advance the focus on trade and investment in Africa, and highlight America’s commitment to Africa’s security, its democratic development, and elevate the ideas of young 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.

USDA collaborates with its partners in Africa to help strengthen connections between the U.S. and African agriculture sectors and to work towards common goals. USDA implements programs and activities across the continent in a wide range of areas, including food security, trade capacity, investment, climate-smart agriculture, school attendance and literacy, and open data systems.