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US to host African leaders on independence anniversary

world Updated: Jun 26, 2010 11:15 IST

AFP
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President Barack Obama invited 18 African leaders to Washington in August to mark the 50th anniversary of their countries' independence, a senior US official said.

"The president will host an event later this summer in Washington, in early August," said the official, briefing reporters on condition of anonymity on the sidelines of the G8 summit in Canada.

The official said that, in addition to commemorating the five decades since African nations were given independence by the European colonial powers, the summit would seek to encourage a new generation of leadership.

"It will not just kind of mark the 50th anniversary of their independence, but will really look forward in trying to get young leaders from each of those countries to discuss the future as well," he said.

Earlier, Obama and the other leaders of the G8 group of the world's major developed economies had met six of Africa's current leaders at an exclusive lakeside resort in Huntsville, north of Toronto.