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The United States President Barack Obama has invited four African leaders including Prime Minister Meles Zenawi to join the Group of Eight, G8-leaders’ summit at Camp David later this month, the White House announced on Thursday.
Those invited to participate alongside Meles are Benin’s President Yayi Boni, Ghana’s President John Mills and Tanzania’s President Jakaya Kikwete.
They will join Obama and the seven other leaders at the presidential retreat in rural Maryland to discuss food security concerns in Africa on May 19, the second day of the G8 meeting.
G8 comprises Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
The summit planned for May 18-19 comes amid fears of famine and drought in some parts of Africa.
Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya battled drought last year, and aid groups have warned that several other nations are at risk of a hunger crisis.
“A combination of drought, poverty, high grain prices, environmental degradation and chronic under-development is affecting Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal, Chad, northern Cameroon and Nigeria,” the United Nations said this year. “More than 10 million people are struggling to get enough to eat, including 5.4 million in Niger.”
The food and nutrition insecurity threatens the fragile development the region has made, according to Valerie Amos, the U.N. aid chief.
(Compiled from agencies)