Raskin heading to Africa for economic discussions

The Treasury Department’s No. 2 official is heading to Africa this week for discussions with leaders aimed at promoting economic growth.

Sarah Bloom Raskin, Treasury’s deputy secretary, will travel to Kigali, Rwanda for the African Development Bank’s annual meeting where she will hold discussions with senior African government officials and business leaders about ways to promote regional economic growth and reduce poverty.

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This is Raskin’s first international trip since the Senate confirmed her nomination in March. She previously held a position on the Federal Reserve's board of governors.

During her trip she is expected to highlight U.S.-Africa partnerships, including efforts to bolster infrastructure development through President Obama’s Power Africa initiative.

On Wednesday, Raskin will meet with African Development Bank President Donald Kaberuka and energy-sector developers and investors to discuss the U.S.-led plan to increase power generation and access to electricity in sub-Saharan Africa.

Overall, discussions also will center around strengthening the financial sector, improving the investment climate and advancing food security and sustainable agricultural policies.

The U.S. is backing "substantial" development assistance in these areas through its leadership at and funding for the African Development and the World banks.

She also will meet with students at Carnegie Mellon University in Rwanda to discuss the importance of higher education, including in information technology for Africa's growth.

On Thursday, Raskin will attend the African Development Bank’s annual meeting and will hold a series of bilateral discussions with top African government officials, including Nigerian Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

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