Obamas, Former First Lady Laura Bush Urge Push to Aid Africa

George W. Bush and his wife unite with first couple in highlighting success of U.S. aid to continent.
19:25 | 08/06/14

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Transcript for Obamas, Former First Lady Laura Bush Urge Push to Aid Africa
I'm Michelle Fran that a New York got busy morning at the US Africa leaders summit today in Washington discussing President Obama and Michelle Obama will speak in this hour Michelle Obama just taking center stage. Investigate -- Africa's future is the subjects. The president's morning remarks. And the First Lady will also be joining her predecessor Laura -- stage -- conversation about -- experiences at the White House let's isn't it. We have a fabulous program lined up for you today as you've heard. We'll be discussing important issues will be hearing from renowned experts -- we're going to be making some. Really exciting announcements about new initiatives across Africa. So this is going to be a really big day. This has been. Dave that's been a part of the big week. That's been up. Part of the big couple months actually hit. As you may know. This summit that your husbands are attending this week is the largest. Gathering of African leaders ever hosted by an American president. And about six weeks ago. 500 young leaders from across Africa arrived here in the United States. To take part in the Mandela Washington fellowship for young African leaders. And I have to tell you that these young men and women are truly extraordinary. Many of them are nearly half my age I don't -- -- say that but they're young. And they've already founded NGOs they started their own businesses. -- be they've risen to senior levels of their governments. And as part of the Mandela fellowship they have undertaken intensive academic course work in leadership training at universities -- across America. And the passion the intelligence the dedication of these young leaders has inspired all of us here in the US who have had the pleasure that's. Ending any time with them. I have -- troubled privilege of speaking with these fellows last week and I met with a group of them who share my interest in girls education. And two of the fellows from that meeting will be doing a presentation today about their stories in their ideas. And I'm not gonna steal any of your thunder because they are remarkable individuals but I can tell you this that. What we talked about a range of issues there was one being we kept returning to. Again and again. These young people in besides how important it is for them to have support. From leaders in their governments. And this is the very same message -- I -- so often from the young American leaders that I meet with. These young people are working so hard in their communities. They're facing so many challenges and obstacles and they are looking to all of bus for inspiration. They're looking to us to champion the issues they care about. And most -- they are looking to us to empower them to be part of the solution. And that means that we all are going to need to do everything in our power. To bring these young people to the table. We need to it's been a lot of time with them more time listening. And I mean really listening. To their voices to their views so that we can understand the challenges. That they are facing through their -- And we need to. Learn from their experiences and from their expertise. You see these young people are developing all kinds of new technologies. And social media strategies to address problems that. Our generation hasn't yet solved. And whether it's and active fight cervical cancer or -- new approach to clean energy. They are coming up with solutions that we never could of dreamed of so the question is can we and our governments learn from them and follow their lead. Can we embrace their ideas. And incorporate them into policies and strategies. And in our work -- first ladies first spouses. Can we find new ways to be more inclusive of these young people and show them that we truly value their voices. And so many of you are already embracing the young leaders in your countries through your work. Whether it's improving girls' education are fighting cervical cancer -- Or supporting micro finance. You all have the potential. To inspire. Millions. Across the globe. So it is my hope that today we will rededicate ourselves to these efforts. And commit to new efforts to lift up our young people. And I hope that you all will have a chance today to really connect with each other. And learn from each other. And hopefully be inspired by each other. And with -- it is now my pleasure to begin a conversation with the First Lady who. Has long been an inspiration to me. Laura Bush set a high bar for me. During her time in the White House and she has continued to do outstanding work around the world since she and her husband left Washington. And I consider her not just a role model but also a friend. And I'm thrilled that our conversation that they will be moderated by another woman. Who I greatly respect and admire one of America's leading journalists are friends Cokie Roberts. And with that I will have them come out to the stage. So that we can begin our conversation thank you so much for joining us enjoyed aggression. I am so excited that we get to do this again. Senator we did there -- salon and Tanzania again and mom I could but didn't -- in -- thank you so much for that it was a wonderful wonderful experience for all of this to be there -- -- -- thank you for hosting this last year and thank you for hosting this -- years so here we are Fred. It is and our members on Halloween movie list she used to getting blowback about -- -- this site. Play an important issues. It isn't -- quit the program knew that hangs in the program might just have to them and yeah. And since then your daughter has turned sixteen. I'm Albert I have to tell you I'm India's anybody who's had a daughter turned sixty news and he has to have happened in the White House -- you. You kind of can keep in mind we can share the experience the world -- -- inflated regular aren't regularly losing jobs and president Johnson studies saying mentioned during sixteen. And the White House got a driver's license she said. It was permission to drive a motor vehicle that's all bullet wound in his. For most of people driver's licenses freedom. But -- and experiencing that well right would. The girls are our are growing up and and -- Lauren the president known that it is a true testament to the parents. To raise wonderful young people through this experience and we have had some terrific. Role models Jenna and Barbara are just amazing young women who were doing extraordinary things. Not just in this country but around the globe and once again they're setting high bonds that the girls are doing great I'm very proud of him. And -- and maybe that's right girl we had our first grand baby. -- got a little mile. A Georgian -- just got. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- So we just saw that Verity. Important video. And mrs. Obama -- spoke. And you're listening to act sat between former First Lady Laura Bush and First Lady Michelle Obama -- moderated by ABC's Cokie Roberts this those lines stream and we went to the president right now who's also entering remarks. For this Africa summit let's listen -- The bonds between our peoples. And this morning we continue our work and it's my privilege to welcome -- the first ever US Africa leaders summit. Let me also thank -- secretary of state John -- And everybody here at the State Department. -- was hosting us today. -- team are doing outstanding work deepening our partnership with so many of the nation's so John thank you for outstanding work. I want to begin by welcoming. President -- they're getting. And noting the two leaders were not able to join us. President silly from Liberia and president Cuomo. Sierra -- We are grateful for the presence of their delegations. Even as these countries. Our focus on a very difficult situation back home. And on behalf of all of us here today our thoughts and prayers for those who have been affected by the Ebola outbreak. Especially those who lost loved ones. In the United States and our international partners will continue to do whatever we can help our Afghan partners -- -- this crisis in the stand with the people of Guinea Liberia and Sierra Leon. In their histories they've overcome great challenges then there are drawing on that same spirit of strength and resilience today. So. We've come together this week because. Even as the continent faces significant challenges. As I said last night I believe -- new Africa as a merger. With some of the world's fastest growing economies. A growing middle class. And the youngest and fastest growing population on earth. Half -- to help shape the world as never before. Moreover Africa's progress is being led by Africans. Including -- represented here today. More governments are embracing economic reforms. Attracting record levels of investment. Gains and develop. Increasing agricultural production. Declining rates of infectious diseases. Are being driven by African plants. Afghan security forces and African peacekeepers are risking their lives to meet regional threats. A new generation of young Africans is making its voice -- After his rise means opportunity for all of us including the opportunity to transform. The relationship between the United States and Africa. -- Cape Town last year it's time for a new model of partnership between America and Africa. The partnership of equals that focuses on African capacity to solve problems. And on Africa's capacity to grow and that's why we're here. To my fellow leaders I want to thank you and your teams for helping us to shape. Our agenda today. Or work can build on the valuable contributions already made this week by civil society groups. The private sector. Young Africans and that our first session of the summit our faith communities which do so much to sustain. The US after relationship. Different though they may be our faith traditions remind us but the inherent dignity of every human being and that our work -- nations. Must be rooted in empathy and compassion for each other as Brothers and the sisters. But today as an object of focus on three broad areas where we can make progress together. Number one we -- expand trade it creates jobs. The new trade deals and investments -- announced yesterday. Are an important step. And today we can focus somewhat. We can do as governments to accelerate that investment. Economic and regulatory reforms. Regional integration. And developments of the growth has -- based especially among women who must be empowered for economies to truly flourish. Second we have military to strengthen the government's upon which economic growth and free societies depend. Today we can focus on -- and -- some progress. Rule of law open government. Accountable and transparent institutions. Strong civil societies and respect. For the universal human rights of all people. And finally we have -- to deepen our security cooperation against common threats. As I said Afghan security forces and after peace keepers are in the lead across the continent. As your partner the United States is proud to support these efforts and today we can focus on how we can continue to strengthen. Africa's capacity to meet transitional threats transnational threats. And doing so make all of our nation's more secure. And so in short we are here not just talk and we are here to take action. Concrete steps to build on Africa's progress and force the partnerships of equals that we seek. Tangible steps to deliver more prosperity more security. More justice to our citizens. So to my fellow leaders again thank you so much for being here. Look forward -- worked together today. At this point I want to invite a -- Aziz of Mauritania the current chairman of air communion. To say a few words. -- -- -- You've been listening to President Obama -- opening statement on this the final day of the US Africa leaders summit you can continue to watch that streaming live. As well as Michelle Obama's conversation with first former First Lady Laura Bush right now we want to bring in ABC's Mary Bruce to give us the background. Very despite all the other issues trying to steal the headlines here President Obama seems pretty -- On talking about the economy new trade and investment opportunities -- the standout policy. That's written this whole summit from the US's perspective is all about the booming power of the African economy and trying to Foster the growing potential there. The president has spent the last few days highlighting what he calls the new Africa the growing middle class the young population. And trying to find ways to sort of tapped into that potential and keep in mind US those six of the fastest growing ten economies in the world. A lot of economic potential there and to -- expected in new free trade deals to emerge at some point from the discussions in Washington this week. I think that is the hope now yesterday the president did announce that private companies in the US. Have pledged fourteen billion dollars in investments in the African continent so some concrete steps have been announced they're certainly hoping. To announce -- broader deals and not all business this week we understand there were some first rate entertainment last night's big dinner this idea what that was about. Veteran quite a party here last night now imagine this. 400. Guests here at the White House for a lavish formal party now I think it's a major accomplishment when I pull off just a simple dinner party at home. 400. And get. Think different -- pulled up its drive it like you're right -- one. -- one because unlike a normal state dinner where you're just honoring one foreign dignitary -- is nearly. Safety African leaders it took over an hour just to get them all in the door and and they set up this huge gorgeous tent on the South Lawn of the White House. Think formal dinner and to top it off they were then entertained by Lional Richie. So Mary give me an idea -- the president's final day on this two day summit. Sort of signal does -- and that the US is hosting this summit his first ever summit. But this administration is trying to make a loud and clear in the intense interest that they have. In investing in this part of the world in trying to partner more with these countries these economies. But it's not just all about the economy we should note that part of one of the sessions the president participating in today's focusing on. The violence and security issues that are plaguing so many of these countries that is not a session that will be on camera so there are a lot of ranging topics of course the -- health scare has overshadowed much of this. Then of course the president is capping this three day summit with the press conference this afternoon and also as we mentioned First Lady Michelle Obama has taken the stage with former First Lady Laura Bush. Holding -- -- not the first time together what is their message on this summit and the history of their friendship. Very interesting to have sort of dueling events between the First Lady and the president but they do have as mrs. Obama mentioned this morning. Really an interesting friendship here of course Laura Bush so well known for championing so many of these issues in Africa today they're talking a lot about the need to invest in women. The need to invest in women's health. Women's education the real economic power that can come. When you lift up women and tap into some of their potential in these countries. As Cokie Roberts RA BC's Cokie Roberts mentioned this is not their first conversation they met last year in Tanzania I was actually there it was a very interesting conversation. He's in addition to their shared interests you forget that that First Lady Michelle Obama and Laura Bush. Are both members of this exclusive. Club and so this gives a chance to have. A little sneak peek into that -- -- what it's really like to try and raise a family here at the White House what it's like. To be a First Lady to be in the public eye so quite a wide ranging conversation from them. And the First Lady and commenting on how it's like to raise teenagers her. Her daughter at sixteen now after the Obama's weekend also former President Bush will speak -- he regarded by the majority of African heads of state. I think quite highly he -- championed a lot of aid in the region. Focused a lot of attention on meet the needs and to Foster -- a lot of these countries -- he is very highly regarded in the region so so merry one last question since this is the first ever US -- leaders summit could this be a little bit of a preview or insight. Of -- post presidential Obama. Could be -- -- very interesting point you know this is certainly a region where the president wants to focus a lot on right now and -- in general you have to think about it the president spends a lot of time focusing on the need to boost the middle class whether that's here in the US or abroad so. There is quite a chance -- this will be and an item high on his agenda when he's been out of office. ABC's Mary Bruce thank you for joining us outside the White House. And you can watch two of these simultaneous. Stories going on right now streaming and you can keep up with the story in real time by downloading the ABC news that star -- -- story for those exclusive updates on the go. For now I'm Michelle Franzen in -- Iraq.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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