US President Barack Obama Monday announced a string of new educational and entrepreneurial exchanges with Muslim nations, in a bid to honor his promise to forge a new beginning with Islam.
Obama delivered a keynote speech at the Presidential Summit on Entrepreneurship, hosted by the United States after being announced in his landmark speech to the Muslim world in Egypt last June.
Source: Raw Story
He also thanked Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan for offering to host the next such summit in his country next year.
"By listening to each other we have been able to partner with each other," Obama said, announcing that a new US Global Technology and Innovation fund could "potentially mobilize" two billion dollars of private investment.
"Real change comes from the bottom up, and that is why we are here," Obama said, comparing the task of fostering innovation and development in Muslim nations to his time as a community organizer in Chicago.
Obama unveiled a series of new partnerships and ventures designed to bring business and social entrepreneurs from Muslim majority nations to the United States and to send US counterparts to the Islamic world.
"Women in technology fields will have opportunity to come to the United States for internships and professional development," Obama said.
"Since innovation is central to entrepreneurship, we are creating new exchanges for science teachers, we are forging new partnerships in which high-tech leaders from Silicon Valley will share their expertise."
Around 250 entrepreneurs are attending the summit from countries across the Muslim world, where America's image has suffered over wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse scandal and the Guantanamo Bay detention camp.
The Global Technology and Innovation Fund is backed by the US Overseas Private Investment Corporation, which has received a deluge of applications for funding.
Each chunk of funding awarded by OPIC is expected to be worth between 25 and 150 million dollars.
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