(AGI) - Lagos 22 sep - The U.S. President, Barack Obama, Thursday expressed his government's commitment to increasing broad-based trade with African countries. Making the announcement at the U.S.-Africa Business Forum in New York, he said that it was currently on the move as home to some fastest-growing economies in the world. He said the U.S. is determined to be that partner, on a long term, to accelerate the next era of Africa's growth for all Africans. "Africa is essential to our progress. Africa's rise is not just important to Africa, it's important to the entire world. Africa is on the move and now home to some of the fastest-growing economies in the world and a middle class projected to grow to more than a billion customers. ''We have to keep increasing the trade that creates broad-based growth. So, we need to keep working to integrate African economies, diversify African exports, and bring down barriers at the borders,'' he said, adding that his government's new trade hubs in East Africa alone, had so far supported about 29,000 jobs as well as helped increasing exports to the U.S. According to him, the deals and commitments being announced at the forum will add up to more than N2.8 trillion (about 9 billion dollars) in trade and investment with Africa, explaining that his government had renewed the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) for another decade, giving African nations "unprecedented access'' to American markets. "We have launched Trade Africa so that African countries can sell goods and services more easily across borders within Africa and with the U.S. We have also created Doing Business in Africa campaign to help American businesses, including small businesses, to pursue opportunities across Africa. And under Penny's leadership, nearly 300 American companies have taken trade missions to Africa with more than 8,000 African buyers attending U.S. trade shows. We want Africa as a booming, growing and thriving market, where we can do business,'' Obama said. (AGI) .