President Obama has invited the leaders of most of Africa's 54 nations and the African Union for an historic summit in early August and the Secret Service and Metropolitan Police are warning business that broad areas of the city will be closed off for security.
"Security and transportation plans have been developed by a partnership of local and federal law enforcement and public safety agencies. Road closures, parking restrictions, and changes to public transportation routes and public works services will be necessary during the U.S. - Africa Leaders Summit," said a release from D.C. police.
In addition, airspace may be limited, according to a notice to businesses. “An interagency airspace security plan will be implemented to provide secure airspace over Washington,” said the D.C. police.
It is the first major summit in years in Washington, and the first-ever Africa Leaders Summit in the city. Events are planned from August 3-6. Major venues include the posh Mandarin Oriental Hotel, the State Department, World Bank, Senate Russell Office Building, the downtown Ronald Reagan Building, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and the National Academy of Sciences.
Government and other Washington employees are already planning to stay at home. “I’ll be working from home that week. We all should,” said one K Street lobbyist.
Cautious police are even removing streetside newspaper boxes.
During the summit, Obama plans to offer help to African nations. Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker said that more than $900 million in deals will be announced with Africa at the summit called to focus on economic development and security.Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.