News / USA

African Leaders Discuss Democracy, Investment with Obama

President Barack Obama in the Cabinet Room of the White House after a meeting with, from left, Malawi President Joyce Banda; Sierra Leone President Ernest Bai Koroma; and Cape Verde Prime Minister José Maria Pereira Neves, March 28, 2013.
President Barack Obama in the Cabinet Room of the White House after a meeting with, from left, Malawi President Joyce Banda; Sierra Leone President Ernest Bai Koroma; and Cape Verde Prime Minister José Maria Pereira Neves, March 28, 2013.
TEXT SIZE - +
Mariama Diallo
— It was in front of a crowd of hundreds that leaders of Malawi, Sierra Leone, Senegal, and Cape Verde spoke about the big gains their countries have made in the last few years. For the president of Malawi, Joyce Banda, the hardest thing was restoring relations with global financial institutions like the International Monetary Fund.  
 
"By the time I became president we were off track with the IMF. We had to go back [to them], strengthen governance institutions, make sure that we got the level of comfort we required in order for other donors to come back, including the UK, which had cut off [budget support] to Malawi. We also had to do several things, including to repeal all the laws that I feel were controversial and were against human rights and good governance," she said.
 
For Senegalese President Macky Sall, who’s only been in power for about 12 months, it’s been a year of economic and political reforms. It may be too early to evaluate the results. His agenda, he said, is still a work in progress.
 
African Leaders Discuss Democracy, Investment with Obama i
X
April 05, 2013
It was in front of a crowd of hundreds that leaders of Malawi, Sierra Leone, Senegal, and Cape Verde spoke about the big gains their countries have made in the last few years. Mariama Diallo reports.

"We are trying to improve governance, we are seeking to increase private investment, and we are trying to strengthen the rule of law and to have an independent justice system." he said.
 
Sall said Africa has changed for the better over the years.
 
"The Africa of 2013 has nothing to do with the clichés that are often expressed where you talk about civil wars, coup d’états. Bear in mind that [the West] had your own wars, civil wars, and there were wars in Europe up to 1945," he said. "Africa became independent [only] in the 1960s, so it’s normal there should be some conflicts remaining here and there. We've also had composite borders created by the colonialists. [As for] the overall dynamics of the continent, we are moving toward prosperity, towards democracy."

Sall reminded the audience that Africa’s the cradle of mankind, and can be what he termed magical in terms of diversity, natural and human resources. "It’s well worth visiting," he said, adding that his country’s capital, Dakar, is only a six-hour plane ride from Washington.
 
Sall’s Sierra Leonean counterpart, Ernest Bai Koroma, told the audience his country is no longer a producer or transit point for blood diamonds.  Instead, it’s become an investment destination.
 
"Sierra Leone is now the place to do business. This has been recognized by the World Bank and the IMF," he said. "Last year, our economy was referred to as [one of the] hottest - a place to do investment. We registered [one of] the highest rates of growth. This is a result of the measures we have taken, the democracy we are building, the openness of our economy and the structures we are putting in place to guarantee that investment is not only attracted but it is also protected."
 
Prime Minister Jose Maria Neves of Cape Verde said it’s the responsibility of African leaders to develop a clear strategy  that takes advantage of all of the continent's assets. The island, located along the Western coast of Africa, is said to be one of the most democratic nations in the region. But in order to sustain a democracy, Neves who spoke through an interpreter, said certain things are needed.
 
“In order to have development, it’s essential that there is peace and stability, and it’s essential to also have democracy in the countries. There is no development without stability, and there is no development without democracy,” he said, adding that Africa still faces many challenges, but that it’s also the continent of the future.
 
"It has enormous talent, enormous capabilities. All we need to do is gather all this talent and make it work toward the development of Africa," Neves said.
 
The African leaders said they came to the United States not as beggars but to showcase a continent on the move. What they want, they said, is a true partnership where everyone benefits.

Listen to report of visit of four African leaders to the US
Listen to a report on consolidating democratic gains and promoting African prosperityi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X

You May Like

Abuja Blast Impacts Lives, Livelihoods

Officials say they are looking at ways to help bombing victims and boosting security More

Cambodia Technology Adviser Criticizes Cybercrime Draft Law

Phu Leewood says current criminal code can be used to prosecute offenders and that there is no need for a separate law More

Photogallery A Year Later, Boston Remembers Deadly Marathon Bombings

City pauses to honor victims and salute emergency workers who came to their assistance in frantic moments after blasts More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Sherry Chen from: LA
April 01, 2013 3:49 AM
US are facing the urging problems of poor people in next decade, including how to cut down the price of aid, medical aids and cheaper houses. Development of african land may be a resolution of both above problems and economic depression.


by: Joseph Sibanda
March 31, 2013 10:29 AM
Mr President Macky Sall, Africa has changed for the better over the years. I beg to disagree with this viewpoint.

Perhaps you could think about Rwanda and Zimbabwe to mention just two Countries, where thousands of people lost their lives. Please research the pastto what has happened in both Countries. Thank you.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid