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.
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 2:52 PM
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

Obama: I Will Do 'Everything I Can' to Close Guantanamo

US president says prison continues 'to inspire jihadists and extremists around the world' More

Sierra Leone Educates on Safe Ebola Burials

Also, country is improving at rapid response to isolated outbreaks, but health workers need to be even faster, officials say More

Christmas Gains Popularity in Vietnam

Increasingly wealthy Vietnamese embrace holiday due to its non-religious glamor, commercial appeal 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.
Ugandan Doctors Aid Victims of Sudan's Civil Wari
X
Adam Bailes
December 22, 2014 3:45 PM
In Sudan's state of South Kordofan, the number of amputees as result of civil war is in the thousands, but few have access to sufficient medical help. Adam Bailes recently visited the area and says a small team of Ugandan doctors has been providing remote help, producing new prosthetic limbs for those in need.
Video

Video Ugandan Doctors Aid Victims of Sudan's Civil War

In Sudan's state of South Kordofan, the number of amputees as result of civil war is in the thousands, but few have access to sufficient medical help. Adam Bailes recently visited the area and says a small team of Ugandan doctors has been providing remote help, producing new prosthetic limbs for those in need.
Video

Video Jane Monheit Christmas Special

Chanteuse Jane Monheit sings the holiday classic “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” and explains why it’s her favorite song of the season.
Video

Video Calm Amid Fear in Daily Life in S. Sudan’s Town of Bentiu

Six months ago, Bentiu was a ghost town. The capital of northern Unity State, near South Sudan’s important oil fields, had changed hands several times in fighting between government forces and rebels. Calm returned in November and since then, residents of Bentiu have been trying to regain some sense of normalcy. Bentiu’s market has reopened there are plans to start school again. But fears of new attacks hang heavy, as Benno Muchler reports from Bentiu.
Video

Video US Business Groups Press for Greater Access to Cuba

President Barack Obama's decision to do all he can to ease restrictions on U.S. trade, travel and financial activities with Cuba has drawn criticism from some conservatives and Republicans. People who bring tourists to the island and farmers who want to sell more food to Cuba, however, think they can do a lot more business with Cuba. VOA's Jim Randle reports.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.

All About America

AppleAndroid