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

Video On The Scene: In Gaza, Darkness Brings Dread and Death

Palestinians fear nighttime bombardment, VOA correspondent finds More

African Small Farmers Could Be Key to Ending Food Insecurity

Experts say providing access to microloans, crop insurance, better storage facilities, irrigation, road systems and market information could enable greater production More

University of Michigan Wins Solar Car Race

Squad guided its student-designed solar-powered vehicle to fifth consecutive time victory in eight-day bi-annual American Solar Challenge 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.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid