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

VOA Exclusive: Interview With Myanmar President Thein Sein

Thein Sein calls allegations that minority Muslim Rohingya are fleeing alleged torture in Rakhine state a media fabrication More

Video Better Protective Suit Sought for Ebola Caregivers

Current suit is uncomfortable, requires too many steps for removal, increasing chance of deadly contact with virus More

UN Rights Commission Investigates Eritrea

Three-member commission will start collecting first-hand information from victims and other witnesses in Switzerland and Italy next week 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.
Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concernsi
X
November 19, 2014 11:39 PM
The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Mexico Protests Escalate Over Disappearances

Protests in Mexico over 43 students missing since September continue to escalate, reflecting growing anger among Mexicans about a political system they view as corrupt, and increasingly tainted by the drug trade. Mounting outrage over the disappearances is now focused on the government of President Enrique Pena Nieto, accused of not doing enough to end insecurity in the country. More from VOA's Victoria Macchi.
Video

Video US Senate Votes Down Controversial Oil Pipeline - For Now

The U.S. Senate has rejected construction of a controversial pipeline to transport Canadian oil to American refineries. The $5 billion project still could be approved next year, but it faces a possible veto by President Barack Obama. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the pipeline has exposed deep divisions in Congress about America’s energy future.
Video

Video Can Minsk Cease-fire Agreement Hold?

Growing tensions between government troops and separatists in eastern Ukraine further threaten a cease-fire agreement reached two months ago in the Belarusian capital of Minsk. Critics of U.S. policy in Ukraine say it is time the Obama administration gives up on that much-violated cease-fire and moves toward a new deal with Russia. VOA's Scott Stearns has more.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Ferguson Church Grapples with Race Relations

Many white residents of Ferguson, Missouri, say they chose to live there because of the American Midwest community's diversity. So, they were shocked when a white police officer killed an unarmed black teenager in August – and shaken by the resulting protests and violence. Some local churches are leading conversations on how to go forward. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports.
Video

Video What Jon Stewart Learned About Iran From 'Rosewater'

Jon Stewart, host of the satirical news program "The Daily Show" talks with Saman Arbabi of Voice of America's Persian service about Stewart's directorial debut, "Rosewater."
Video

Video Lebanese Winemakers Thrive Despite War Next Door

In some of the most volatile parts of Lebanon, where a constant flow of refugees crosses the border from Syria, one industry continues to flourish against the odds. Lebanese winemakers say after surviving a brutal civil war in the 1970s and 80s, they can survive anything. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from the Bekaa Valley in Lebanon.
Video

Video China's Rise Closely Watched

China’s role as APEC host this week allowed a rare opportunity for Beijing to showcase its vision for the global economy and the region. But as China’s stature grows, so have tensions with other countries, including the United States. VOA’s Bill Ide in Beijing reports on how China’s rise as a global power is seen among Chinese and Americans.

All About America

AppleAndroid