News / Africa

Obama: World Needs Self-reliant Africa

Josephine Kolea of Kenya (2nd R) raises her hand to ask a question of President Barack Obama with other attendees of the Summit of the Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders during Obama's town hall, July 28, 2014, in Washington.
Josephine Kolea of Kenya (2nd R) raises her hand to ask a question of President Barack Obama with other attendees of the Summit of the Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders during Obama's town hall, July 28, 2014, in Washington.
VOA News

U.S. President Barack Obama says the future stability of the world depends on African nations' prosperity and self-reliance.

He spoke in Washington Monday to a group of 500 young people attending the first Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders. The participants are attending six weeks of leadership training in the United States.

The gathering of young fellows precedes a U.S.-Africa Leaders' Summit to be held in Washington next week and attended by about 50 African leaders.

During his remarks, Obama encouraged his audience to stand up for human rights and for women's rights. He also praised the things participants have already achieved in their home countries.

The young fellows cheered when Obama announced that the program is being renamed to honor the late South African anti-apartheid leader and former President Nelson Mandela. Obama said the group's spirit reflects the optimism and idealism of Mandela, who died in December.

While Obama was born in the United States, his father was Kenyan, making him the first U.S. president of African descent.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry also spoke Monday at the summit. He told participants that they have to power to shape Africa's future. He implored them to "bend the arc of history toward change, not stagnation."

He encouraged them to pursue "peace and prosperity, not conflict and retribution." He reminded them that they are ultimately responsible for Africa's future.

You May Like

Lesotho Faces New Round of Violence, Political Crisis

Brutal killing of military officer has sent former leaders back into S. Africa where they're watching anxiously as regional officials head in to try to restore peace More

Video US Diplomat Expects Adoption of Bosnian Massacre Anniversary Resolution

Samantha Power says there's broad consensus about killings in Bosnia's war, but Russia calls resolution 'divisive,' backs UN countermeasure More

UN Report Exposes Widespread Boko Haram Atrocities

Damning report graphically details pattern of vicious, widespread atrocities committed by Islamist militants More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: LaMar Smith from: Atlanta Georgia
July 29, 2014 11:35 AM
I truly hope and believe that the African Summit for the progression of the young leaders of tomorrow works out for the Continent Africa. Together if they combined their learned knowledge and place their powers together to help each state that they live in hopefully the Help that is so desperately needed could be obtained. From the world and then through the African Country itself..


by: Xaaji Dhagax from: Somalia
July 29, 2014 1:54 AM
Nice hopeful words and empty rhetoric have no validity in the hearts of Africans. Corruption in Africa has become so endemic that it is perceived as culturally normal by the West. Lack of transparency and accountability have helped crooked leaders to stash State fund into their own off shore account. On the other hand, World Bank and IMF serve only the interests of West at the expenses of Africa.

Their specific purpose is to preclude Africa countries from using the basic economic strategies that western countries used to develop their own economies.They became instrumental to expand the influence of western capitalism, similar to colonialism. These economic barriers imposed on us has to be put down first before we try to realize self-reliance strategies.
In Response

by: Adesoji Fayemiwo from: Canada
August 02, 2014 6:12 PM
I think it is time for Africa and Africans to stop the blame-game and face/address the reality of what we are as a people. We keep blaming other people for our endemic greeds and foolishness. If we stand as equal to other men and women of the west in all our ramifications, we shall be respected and have our right space in the nations of the world. Corruption, greeds and individualism in governance must be reduced to the ''western-standard''. Africa resources both human and natural stolen and wasted by africans are better imagined. We are responsible for our own destiny, then others can support if we allow them in a positive ways.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountaini
X
July 02, 2015 4:10 AM
Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.

VOA Blogs