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

US Gives Malaysia Questionable Upgrade in Human Trafficking Ranks

Malaysia’s upgrade seen as removing barrier to country’s participation in the US-led 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership More

Turkey, US Try to Establish Buffer Despite Differences

Coalition airstrikes in proposed zone would aim to drive out Islamic extremists, allowing targeted area to come under sway of anti-Assad rebels More

Video US: Millions Exploited by Vast Fortunes of Human Trafficking

State Department's annual report calls exploitation 'modern slavery,' brutalizing girls, women into prostitution and forcing men, women and children into low-wage jobs across the globe 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.
US Calls Fight Against Human Trafficking a Must Wini
X
July 28, 2015 12:21 AM
The United States is promising not to give up its fight against what Secretary of State John Kerry calls the “scourge” of modern slavery. Officials released the country’s annual human trafficking report Monday – a report that’s being met with some criticism. VOA’s National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more from the State Department.
Video

Video US Calls Fight Against Human Trafficking a Must Win

The United States is promising not to give up its fight against what Secretary of State John Kerry calls the “scourge” of modern slavery. Officials released the country’s annual human trafficking report Monday – a report that’s being met with some criticism. VOA’s National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more from the State Department.
Video

Video Iran Nuclear Pact Wins Few New US Congressional Backers

Later this week, President Barack Obama returns from a trip to Africa to confront a U.S. Congress roiled by the nuclear accord with Iran, an agreement that has received the blessing of the U.N. Security Council. Days of intensive lobbying and testimony by top administration officials have won few new congressional supporters of the pact. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports.
Video

Video Washington DC Underground Streetcar Station to Become Arts Venue

Abandoned more than 50 years ago, the underground streetcar station in Washington D.C.’s historic DuPont Circle district is about to be reborn. The plan calls for turning the spacious underground platforms - once meant to be a transportation hub, - into a unique space for art exhibitions, presentations, concerts and even a film set. Roman Mamonov has more from beneath the streets of the U.S. capital. Joy Wagner narrates his report.
Video

Video Obama Encourages Kenya to Fix Cultures of Corruption, Discrimination

President Barack Obama bid farewell to Kenya Sunday with a major speech at as stadium outside the capital Nairobi where he called on Kenyans to change the cultures of corruption and discrimination that can hold society back. VOA East Africa Correspondent Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Europe’s Twin Crises Collide in Greece as Migrant Numbers Soar

Greece has replaced Italy as the main gateway for migrants into Europe, with more than 100,000 arrivals in the first six months of 2015. Many want to move further into Europe and escape Greece’s economic crisis, but they face widespread dangers on the journey overland through the Balkans. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Stink Intensifies as Lebanon’s Trash Crisis Continues

After the closure of a major rubbish dump a week ago, the streets of Beirut are filling up with trash. Having failed to draw up a plan B, politicians are struggling to deal with the problem. John Owens has more for VOA from Beirut.
Video

Video Paris Rolls Out Blueprint to Fight Climate Change

A U.N. climate conference in December aims to produce an ambitious agreement to fight heat-trapping greenhouse gases. But many local governments are not waiting, and have drafted their own climate action plans. That’s the case with Paris — which is getting special attention, since it’s hosting the climate summit. Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at the transformation of the French capital into an eco-city.
Video

Video Racially Diverse Spider-Man Takes Center Stage

Whether it’s in a comic book or on the big screen, fans have always known the man behind the Spider-Man mask as Peter Parker. But that is changing, at least in the comic book world. Marvel Comics announced that a character called Miles Morales will replace Peter Parker as Spider-Man in a new comic book series. He is half Latino, half African American, and he is quite popular among comic book fans. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports from Los Angeles.
Video

Video California Towns Welcome Special Olympics Athletes

Cities and towns in Southern California are greeting thousands of athletes who are arriving for Special Olympics, a competition for people with intellectual disabilities. The games will run from July 25th through August 2nd. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports from Pasadena, California, where athletes from Namibia, Singapore and Tanzania got a rousing welcome from local residents.
Video

Video Critics of Japan Defense Policy Focus on Okinawa

In Okinawa, many locals have long complained that Tokyo places an unfair burden on the tiny island by locating most of Japan's U.S. military bases there. As Japan's government moves toward strengthening and expanding the country's defense policies, opponents of those plans are joining local protesters in Okinawa, voicing concern about where the country is headed. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Okinawa.
Video

Video IS Uses Chemical Weapons in Syrian Attack

Islamic State militants have added a new weapon in their arsenal of fear: chemical weapons. VOA Kurdish service reporter Zana Omer was on the scene within hours of a recent attack in Hasakah, Syria, and has details of the subsequent investigation, in this report narrated by Miguel Amaya.
Video

Video Historic Symbol Is Theme of Vibrant New Show

A new exhibit in Washington is paying tribute to the American flag with a wide and eclectic selection of artwork that uses the historic symbol as its central theme. VOA’s Julie Taboh was at the DC Chamber of Commerce for the show’s opening.
Video

Video Hoverbike Flying Toward Reality

Another long-standing dream of many technological inventors is quickly approaching reality: U.S.- and British-based firms are cooperating in the development of an individual flying platform they call a hoverbike. They say it may revolutionize the concept of flying, including in the U.S. military. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video As Japan Expands Defense Role, Protests Follow

The Japanese government is moving forward with a controversial security bill that would authorize the military to fight abroad for the first time since World War II. Leaders say it is critical to defend against rising threats from China and North Korea. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Japan on the big changes ahead, and the opposition they are drawing.
Video

Video Replacing Poppies with Coffee in Myanmar

The remote mountains of Myanmar’s Shan state are home to the second-largest opium-producing region in the world. After a drop during the 2000s, production surged in the past eight years to feed an increasing demand for heroin in China. But farmers are now making less on the crop, and the U.N. is hoping many will make the switch to growing coffee. Daniel de Carteret reports for VOA from Taunggyi.

VOA Blogs