Today, August 3, President Barack Obama invited 115 young leaders from 47 nations of sub-Saharan Africa to participate in the President's Forum with Young African Leaders. This initiative aimed to help these leaders engage with each other, as well as U.S. citizens and government officials on issues key to Africa's future. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton had the opportunity to deliver remarks at the forum.
Secretary Clinton addressed why Africa is important. She said, "I see Africa as a continent brimming with potential, a place that has so much just waiting to be grasped. Sixty percent of the population of Africa is under the age of 25. And that means that there's a lot of work to be done to make sure that those young people are educated, are healthy, are motivated, are given the tools of opportunity. But it also means that Africa has not just the potential, but the promise of becoming a leader in innovation, in design, in creativity of all that you, your families, communities, and countries can become."
The Secretary continued, "Across Africa, more citizens believe they now have the power and the duty to shape their own lives, to help their communities, to hold their governments accountable. So for all of the challenges, which we hear much about, I want to focus on these gains, because it is through this positive progress that we can motivate and incentivize even more to take place. And ultimately, it is up to you. The President and I very much believe in Africa's promise and we can do what's possible from afar to assist and to be front-row cheerleaders, if you will. But ultimately, it is up to you, and to citizens like you to make sure that we sustain and deepen the progress."
Find more video and a full text transcript here.