Three Events Expand U.S. Engagement With Countries of Africa

Posted by Johnnie Carson
August 7, 2010
President Obama Listens to Question During Town Hall With Young African Leaders

Learn more:Apps 4 Africa | The President's Forum with Young African Leaders | White House BlogAbout the Author: Johnnie Carson serves as Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs.

This past week proved to be a truly remarkable “Africa Week” in Washington. In keeping with our deep and broad interests in, and commitments to, Africa, we held three major Africa-related programs: The President's Forum with Young African Leaders, the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act Forum, and the African Women's Entrepreneurship Program.

Tuesday morning, I welcomed 115 of Africa's most dynamic and capable young people to the beginning of the President's Forum with Young African Leaders. This group of civil society and business leaders, all between the ages of 20 and 35, will have a major influence on building Africa in the next 50 years. If you have ever wondered how Africa is going harness its resources and address its challenges, this is the group of people to ask. They have ideas, and they have answers. Secretary Clinton's remarks truly inspired this group, and many were still talking about her speech the next day.

Tuesday afternoon, it was my privilege to accompany the Forum participants to a town hall meeting with President Obama in the White House. I loved seeing these young leaders, many of whom were wearing stunning traditional African dress, in the elegant East Room. The atmosphere was charged with energy and optimism as the young people shared their vision of the future with the President. We all recognize the very real challenges Africa faces, but I believe that all of us left the White House newly committed to realizing the continent's extraordinary potential. It won't be easy or fast, but it is clearly in America's interest to build partnerships with this impressive generation of leaders.

Also on Tuesday, Secretary Clinton addressed the Ninth Annual Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) Forum here in Washington. The AGOA Forum provides a platform for government officials, business people and civil society leaders from African countries and the United States to promote opportunities for economic growth in the U.S. and in Africa. This year, we have a split venue -- two days in Washington and two days in Kansas City, Missouri -- in order to more fully engage on agricultural development and business opportunity. Americans and Africans share a love of the land and a tradition of farming, and I believe that agriculture offers tremendous opportunities for mutual benefit.

Finally, in association with the AGOA Forum, we invited a truly dynamic group from Africa to visit the United States: 35 African businesswomen. The group that is here now, representing businesses as diverse as commercial fishing, construction, and export/import, is made up of truly extraordinary people. These women have begun to network among themselves and with American business leaders, and businesses and economies in Africa are sure to benefit.

As the leader of America's diplomatic relations with Africa, I am truly pleased to see this new focus on Africa and the concrete activities that give it substance. I believe that we are breathing new life in our relationship at many different levels -- government, business and civil society -- and know that Americans and Africans will benefit from those efforts. We are at a new beginning in helping Africans build the next 50 years of their future, and invite you all to participate in building and deepening those partnerships.



August 8, 2010

Saber in Sudan writes:

I think it is a great opportunity where African Young leader would be inspired with the sublime democracy spirit from Washington that African needs to build their future to the coming generations, to defeat diseases, to fight terror & conflicts and wars a great move toward peace building eradicating Disease such as HIV/AIDS, Malira , USA always stands with other nations. The White House & the Department of State are playing a great role in bringing nations together into a great Human Harmony. As per it is a shared responsibility that we stand by each other that is almost a remarkable big events. Thank you Mr. President, Thank you USA. :-)

Orikinla O.
August 11, 2010

Orikinla O. in Nigeria writes:

I am not happy with the way the administration of President Barack Obama is addressing the violations of democratic rule in Nigeria.

The ruling People's Democratic Party (PDP) is abusing democracy as the corrupt leaders of the party and the corrupt legislators continue to plunder Nigeria with impunity.

Many people are calling for a bloody revolution to overthrow the most corrupt government in Nigeria. And most of us will welcome a coup.

There will be widespread chaos in Nigeria if the United States of America continues to support the corrupt government in Nigeria.

See Sagay: Legislators bleed Nigeria, earn more than Obama
28 Jul 2010 ... Sagay: Legislators bleed Nigeria, earn more than Obama ... each earning more than President Barack Obama of the U.S. ...

inga t.
October 3, 2010

Inga T. in Georgia writes:

TRUE thank you for helping.


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