President of the United States, Barack Obama, says he is proud of his political and trade association with Africa during his tenure at the White House.
The 44th president of the US was speaking at the US-Africa Business Forum held on the sidelines of the ongoing United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York.
‘‘As President, I’ve worked to transform our relationship with Africa so that we’re working together, as equal partners.
I’m proud to be the first American President to visit sub-Saharan Africa four times; the first to visit Ethiopia and speak before the African Union; the first to visit Kenya -- which I think was obligatory.
‘‘I’m proud to be the first American President to visit sub-Saharan Africa four times; the first to visit Ethiopia and speak before the African Union; the first to visit Kenya — which I think was obligatory.
“Africa is on the move—home to some of the fastest-growing economies in the world and a middle class projected to grow” —— The White House (WhiteHouse) September 21, 2016
He added that failure to visit Kenya would have spelled trouble for him before jokingly adding that, ‘‘I believe I’m also the first American President to dance the Lipala in Nairobi — or to try to dance the Lipala.’‘
As part of US-Africa trade interaction, Obama outlined the successes his presidency has chalked on the continent. Among others:
- The renewal of the African Growth and Opportunity Act for another decade, giving African nations unprecedented access to American markets.
- Launch of Trade Africa, so that African countries can sell goods and services more easily across borders — both within Africa and with the United States.
- The ‘Doing Business in Africa’ campaign to help American businesses — including small businesses — pursue opportunities across Africa.
- The establishment of trade missions between Africa and the US, ‘’… nearly 300 American companies have taken trade missions to Africa, with more than 8,000 African buyers attending U.S. trade shows,’‘ he stated.
He promised that even though it was his last address to the Forum as president of the United States, he was going to continue his association with the group even out of office.
He lauded Africa’s business potential and noted that the continent’s rise went beyond itself, ‘‘it’s important to the entire world,’‘ Obama noted.
‘’…wherever I’ve gone, from Senegal to South Africa, Africans insist they do not just want aid, they want trade. They want partners, not patrons. They want to do business and grow businesses, and create value and companies that will last and that will help to build a great future for the continent.
‘‘And the United States is determined to be that partner — for the long term — to accelerate the next era of African growth for all Africans.’‘