There is a glimmer of hope for Africa – US Envoy

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Mr Tibor P. Nagy Jr, United States Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of African Affairs

Accra, OCT 4, GNA – There is glimmer of hope for Africa, Mr Tibor P. Nagy Jr, United States Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of African Affairs, has said.
“I have been following Africa and living in Africa since 1978. From the time I arrive in Africa, I think until the time I die, I will remain an Afro-optimist. Which is not to mean that I think that Africa is always the continent of the future. I think that Africa is a continent of the here and now,” Mr Nagy stated during a Telephonic News Briefing in Washington, which was monitored by the Ghana News Agency in Accra.
He said a look at the statistics in Africa showed that people were scared by the fact that Africa’s population would double between now and 2050.
He was excited by that because to him those millions and millions of young people represented a tremendous opportunity, an opportunity for economic growth, an opportunity for prosperity and an opportunity for dynamism.
“What we need, basically, is to get out of the way of those young people. Which means better governance, better rules, better environments for business so that all those businesses around the world that want to invest in Africa will come in and invest in Africa and create jobs for all of those millions of young people.”
He said young Africans want the same things that young people in America, China, India, Europe want; which was to have a chance at moving up the economic ladder, a chance to provide for their families, and a chance at that good life, which modern technology offers.
“So yes, I am very much an Afro-optimist and I’m very bullish on Africa. And hopefully during this next year, I can get around to visiting the countries, I have not been able to visit last year and again engage with the governments, engage with the business community to see how we can partner better.”
With regards to the just ended United Nations General Assembly in New York, Mr Nagy said the highlight for him, was when Mr John Joseph Sullivan, the US Deputy Secretary of State hosted, a US-Africa Business Roundtable, which included; African Ministers, US business executives and other senior US persons to discuss their administration’s number one priority of dramatically increasing trade and investment with the continent and some of the exciting tools that the US Government now brings to that endeavor.
“We talked about the new US International Development Finance Corporation, the doubling of funding, spent quite a bit of time talking about Prosper Africa,” Mr Nagy said.
He said what he was really excited about was to hear directly from the African ministers as to what they were doing in their environments to improve attractions for US business people and then from the US business executives.
Mr Nagy said US businesses were exactly what Africa needed to bring the jobs that Africa’s young people needed now and going to the future.
He said other events that he participated in the UN General Assembly were two high-level UN events, one on Mali and the Sahel and then another one on Sudan.
He said the Sahel was unfortunately one of the more problematic areas on the continent; and that there was serious deterioration over the last year, so the international community was engaged on trying to figure out a way on how to address that.
“Sudan was much, much more optimistic because the entire international community is extremely excited by the positive developments in Sudan and how we can help Sudan through its transition to a very successful outcome.”
He said the US State Department’s Africa Team had 31 separate meetings with African leaders.
Mr Nagy said the UN General Assembly week was speed dating for diplomats.
He said the US Undersecretary for Political Affairs also co-hosted one of the high-level events and that was for Somalia; “that’s another part of the continent which as we all know has been problematic. But there is a glimmer of hope on the horizon”.

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