There has been no shortage of recipes promulgated, tested (and discarded) with the declared intent of turning Africa into a truly independent continent:
Prepared to follow on from the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the 17 Sustainable Development Goals were unveiled with the aim of taking steps towards building a better world in the next 15 years. This is no easy target. The UN has spent significant time analyzing the successes and failings of the MDGs in order to apply the lessons to the SDGs.
During my current visit to Africa, while sitting in my hotel room, I reflected upon how and why I ended up in Africa initially and now. I remembered as a child of six years old my interest in history and how the first book I read was the “History of Greenland”. My reading habits as I grew older had me reading about Hannibal, Charlemagne, Shaka Zulu, Julius Caesar, Plato, Marcus Garvey, WEB Dubois, Maggie L Walker, Sojourner Truth, Dr. John Henrik Clarke, Malcolm X, and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and so many other famous people.
I believe Africa’s rise is not just important for Africa, it's important to the entire world. We will not be able to meet the challenges of our time—from ensuring a strong global economy to facing down violent extremism, to combating climate change, to ending hunger and extreme poverty—without the voices and contributions of one billion Africans.
“We’re here today because we believe in the power of entrepreneurship — the basic notion that if you’ve got an idea and if you really work hard and you’re able to pick yourself up if you stumble a couple of times, you can eventually turn that idea into a reality. And this matters to us because encouraging the spirit of entrepreneurship can help us to tackle some of the greatest challenges that we face around the world.
In July 2006, the European news agency Agence France Presse reported that 13 of 27 Africans, all men between the ages of 20 and 30, had perished in the Mediterranean Sea while trying to reach Europe in hopes of finding a better and safer existence than the one they had left behind. Another 17 bodies had been found in March the same year, just south of the Canary Islands. And just before that, the bodies of 47 Senegalese were found on a boat adrift near the Caribbean island of Barbados, four months after they had left Cape Verde for the Canary Islands.
We have spent a lot of time trying to figure out this enigma about African development. We traveled to Ghana, Kenya, Botswana, South Africa, Tanzania and Ethiopia again and again. It was a blur, but now it is starting to emerge as a solid vision.
Africa, a continent of 53 nations; multiple religions; many languages and races and political incohesiveness is a very tough puzzle. On the positive side, it is a virtual basket of wealth and natural resources. No other continent on earth has the precious minerals, lakes, forests and 80 percent of earth’s arable land.
Every second Joyce Sandiya isn’t tending her crops, she’s volunteering at church. So when Melinda visited Tanzania in 2012, Joyce spoke to her with the zeal of a preacher giving a sermon.
That year, for the first time, Joyce had planted a new kind of maize seed, bred to tolerate drought. When drought came, most of her crops withered and died, but her maize was more productive than ever. She sold the surplus to buy beans and vegetables and other nutritious food for her family, and had money left over to pay her children's school fees.
It takes a village to get AGOA renewed...This has always been a team effort to get AGOA moving over the last fifteen years, and you all know what the record of AGOA is.
Under AGOA, exports from sub-Saharan Africa to the United States have more than tripled. Non-oil exports have grown four-fold, as has U.S. foreign direct investment in the region, and all of this has contributed to the diversification and competitiveness of sub-Saharan Africa economies and supporting hundreds of thousands of jobs there.
As I think everyone knows by now, this first U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit has been the largest gathering we’ve ever hosted with African heads of state and government -- and that includes about 50 motorcades. So I want to begin by thanking the people of Washington, D.C. for helping us host this historic event -- and especially for their patience with the traffic.