WASHINGTON, March 29 – President Barack Obama met with African leaders on Thursday, pledging that the United States is going to be a strong partner that will continue to engage them through the Millennium Challenge, through the USAID and other programs, while also looking for “new models that can potentially improve our bilateral relations even more.”
Obama met with President Ernest Bai Koroma of Sierra Leone, President Macky Sall of Senegal, President Joyce Banda of Malawi, and Prime Minister José Maria Pereira Neves of Cape Verde at the White House.
He noted that, each of these leaders has undertaken significant efforts to strengthen democratic institutions, protect and expand human rights and civil liberties, and increase economic opportunities for their people.
Obama said the partnership with the United States would not be based “on the old model in which we are a donor and they are simply a recipient, but a new model that’s based on partnership and recognizing that no continent has greater potential or greater upside than the continent of Africa if they in fact have the kind of strong leadership that these four individuals represent.”
While in Washington, each African leader is participating in numerous meetings and events to strengthen bilateral cooperation on a range of shared priorities, according to the White House. Joint events include a dinner hosted by the Corporate Council on Africa to discuss trade and investment opportunities with representatives from U.S. businesses; a public discussion on democratization in Africa at the United States Institute for Peace; an economic and development roundtable with U.S. government officials; and a meeting with Secretary of Defense Hagel to discuss cooperation on shared regional security and peacekeeping objectives in Africa.
To view a video of Obama’s remarks, click on the link below.
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