News Column

Africa can be "the marketplace of the future" - Kerry

August 5, 2014

WASHINGTON, Aug 4 (KUNA) -- Secretary of State John Kerry emphasized the US' desire to build greater partnerships in Africa and the continent's potential for economic growth so it "can be the marketplace of the future." Kerry made these remarks at the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) forum on Monday at the World Bank in a series of events as part of the Africa Leaders Summit. 51 African leaders have come to participate in these events composing the largest gathering any US President has held with African heads of state.

"The entire Obama Administration wants to unleash the potential, both for the benefit of the people of Africa, and to create greater prosperity for the world. President Obama is committed to that transformation," Kerry affirmed.

To do so, Kerry put emphasis on investing in education. "So it's time simply to get ahead of the curve, to invest in education above all for the vast numbers of young people, and the increasing numbers of people who because of today's interconnectedness are demanding their part of the future." "It's the decisions that are made or the decisions that are deferred that will ultimately determine whether Africa mines the continent's greatest natural resource of all," he reiterated. "That is not platinum, it's not gold, it's not oil; it's the talent and capacity and aspirations of its people." Kerry asserted: "We know that Africa will have a larger workforce than India or China by 2040." As another way the US would like to boost Africa's economy is through investment in the continent by American companies. "We want and we will work hard to get more American companies to invest in Africa. We also want more African companies to invest here in the United States, and there's no reason that they shouldn't," said Kerry.

He added that it is, "essential in order to promote economic growth that is shared by all Africans. I will say to you fighting corruption is a definitive, critical part of that process." The Secretary emphasized the importance of transparency in all aspects of the economic market as the best way to combat corruption.

The African Leaders Summit will continue for the next three days to which Kerry highlighted that by the end of the series the leaders will, "have a clear sense of the fullness of the commitment of President Obama and the Obama Administration and the United States to the notion that Africa is a natural partner of the United States and vice versa." (end)

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Source: Kuwait News Agency

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