Rwandan President Outlines ‘Improved’ U.S.-Africa Relationship In Opinion Piece

To begin an “improved” U.S.-Africa relationship “of shared ideas, vision and investments that increase … mutual prosperities” both the U.S. and Africa “must accept urgent and substantial changes in the nature of our bond,” Paul Kagame, president of Rwanda, writes in a Washington Post opinion piece. “Africa needs to acknowledge a key tenet of President Obama’s July address to Ghana’s parliament: that a vibrant private sector is critical for capable, reliable and transparent societies. Without a dynamic private sector, no society can prosper,” Kagame writes, adding that “policies that strengthen governance and promote economic growth” must be adopted in Africa “to create conditions for a strong and innovative private sector.”

According to Kagame, “It is no longer enough for the United States to work for Africa based on pity; the United States must work with Africa to build both our economies and improve the lives of all of our people.” He describes steps that both the U.S. and Africa can take to expand investment. “If the U.S. private sector played a greater role in Africa, mutual development would follow. To achieve this, the Obama administration must facilitate U.S. investment in Africa, and African leaders must attract greater U.S. investment by consolidating our institutions for effective governance,” Kagame concludes (Kagame, 9/21).

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