U.S. Initiatives To Support Development In Africa Represent ‘New Approaches’

U.S. News & World Report: Double Down on Helping Africa
Stephen Hayes, president and CEO of the Corporate Council on Africa

“…In each of his three stops during his 2013 trip, Obama announced a new initiative [— PowerAfrica, TradeAfrica, Young African Leaders Initiative, and Governance —] each unique from those of his predecessors. Yet the response was surprisingly muted, both in Africa and back home.  But many, including me, believe that the four initiatives were exactly what was and is needed to support development in Africa. The initiatives reflected a recognition that the U.S. needed new approaches to our relations with African nations, beyond traditional development aid. … Each new initiative focused on the very issues that have hindered African development, and each of the initiatives played to U.S. strength. Though as a financial package, they are modest in comparison to the announced development packages of China and Japan, the initiatives were designed to address some of the most fundamental changes that Africa has ever experienced. They focus respectively on the need for infrastructure in Africa, the need for greater regionalization for trade facilitation, the development of leadership in the public, private and civil society sectors, and the issues of overall governance of nations…” (4/14).