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Columns/OP-ED

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in Columns/OP-ED

Unlocking Africa’s Trade Potential

Africa’s rise challenges the imagination. During the last decade, Sub-Saharan Africa was home to six of the world’s ten fastest-growing economies. During the next five years, the region’s GDP is expected to grow 30% faster than that of the rest of the world. And, during the next 35 years, the continent will account for more than half of the world’s population growth, according to the United Nations. Earlier this summer, the US Congress, recognizing these gains and underscoring the strength of America’s commitment to Africa, overwhelmingly approved legislation to reauthorize AGOA for another ten years. Even as we consider how to make the most of AGOA’s historic renewal, we need to look beyond 2025 and imagine what a deeper, more mature economic partnership might entail.

As President Obama made clear at the US-Africa Leaders’ Summit in Washington, DC, a year ago, the US is not new to Africa. We have been engaged in Africa for decades, not as a colonial power, but as a partner. And that partnership is based not on extracting resources from the region, but on unlocking growth for all. As representatives from across Africa gather in Libreville, Gabon, this week for this year’s AGOA Forum, we have an opportunity and an obligation to take that partnership to the next level.

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in Blogs, Columns/OP-ED

On Governance, Leadership and Citizenry in Africa: Time is of Essence, Let’s not Waste it

In this march to strengthen democracy and governance we also need to close the gap between young people and their leaders. Africa’s greatest resource is the energy and talents of its youth. The young generation is becoming the overwhelming majority, the one that is going to vote… or not. We must not let it lose faith in “democracy.” We need to find ways of listening to our young people, our citizens’ majority. It is their potential, after all, which will decide our continent’s future.  Let’s not waste it.

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