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Clinton extols Africa’s economic rebirth


obamaAs United States President Barack Obama closed the U.S.-Africa Summit this week, the call, by former U.S. President Bill Clinton, for the U.S. to strengthen investments in Africa remains one of the highlights of the unprecedented summit.
Citing the story of African entrepreneur Ashish J Thakkar as an example of Africa’s recent economic resurgence and the basis for more partnership. Clinton, while moderating a panel titled “Expanding Opportunities: The New Era For Business In Africa”, said: “the United States and its business community need this relationship as much or more as Africa and its business community,” stressing that the relationship is important to the future of the U.S.
Clinton also highlighted the Founder, Mara Group and Mara Foundation, Ashish J Thakkar – who introduced his panel – and described his personal story as a refugee from genocide and teenage school drop who was able to start his own company.
“I thought of all the people who were driven out of Uganda. And the amazing stories so many of them have made. It reinforced something that we shouldn’t forget here. Intelligence, dreams and the willingness to work are evenly distributed throughout the world,” Clinton said.[eap_ad_2]
He stressed the importance of Thakkar’s story to show the need for more opportunities across the continent, stating that the summit was something “we [the U.S.] should have done long ago.”
President Obama had invited the leaders of nearly 50 African nations for the first ever U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit in Washington, D.C. on Monday through Wednesday this week in a move perhaps aimed at fostering his own African legacy.
With discussions centered on trade, security and governance dominating the agenda – although the summit the new outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus in West Africa was not relegated as the Presidents of Sierra Leone and Liberia – it further highlighted the image of Africa as a new growth market for U.S. businesses.
According to Ashish J Thakkar, Founder, Mara Group and Mara Foundation, “The US-Africa Summit is history in the making, and further proof that the world is waking up to the abundant trade and investment opportunities that Africa has to offer.
“It’s truly heartening to see so many African Heads of State here. Not only does it demonstrate an appetite and commitment to work together, it also reaffirms Africa’s position as a developing nation with a bright and sustainable future – no longer the destination for aid, but the destination for investment.
“I’m a firm believer in the power of global and local partnerships, with one such example being our own Atlas Mara financial services vehicle.”
Commenting on President Obama’s Tuesday address at the U.S.-Africa Summit in Washington, D.C., Thakkar said he was confident Obama’s $14 billion pledge is just the beginning. “Over the next few years we’ll see that figure more than double,” he added.​ (VENTURES AFRICA)[eap_ad_3]

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