At a working lunch with African leaders at the 72nd Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York, US President Donald Trump said he saw great potential in Africa, according to a Thursday press release from the US Embassy in Pretoria.
Leaders from Côte d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea, Namibia, Nigeria, Senegal, Uganda, and South Africa were told that he foresaw partnerships between the US and Africa for promoting prosperity and peace on a range of economic, humanitarian, and security issues.
“We hope to extend our economic partnerships with countries who are committed to self-reliance and to fostering opportunities for job creation in both Africa and the United States,” said the US president.
Six of the world’s ten fastest-growing economies are in Africa.
Increasing American trade and investment across diverse industries — including agriculture, energy, transportation, healthcare, travel, and tourism — will further transform lives throughout the continent, added the press release.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, and the US Millennium Challenge Corporation, are already considering an investment worth hundreds of millions of dollars in Côte d’Ivoire, which has made impressive economic reforms.
Trump also said he hoped South African giant Sasol would consider investing in the US.
Sasol is currently building a $9-billion petrochemical plant in Louisiana, which will bring new jobs to the state, said the president.
Turning to the health sector, Trump said Uganda had made incredible strides in the battle against HIV/AIDS, while Guinea and Nigeria’s fight against the Ebola outbreak was praised.
Namibia’s health system is increasingly self-sufficient, according to Trump, who added that his Secretary of Health and Human Services will be travelling to Africa to promote America’s Global Health Security Agenda.
To this end, the US will also partner with African countries and organisations like the African Union (AU) to prevent the spread of terrorism and respond to humanitarian crises.