Clinton, who is on a tour of the continent, arrived in Kenya last Tuesday to meet leaders of that country’s power-sharing government and attend an annual trade conference with sub-Saharan countries focusing on boosting US trade and investment with Africa, said investors will shun African states with leaders who cannot stamp out corruption and crime.
“True economic progress in Africa . . . also depends on responsible governments that reject corruption, enforce the rule of law and deliver results for their people. This is not just about good governance, this is about good business,” Clinton said.
“Investors will be attracted to states that do this. And they will not be attracted to states with failed or weak leadership, or crime and civil unrest, or corruption that taints every transaction and decision.”
Clinton also said Africa needed to empower women and respect their rights to expedite development.
“The social, political and economic marginalisation of women across Africa has left a void in this continent that undermines progress and prosperity every day,” she said.
The US is looking at ways to boost trade with the 48 countries in sub-Saharan Africa, which accounts for little more than one percent of US exports and only three percent of imports.
Addressing the conference on video US President Barack Obama said the onus was on African leaders to take responsibility in the continents development.
“Only Africans can unlock Africa’s potential,” said Obama whose father was Kenyan. “Open markets alone are not enough. Development requires the rule of law, transparency, accountability, and an atmosphere that welcomes investment,” he added.
African countries including Kenya and Zimbabwe generally rank lowly on the Transparency International scale on most corruption-prone nations.
Some African countries want the US African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) which is due to expire in 2015, extended saying the deadline causes uncertainty among potential investors.Post published in: News