Analysis & Opinions

Africa Still Awaits Nomination of U.S. Secretary of African Affairs

| Nov. 01, 2018

Published by: Le Soleil

Written by: Aly Diouf

(Translated by: Chu Wang)

Last week, Special Envoy of Senegal's Head of State, Aminata Touré, hosted a seminar at Harvard University. She addressed several questions regarding US-African relations.

According to former Prime Minister Aminata Touré, Africa still awaits the White House's appointment of a Secretary of African Affairs. Last week, Madame Touré hosted a seminar at Harvard Kennedy School on the challenges of modern Africa. She was then interviewed by Professor Nicolas Burns of Harvard Belfer Center. “I think the United States has some comparative advantages and will continue to strengthen their cooperation with Africa. It is the continent’s expectation” said Aminata Touré who believes that Africa is the last frontier for investments.

In Africa, she explains, there is a need for investments in all sectors and the continent is an important market. “I am not certain that the international community is aware of this. The business community is aware and so is China”, indicated the Special Envoy of President Macky Sall.

“If you want to change things, you need to be where the decisions are being made”

Africa is often perceived as a continent where fighting against corruption is very important. Since coming to power in 2012, President Sall has tried to strengthen the mechanisms to combat corruption. “We started with the declaration of assets and Macky Sall is the first prime minister to have ever declared assets, as stipulated in the Constitution."

Naturally, his ministers and executives of public organizations followed suit. In the National Assembly, we have also adopted a Code of Transparency to better manage public finances and created the National Office Against Fraud and Corruption (Ofnac). These are efforts that we are making. The fight against corruption is an ongoing process explained Dr. Aminata Touré who was Minister of Justice under President Macky Sall.

Aminata Touré believes that the African continent is rich in natural resources, but unfortunately, we don’t fully benefit from it because of mismanagement. She points out, "We now live in a world where this kind of practice is no longer acceptable. Citizens are aware of it. I think we must make progress on this issue.” In the last five years, Senegal has made important oil and gas discoveries – with extraction starting in 2022.

Regarding Senegal’s oil and gas resources, Aminata Touré referred to projects currently underway: the creation of a strategic committee for oil and gas (Cos-Petrogaz) and a fund for future generations. “These are good practices”, said Aminata Touré who invites people to be interested in politics. She explains, “If you want to change things, you have to be where decisions are made and most of the time it's through politics. It doesn’t necessarily have to be at the national level, but can be within your city, village, or locality." African-Chinese relations and climate change were also agenda topics covered by Dr. Aminata Touré.

For more information on this publication: Belfer Communications Office
For Academic Citation:Africa Still Awaits Nomination of U.S. Secretary of African Affairs.” , November 1, 2018.