U.S. – Africa Summit: Open Letter to President Obama

Now Daily Opinion|

Dear President Obama,
Thank you for convening the first-ever U.S. – Africa Investment Summit. I am sure that your time with African leaders has been an eye-opener for both sides.
Thank you for not inviting Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe. That sends a clear message to him that your administration is not happy with his actions against his own people. He would naturally have digressed from the meeting’s agenda to talk about U.S. personal sanctions on himself as if that affects the whole continent.
The main reason I write is to highlight the issue of corruption as a major impediment to Africa’s growth and attractiveness as a destination for capital.
Over the past few days, you would have been told of how Africa’s resources are being looted by the West, how Africa is not getting a fair deal for its minerals. Thats not the problem. The problem is that whatever Africa gets is not transmitted to national treasuries but goes to line the pockets of individuals. That is the real curse of Africa, not its abundant mineral resources.
I hope you use your influence to put pressure on leaders like President Zuma of South Africa to lead by example and desist from corruption. Investments in well-managed economies such as Botswana should be encouraged.
Thank you,
John Chimunhu.


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