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African youth leaders on Africa, US and the world

Sep 07, 2023


African youth represent a seismic demographic shift not only for their continent, but for the entire world. Some of the world’s largest economies are expected to emerge in Africa before the end of this century, and today’s young generation will be the driving force of that change.

In this 48-minute episode of America Speaks, political analyst and pollster Dr. Frank Luntz asks a room full of young students at the African Leadership University a number of deep questions, including what Africa and pan-Africanism means to them, what issues the continent has to confront, how they perceive their relationship to the outside world, and what their beliefs and perceptions are of the United States, China, corruption and foreign aid.

What you’re about to see has never been shown in America. Until now, on this incredibly special episode of America speaks, we should probably change the name to Africa speaks for over the next 30 minutes, she will hear from more than 50 student leaders spanning 15 different African countries, a true cross section of the people and the places that make up the African continent. Shrade our news has so proud to present the first ever focus group straight from Rwanda, filmed on the campus of the African Leadership University, the most global institution of higher learning on the continent. And instead of hearing how Americans think and feel about Africa, we get to turn the tables in our Africans think and feel about America. I’m Dr. Frank Luntz and authentic African clothing. And you’re watching straight arrow news at its finest. What country you from.
I’m from South Sudan.
I’m from Kenya.
I’m from the Democratic Republic of Congo.
I’m from Nigeria.
I’m from Liberia.
Hi, I’m from Cameroon.
From Nigeria,
I am Rondon.
I’m from Nigeria. I’m from Liberia. I’m from Sierra Leone. And from Togo. I’m from the Benin Republic. I’m from Ethiopia.
Marie’s from Kenya.
Many people have never seen this many countries represented in one place at one time. Can you please explain to me in a sentence? What is Africa? Was a mean to you? What is the continent?
Africa is special because of our booming young population who represent the next wave of change makers and decision makers on the continent?
Are you sure that are very sure what gives you that confidence?
I think the unique training which was receiving here at the African Leadership University is preparing us for those skills that we need to be ethical leaders and decision makers.
Okay, America looks and does not pay that much attention to this continent. What is Africa? What? What should they know?
They should know that we as Africans, we are a beautiful captivating blend of culture and people.
Somebody else.
Africa has a lot of talents, it’s home to so many different diverse cultures. It has it as much as we’re diverse, we have this humanity and empathy within us. And we have this sense of community. Africa is diverse, Africa is talented, we are powerful.
Somebody else something else. One thing people should know that Africa is beyond the camera. One person you may be watching far away from Africa now. And the picture that’s painted is war division, and and the sort of that negative, where you should come to Africa and see this unity that we are manifesting here. So Africa is beyond the screen that’s before you what country you’re from, I’m from South Sudan.
What’s going on in South Sudan right now is
the Sudan generally is now at war. And in the south, south is divided and but this is just what is happening at the higher level. At the ground, we are really united with the same people and politics is dividing us. But we want to say that the people have a different will from what is being done by the military.
Okay, I understand politics dividing a population because I come from a country that’s going through the same thing. Can you explain to people who watch this video what pan Africanism means or pan Africa? Because they won’t know who can explain
but is it possible? Before we explain that, to mention that maybe it is not the case that America doesn’t listen, or doesn’t hear what is coming from Africa, or that the whole world doesn’t, but that the whole world might not have engaged fairly with the continent, there’s so much value coming from the soil in this land, that the whole world is finding useful. And perhaps it’s about time, we also find using that value, so that while the world grows, Africa, the continent also gets too close. Okay, I’m
going to add to that, I’m going to start by saying that Africa is home to some of the most brilliant and innovative people on the face of the earth. So I think that’s where the idea for Pan Africanism comes in. Because we believe that our ideas are as important as any idea from outside Africa. So the idea for Pan Africanism is that our ideas are unique, our ideas are superior ideas are valid. Nepal, and the world should know that. So coming together as Africa, Africans within Africa and in the diaspora is important for us to keep pushing those ideals and culture within our continent. Nobody else can I say,
to add to add to that, it’s important to mention that before we do anything, and before our ideas are valid, we are united, there comes the idea of community and seen the pan Africanism. We talking about the culture, the unity, and seeing the order in ourselves, which brings the Ubuntu concept that we’re discussing about last time, like you are, because I am we are brothers, we’re united. And we can only have those brilliant ideas that you have talked about, if we stay united and believe that we are one. So that idea of Ubuntu and unity is what really propels and help us come together to achieve great things.
Unity, several of you mentioned it. I look around the continent. How many of you have a country that either had a rigged election? Or have a civil war? Or have populations that are violently I don’t mean politically, but actually using violence against some segment of society? Raise your hands if you’re that, and keep your hands up for a second. So this breaks my heart, because you’re aspirational. But this is about the truth. Look at this around you. How do we get to this point? And how do we get out of this? Anybody you put your hands down?
I think I can, I can jump on that every country has faced the same thing. Whereas in Africa, or Europe, or in Asia, or in America, or wherever else in the world, right? But then having a culture and having a vision, and having something that you aspire for is really important. And that’s how most of the countries that have gone through the Civil War, and that have come out of it came out of it, right? We take the example of Rwanda, Rwanda, and be a better place to talk about that. But then, despite all what they’ve been through, just because they believed in the unity, just because they saw the vision and knew that it was still possible, and preach that every single day, throughout every corner of the country, it got better. And today, everybody wants to come to Rwanda.
29 years ago, a million people died and what 100 days, this is clearly a success story. But it still happened. And it still seems to be happening across the continent. Why has Rwanda succeeded or other countries failed?
On Thursday, very simple, good leadership, our leaders have projected a vision to the people that the people have actually agreed that they can follow. And it is this vision that has united randoms, from all corners of society, to actually work together to achieve all this prosperity that is visible on the African continent. I also think it’s possible for other countries to achieve this reason being when I walk around the halls of this university, and I’ll speak to a student from Nigeria, Liberia, or South Africa, what we all want is shared prosperity. And it’s just that they have not had the space that nurtures them, to actually become these leaders or to have the belief that they can be these leaders that can transform their countries.
Throughout my candid conversation with the students of the African Leadership University. I kept thinking of the Charles Dickens masterpiece, A Tale of Two Cities. It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, for every topic, every issue, every question in our discussion, they had to almost equal opposing reactions. To be clear, the level of hope and optimism is significant. And it’s widespread, and our future African leaders do see a more positive world ahead for themselves and their continent. But the threats to their vision of the future are meaningful and measurable, and the genesis of that threat, in many cases, their governments. Let’s listen, I want to ask you a question. If the leaders of Africa were listening to you right now, we can bring more people into this conversation. If they’re listening to you right now, what would you tell them? If and they may be watching this at some point? What would you say to them?
First, I’d say first of all, we wouldn’t need the idea of Pan Africanism. If we all know about the story about the scramble for Africa, Africa was not particularly divided into countries or into this other ways. We fragment ourselves. It was continent to full of people of diverse cultures, and then colonize them, colonization happened, and there was a scramble for Africa. And, you know, let’s divide this people, let’s make them into countries and all of that. And now that mindset is still there, because when you enslave, it takes years and years to actually find the mentality or the mindset to actually get out of it. And I think that’s one of the reasons why the Pan African thing was birth. Because now we’re starting to know that, hey, we are a continent, where people that share a lot that we have so much diversity, but then there’s also so much we have in common. So
how do we? How do we address this? The world leaders are watching you right now. What would you want them to hear?
Can I? Yeah. So I would like to say, first of all, you cannot solve a problem without including the stakeholders. And who are the stakeholders? In this case, the stakeholders include the community, which also has the general citizenry, you’re talking about women, you’re talking about kids, you’re talking about men disabled people, you have to have that level of inclusion, where each stakeholder says what’s affecting them, and not you trying to project on them what you think. Because if you do that, then means you’re not solving a problem for the community.
Is that what is that what’s happening with the leadership in these various countries in Africa? I will say,
at this particular moment, you know, we’re still always there. And this is coming with the youth of Africa, we’re bringing that we need inclusion.
Just to add to what my brother said, I would like to tell the leaders that it’s okay to get knowledge from younger people. Knowledge is not from age, you don’t get knowledge from age and if I’m looking at the African continent, we are majority of the population, we are the youth. So it’s okay to hear for our psyche said it’s, it’s you bring an inclusivity inclusivity into I’m so sorry, English is not my first language. Yeah. So you, you you include the people that are like you’re directly working with it’s okay to hear from other people think
Ulta, the African leaders that we need them to be united, we need them to go back look for some aroma shell, but just the Moomba and other leaders that they see that to fight to colonialists, they have to be together. And that’s something African countries are not doing today. Today, we want to be better than other countries who are not equally as as brothers we are, we are. So I think that we should stop divided because as Africa is South Africa, or because he’s white Africa, black Africa, we are Africa, and we are fighting for us. So we should do things better for us. And we should stop be dependent of other countries. We have to do our own money, please.
Are they listening? Are they listening to you? Are they listening to you? Are the leadership of the various countries in this continent listening to you? Are they unifying themselves?
I believe they are Listen, but most of the times when our leaders, they go to this leadership position in that they just stop thinking about the citizens in the think about them about how they can buy a Mercedes about how they can buy I love this thing. For example, in my country, we have elections now. And all the people that have been working with our cities, they receive cars, there is his car for more than $1 million. But we have children that they don’t have, where to see it, to study in all of these things. So it’s how you see that your citizens are suffering, but you’re taking the money for your own, for your own life for only you.
So the first thing I would want to say is that no generation has ever succeeded without a smooth transition between the between the old and the young without mentorship. And that is to say that every leader across the continent must understand that there is a time to come into power and is the time to exit. And we do not see that plan coming into place across the continent. And particularly I am from Nigeria. And that is why I think this is very important for me to see. We need to create a framework that does not only see that the young people are capable, but that creates a smooth transition between the older people in power and the young people right now, to see that what have they done? How can they make a smooth transition for us to be able to come into power?
Of all the topics I raised none was more surprising to me than the reaction from our students, our future leaders to the challenges of foreign aid. The message to the world community, we encourage and we welcome your support, but let us decide what we need and rather than a hand Now, let’s together build an economy that works for everyone, not just those at the top. So get ready to learn, maybe we
should stop looking at foreign aid and start looking at sustainable development and ethical leadership, for it has never led any country to development. No country will give another country for the no country will give another country aid for the country to develop. And you just keep on getting aid. And that is why you find no industrialization in Africa right now. Okay, so maybe we should look forward to more collaborative means rather than receiving aid, and focus on ethical leadership as well.
I know that Americans think that the African continent wants more foreign aid, who agrees with him that foreign aid is causing more damage than is doing Hello? I totally. Okay. Make sure you got this all keep your hands up. This is going to be a surprise for people who watch this. Why do you feel this way?
So I think when it comes to the concept of foreign aid, we, many of the African countries take foreign aid as a means of an easy way out, rather than finding constructive solutions to many of our challenges. So many of these foreign aid do not trickle down to the communities to the people that actually needed the most, they end up in the pockets of politicians that are very corrupt. And at the end of the day before in aid, just add more billions of debt sometimes when it’s that’s for the people that do not know exactly how to repay this debt back in maybe 10 to 20 years to come. So I think we need we really need to we think for in it if Africa wants to embrace that.
Okay. Can I add to that? Yeah, I wanted to add to what you’re saying. But then she mentioned that, because I feel like most of none of these foreign aid comes without any auditing, nobody just gives you money for free. So look at Congo. Now Congo has been after like Congo has been passed around these European countries like this is my turn, this is my turn. So Congo is still in this stage, because of this proposed or this sense of foreign aid. So this is already a this is you’re given away beats and beats of your country, and b2b contract before you can realize it, this guy’s already there. So instead of foreign aid, like I said, we can look at partnerships collaborating with other African countries, instead of seeking aid from these European countries. I would like
to give a practical example of this issue of foreign aid. I’ve had an opportunity to work at the Ministry of Public Works as executive assistant to a minister. And I’ve only realized that you sit in meetings with foreign donors, and they tell you, we given you 100 million dollars, for example, and you only realize 60% of that money goes back to the pocket of foreign experts like to say who come in and country, they take big homes for rental services, that they cars and everything else, maybe 30% of that also just go to that the meetings that they organize, and then maybe 10%, that remains actually goes to how corrupt officials who actually have to take their own share from them. And then you only hear that a country receive 100 million dollars, but actually didn’t get $100,000 worth of benefit. And that’s very terrible.
As a Congolese, I would like to agree with what my friend said there. Because, yes, Congo has been passed around into different colonies. And the truth is, let’s not forget that these are our resources, and the people are being suffocated above. So those financial aid are not necessarily getting where they should get. And then what helps us when we are at the bottom, and that’s a financial aid is suffocated at the top, it’s not financial aid, it’s sustainability. It’s intrapreneurship.
I feel like I owe you an apology, because I did not understand this. And I don’t believe that most people watching this are going to understand that I want to stay with this issue, because I want you to keep explaining it. Because this is content that most Americans do not understand. Go ahead. So in your neck,
I do have I do have a different perspective about this, although it’s gonna sound weird, but I think the problem is foreign exploitation and not foreign aid. Because there are some cases that American NGOs might come to a country like maybe Sudan, for example, that has war, as an NGO, they’re gonna set up like refugee camps, that’s foreign aid, and they’re gonna help directly. Another problem about it. The foreign aid is considering who the money goes to, or who the aid goes to, they might come and meet just the leaders and don’t meet up with the population or the citizens of the country and say, Okay, we are talking with you, we want to give you this amount to help your population. Now, these NGOs don’t have anything they don’t have any benefits or any profits they want to make. But when they meet our leaders, our leaders are going to have the money to themselves. So it’s not the problem. It’s not them we cannot say them offering aid to us is a problem. But the problem should be without Are leaders accepting the ease and happiness,
I’m watching you react, you can hand the microphone to the woman behind you. I’m watching react, and I’m afraid that your neck is going to fall off your head, because she’s going like this.
Okay, so I actually agree with him on what he’s saying. I’ve seen people come over to the node in Ghana, to build up schools for people to attend, that is direct help to their people, and it’s going to be of great benefit to them. We have a lot of students here who are benefiting from MasterCard, it’s foreign aid, it’s helping us. But when the aid goes to the government, when you go and sign a contract with the government to build schools, you’re not going to build schools with their V eight and all that, and it’s not going to benefit. But if they really want to help us in the form of foreign aid, they should meet us, not our leaders. Thank you,
Can I can I react to that, okay, I still feel that foreign aid is a form of colonial colonialism. It’s a soft form of colonialism. I am of the opinion that African problems should be solved by Africans, I know it’s going to take a long time. And that’s why we keep talking about partnerships. A typical example would be we have a project, right? If I have a project in Africa, as an African leader, I seek partnerships to implement that project, instead of dependent on let’s say, an NGO, or because foreign aid, it’s it’s quite broad, it’s in different forms. It’s in different categories. So when we say foreign aid, we need to define the foreign aid we’re talking about here. Not because even an African we have a lot of African philanthropists we have done go to all of these people have foundations, and they do things within the continent. So we cannot completely rule out the fact that within the continent, we have people who actually taking up responsibility, but I am completely against aid in any form because the form of colonialism.
So I also think that that all it always boils down to our leaders, because I feel like they are helping us it depends on as she said, we have different types of foreign aid. And then if people are being buried, I say that some of us are being supported by MasterCard to go to school is wrong, that a lot of foundations that are helping students to go to school or helping people to go to school. We have you mentioned our foundations in Africa that are helping them Abba, disregarding that we have a lot of people helping by feel like the type of foreign aid that is giving also mothers
Why are you getting agitated?
Okay, I think my colleagues are making a valid point that when it comes to in regulation of education, the job that MasterCard is doing is remarkable. And I would not consider that. Because I’m also a recipient of a scholarship, which is an external, some would say, a foreign aid, but foreign aid that is having a return because my scholarship donors, at the end of the day want to see the impact of their foreign aid, they are given to me by all of these other foreign ears in billions of dollars, many of them do not actually follow up on seeing the impact that it’s doing in the community. So sometimes it doesn’t make a lot of sense for them to give that kind of money without following up. But for me, I think that foreign aid can have both positive and negative depending on the people giving it and with the intention they’re giving it with. Okay.
Yes. So I didn’t raise the hand when you ask the question, because I totally have a different opinion on this, because I don’t see foreign aid as a disadvantage, or something that has really ruined Africa. But I look at it as an opportunity for the African continent, or African governments to be able to maximise on that and take the development of their countries to another level. In this case of give an example of Rwanda. Rwanda has been one of the country that has taken or has received different types of foreign aid, but yet look at what they have done with that, which they received, they’ll be able to invest it correctly. And in the right things, we can see the development that Ron has achieved for the past few years. Right. And I believe if this is the same mentality or perspective at which other African leaders could also look into that aid, as an opportunity, not as a disadvantage, I think the story will be the foreign head has been very, is very helpful on if it’s really used in a very appropriate way.
I want to agree with David because coming from a country that has considerably lower misuse of public funds. I don’t think there’s anything particularly wrong with foreign aid except for the fact that it’s just not sustainable. So what we’re looking for is partnerships. Be business, be it philanthropy and all sorts of other partnerships that may exist those kin project and push Africa forward.
We’re not saying that foreign aid has not had some benefit. The question is, where does that leave us? Because when we keep depending on this aids, our leaders do not rise up to their responsibilities. So for me, I’m not addressing America, I’m addressing our leaders step up so that America because you’ve spoken about MasterCard, and all of all those beautiful things that they’re doing, but where does that leave Africa? Right? How does America keeps looking at us as a continent that doesn’t need saving, we don’t need saving. So we should step up our leaders, if you’re listening to me, Tinubu. Probably step up, step up. So we don’t keep looking like people that need saving, we do not need we are brilliant, we’re innovative, we have the resources. So we need to put a stop to foreign aid so that our leaders can step up
for it looks like the China given billions and billions of dollars to Nigeria, even though they know that money does not translate to any productive development, yet they keep giving it again, what does that mean? It means that at every point, the government signs this contract to receive money, it keeps putting the country into debt, and they keep on doing it again. And again. The second thing looks like Molly, Keep it keep on maybe given a part of the country over and over again, including the ports in the country to receive foreign aid. Why is that problematic? It means that, in general, we’re not getting any productive development from
which country and all of you participate. Which country do you think cares more about the success of the countries that it gets involved with? China? Or the US? China? Who says China here, raise your hands? And who says the US? Okay, can I see no, no, no, we’re gonna stay on this topic ish. I want to stay on this topic. You think China is better for Africa than the US? Both of you tell me why?
Yes, yes, something that happens between the Chinese officials and African officials and the habits between US officials, and African officials in cases of negotiations. The first thing China brings to the table is some level of respect. If a minister of Liberia goes to negotiate a deal with a Chinese government, dissenting, a delegate to that level, they’re not sending you to an executive assistant, or maybe office manager, because that’s basically, most times that’s how we treated by other Western countries, that, at the very minimum, is some level of of indication to tell you how much I value. Let’s start with that.
Why do you trust China more than the US?
I will say that because first of all, I think Chinese are more close to Africa than America, regarding history and everything. Chinese when they come? They are not going to say like, Yeah, this is the money watch projects. Are you going to put it on the table? Yes, they will take another part, but they will mostly think about the community, like this community is really poor. What I can bring to this community, if I want to bring something that they can buy, what’s will they be able to pay the evaluates if I can say like that, they evaluates before taking action. And I think that’s why I personally would trust Chinese over the an American.
Why do you disagree with that? Go ahead. Okay. I actually think these words have been used interchangeably, financial exploitation, financial aid and depth. Most African leaders who go and look for that depth, they will take them from this western Western countries, but it is very, very different from financial aid, whether us or China is coming to Africa to invest depends on the people on the people often the aid, so I cannot I cannot sit here and say, Okay, I trust China more why trust us more. The negotiation goes between the leaders and not us. So we don’t know what is discussed in their Parliament’s. So when they sit together, they are the ones who know what they’re talking about. And they are the ones who know what they’re offering. But to me, I think us has made more impact over Africa than China. China is interested in bringing his focus is goods and stuff to Africa and sell them why exploiting Africa, because China of course, is a very, very industrious country more than the US as you see. So when China comes it gets raw materials from Africa and exploit and take them back to China and then come back and sell them to us and we buy them so I will trust the US.
Bye A show of hands, who thinks the US is a better partner to Africa than China? Raise your hands. That’s not that many hands up. Go ahead.
I actually have a different perspective regarding aid, for as long as Africa feels entitled to receive foreign aid, I think Africa was continue in this whole slavery mentality. Because you cannot, you can bite the hand that feed you. And once you don’t do that, there’s always problems, like, sanctions, economic sanctions. So I think the question should be around why the aid is there in the first place, and not whether it is good or not?
Okay, I want to get an answer to my question. Why do you think America is a better partner than China?
Well, I think it’s the lesser of two evils alleged to
you. Wow, that’s pretty. That’s pretty strong.
So the reason I’ll give is based on what our beliefs and stances are, for one, America is not trying to take over another country that believes itself. And if you’re going to use that as precedent for what China can do, they’re what stops them from taking over Africa, he gave a piece started off with the fact that we are trading with them. And so they need us to keep the trading going. We are growing population 1.3 billion people, the benefits of China to have is hold on Africa is immense, because it’s an it’s a manufacturing company. So first, it says belief is the country’s belief system. And China’s belief system is just to conquer. And it’s communism. If we were to trade with China, we are exchanging our beliefs, we have to have the same beliefs as China. And communism is not believe that Africa most African countries hold or we are more in the belief system that America shares, which is democracy, which is why we should be more aligned with them rather than China.
Maybe for me, the thing I’ll add to the discussion, I think it all boils down to leadership. The pointing of fingers is so easy east or west, it comes down to our leadership. Canada receives aid, I think the US does, so does even China. But how it’s used is different. When it gets to the continent, our leaders question is, what do you do? If it’s not making an impact? Why not? So let’s answer that question from our leadership. And then we can point fingers, we can talk about China, we can talk about Canada, and all the adults in countries sorry,
just to add to what everyone is saying. Backup is points, I feel like the thing we’ve not been spoken about is the accountability of our leaders. And we do not have leaders who are accountable. Every everything has an advantage and a disadvantage. So there is more of an advantage for the foreign aid. Let’s not lie. But then we’re not seeing the fact that this money comes. I’ve lived in two countries, Nigeria, and one and foreign aid is impacting Rwanda very, very well. Boy, nitrites is getting there. But the money is enriching those the leaders, we do not have leaders who are very truthful and who are accountable.
And who is forces more accountability, China or the US, I’ll
say, Does China, because in China, if you’re not accountable, they easily bring you down to jail. In the US, they’re silly process on your process, and they might dismiss it. Boy in China, you go down immediately.
Okay, let me just add to what he said, For the issue of aid. We all agree that the problem is not aid. But the problem is, how do we use them as Africans, and those who are the friends who are giving it to us, please follow up, because it’s getting into the wrong hands. And it’s not doing what you’re supposed to do. When for America. It’s that Dr. Frank Luntz has a book which says, it’s not what you say, it’s what they hear. But I would love to say, it’s not what you say, it’s what you do. China comes build the road. And so that’s why Africans are more inclined to them. You did nothing on the ground. So we need you in the ground. And then you are in better position to be our friends. But the problem you’re speaking to us a far have come to the ground club, stand with us and let’s do it.
There are millions of Americans watching right now. Give me a word or phrase to describe the United States of America.
It’s powerful,
inspiring a partner, embracing
freedom, freedom,
uninformed, polarized,
nosotros, word superpower
on uniformed, ambitious, free, generous friends who are far away from us.
Okay, I said polarized because America paints this picture of a perfect democracy and democracy, always trying to tell the rest of the world or of Africa, how to run their countries democratically, but there’s so much division within the American society. Republicans don’t see eye to eye with Democrats, at least I’ve interacted with the both sides and they don’t agree there’s no love so How do you tell us, Africa how to run a democracy when there’s no love within the American society,
your reaction to that,
just to add to what she said, if if there is if you cannot clean the dust in your eyes, you shouldn’t try to point to my eyes. I agree, I would
use a phrase entitled, self righteous, condescending, especially in regards to Africa. They feel entitled to control things to tell us what to do, even speaking on foreign aid, it’s really not aid. It’s more like AIDS, you know, just weakens you, it doesn’t really help you. And then they are self righteous. Corruption exists in the United States, but it’s only called corruption in Africa. African leaders are corrupt this and that they do this while in Africa. Well, in America, we have issues of cooperations. We have issues of capitalism. And all of these things. I
say, America is a generous friend that’s far away. And this is in connection with the foreign policy of America, in which there is that kind of dictatorship far away. But when that just come to the ground, engage with us and the coalition should should be really far. So your good friend, you can come and we engage together. So there is need for revision in the foreign policy of America towards Africa,
my first thought about the United States of America, I have, I’ll be the person to say I really appreciate the value of freedom that’s always upheld in the United States of America. I think, within Africa, they were finding places in particular countries, the youth are not being able to go to the polls. Even in the last election in Kenya, people weren’t able to go and vote because there was voter suppression. I think that value now
we hear the same comments about Atlanta, Georgia.
I’m just saying I appreciate the value of freedom that I’ve heard in America,
I see America as a partner, because we can talk about problems that everybody has in terms of politics, corruption, and he thinks it’s everywhere. But then there is complementarity. And there is complementation, in our weaknesses, and in our powers, right. Africa has a lot of resources, a lot of things that America can take advantage of not only take advantage but benefit from right. And there are a lot of things that American Americans have that Africans can also take advantage of. And also benefit of and that’s the definition of collaboration and partnership. Well, I think America for me is a partner is going to be bad in different areas, politics, corruption everywhere. Africa is corrupt, America is corrupt. And we know that Africa is poor, the US is poor. My father went to a place in the US he couldn’t recognize himself. He didn’t know that he was the US he was like yo Is this the US. So problems are everywhere. The most important thing is to get the idea of partnership and collaboration, whether through financial aid or whatever and please I want to say something on the financial aid stuff right. In one sentence, the so we have talked about the problem, but what is the solution? The solution is recent shift from the idea that is the financial aid to the idea that is an investment in achieving projects that are realizable in communities. Thanks.
Give me a word or phrase to describe Americans
sell freshers your intellectuals.
I will say an informed some of them do not actually leave their countries. And they do not have that interest in learning about other countries.
I will say different Americans, another well informed human, I would say opportunists
ignorant. As for me, I see America as a partner that’s provide assistance for let me say Africa, then they will come again. And it’s from the assistance they have provided for us. uninformed,
developed, smart, manipulative, and egocentric,
philanthropic, educated, but ignorant to our lifestyle.
Americans are very revolutionary. They’re Americans are really great people. They’re amazing. America represents a diverse community of people from all over the world. But there is a lot they need to learn more about the rest of the world.
As someone who’s from Guinea, I consider Americans as people who are not accountable. I feel like they should give us foreign aid to compensate what they did to us. That’s how I see correlate, actually.
Okay, so except that I’m ignorant, what did Americans do to you?
Americans has done a lot to Africa. And now what, what did Americans do to you and me specifically? So basically, they’ve taken away my they’ve taken away our brave arms from Guinea to the country to work for them and develop diverse countries and bring them back as trash to my country. So they’ve done a lot to me first, my
my view about America is I would say they are intelligent. This is because they will take resources from our, from our continent, then they use it the other side, then they bring it back to to be as a form of aid, but it’s from our continent, they go and use it, then bring it back to be us form of aid. So that I think we’ve been blinded, because they have made us believe that all these things that are coming from our land and they take their they use it to bring money, we’ve been blinded to believe that it’s a form of financial aid do so.
Well, I think America or Americans are intentionally hidden or and hidden. They have a certain something they’re working towards, which could be ethically presumably or in their you can question that basing on ethics, or what they want, but their intention, they know what they want, and they know how to get it. And they’ll do anything to get that it might be ethically questionable, but they’re really up for what they want somebody else. To me
the average American, just like an Iranian is gentle, friendly. The only difference is, most Americans are uninformed. And the few that are informed, at times may choose to be ignorant.
To be brief, Americans are generous, and their superpower in the world. But we need them to keep this world more peaceful. And is America peaceful. We want them to I mean, to interact with the the ravers in a way that allows peace
out say Americans are misinformed say I would say they have the wrong idea of Africa. So who like for example, if you ask most Americans, they will say Africa is a country rather than a continent. And also I feel like this generations and new Americans that are being exposed to Nigerian music, like Ren cuisine, and that says a lot of about America, because I feel like they portray the Africa that we Africans, we are poor. We don’t have this, we don’t have that. And that is not the case. For example, in Rwanda. The country is very beautiful, and they are precise number of peace. So I feel like they are misinformed. They need more information about Africa as a continent,
revolutionary. And I’ll say that because every single American you meet wants to live on impacts. And you, you want to let you know I’m an American, even junkies, if you meet a junkie tells you I want to smoke you so you don’t forget me on that.
How many of you believe by show of hands that Americans are uninformed? Raise your hands. Wow. Okay, I see two hands. Great. She wants to be counted twice? Hands down. How many of you believe that? Americans have a good heart? Raise your hands? Okay, there are a lot of hands that are not up here. I’m going to ask you all why? Because that’s really harsh. How many of you believe that America cares about Africa? Raise your Americans Raise your hands. Americans? Have Will you believe that Americans don’t care about Africa?
Thank you, it’s really good to know that Americans want to come and see what’s happening in Africa. But I believe that they do a bad job of storytelling for us. Because you see a lot of poverty porn going on. When you come visit. They don’t go to the urbanized areas. They go to the rural areas, they take pictures, oh, I’m feeding him water. No, that’s not Africa. We have our story. We have we have nice buildings, we have good roads, we have water, we have lights, we have internet. Those are the things that they should be depicted. I know that it’s not their duty is not their responsibility to tell our stories. But when they come here, please don’t do poverty.
Here. I just like to add that we would love for Americans to come. We welcome them. I welcomed them personally to every corner of Africa because you know, Africa is beautiful. Africa is vibrant. Africa is bold. But when they come May they mix up with us not just be tourists, but get to know us get to understand what get to see and understand what we do. And challenge us if you are questioning some things, but don’t impose on us what you think we should be doing.
Yes. So I’m very open to the idea of many Americans come in all over the all over the continent of Africa, but when they come they should be open minded to learn because they already have a stereotype. Most of them come in and out. This is a personal bias but I would exclude Many black Americans, but some of the other white ones, when they come, they have a stereotype. And most of them stay for over one month or two month without breaking that stereotype because they stay within the box that they are thinking without getting to know the people. So I would like them to know more Africans and see what we can offer.
Actually, for me, I’m offended by the fact that Americans, especially African Americans, don’t come back to Africa enough. It’s a duality where it’s a duality where someone is labeled by an African identity, yet they’re so disconnected from us. And they don’t put enough effort to connect with us, that we also become fragmented from them. If you’re
coming to Africa, no, because I’m black here to see me as someone that I have to serve you. That’s wrong. And the second thing is that you are going for any country, please learn at less how to say good morning, I am from Mozambique. And I will tell you that’s not only about Americans, but about any person that go to my country speak English, they won’t even try to say Bonjour in Portuguese, they won’t. And they are being fighting with you. Why do you speak English, they will insult you. And I love this thing. So if you’re going to set community, make sure that at last, you know how to say good morning,
thank you very much. For me, for the first time, I say that. I see like American people as human, you know, like people, just normal people. Because they make mistakes. And they do things right. Like anyone can do. So. You know, some people do bad things, and other do good things. And when it comes to like tourism in Africa. My sister he has mentioned something like they take pictures of like feeding someone or slam something like, that’s part of Africa, it’s us, we should embrace that, right? So they should take that picture. But also there’s another side, not just focusing on that. And there’s other people who comes other American who comes also so beautiful places, not just bad places,
the tourism that is going on with Americans coming to Africa and visiting is really great. Our culture is moving up, they’re getting to discover the beautiful things about Africa, but just that when they come, they should come prepared to learn, as everybody have seat and get to see the real face on ground and go and educate others who don’t know about it.
What an informative, impactful inspirational conversation, the students at the African Leadership University changed forever, how I look at the continent, and its people who would have known that despite unimaginable economic and political hurdles and hardships, the youth of Africa would be so optimistic and so hopeful, who would have thought that so many Africans oppose foreign aid, at least in its current form, and don’t want their corrupt governments to benefit from all this well intentioned global charity. And who would have known that the US has this level of popularity, even though our press coverage is so hostile and so negative? I’m thankful that thanks to America speaks, I get to share all of that with you. And you get to hear exactly what I heard. So on behalf of all the people here at St. Our news and Dr. Frank Luntz, we’ll see you again soon

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