On Thursday (March 27), President Barack Obama met with the leaders of four sub-Saharan African countries in a bid to highlight the shared democratic sentiment shared between America and the nations. Present at the meeting were President Macky Sall of Senegal, President Ernest Bai Koroma of Sierra Leone, President Joyce Banda of Malawi, and Prime Minister José Maria Pereira Neves of Cape Verde.
The current administration maintains its ties with the countries based on what the White House calls “shared democratic values and shared interests,” along with praising the leaders for enacting protection of human rights, civil liberties, and inspiring economic growth. During the meeting, the President and leaders discussed strategies on strengthening their ties. President Obama also praised the leaders for their new commitment to the Open Government Partnership and offered assistance to the nations as they aim to create opportunities for youth.
Below is part of the transcript from President Obama’s remarks from the meeting:
So what our discussion has focused on is, No. 1, how do we continue to build on strong democracies; how do we continue to build on transparency and accountability. Because what we’ve learned over the last several decades is that when you’ve got good governance — when you have democracies that work, sound management of public funds, transparency and accountability to the citizens that put leaders in place — it turns out that that is not only good for the state and the functioning of government, it’s also good for economic development because it gives people confidence, it attracts business, it facilitates trade and commerce.
And all of these leaders have good stories to tell on that. They recognize that there’s still more work to be done, and so I’m very pleased that all of them are looking to move forward on the Open Government Partnership that we helped to organize through the United Nations several years ago, and that we are now seeing countries from all across the world sign up for — setting up international norms for accountability and transparency that can lead to good governance.
Read more about this meeting here.