Friday, August 27, 2010

US President Obama Meets Young African Leaders - Singles out Botswana's Tumie Ramsden

source: Republic of Botswana TAUTONA TIMES of 8/8/2010
The Electronic Press Circular of the Office of the President
“Democracy, Development, Dignity, Discipline and Delivery”

C3) 4/8/10: US President Obama Meets Young African Leaders - Singles out Botswana's Tumie Ramsden

U.S. President Obama met with African youth leaders, including two Batswana at the White House, yesterday, where he pledged American partnership and support in the promotion of economic development, political reform and trade and investment on the continent.

The event was the opening day highlight of a three day “Young Africa Leaders” Conference being hosted by Obama this week (3-5/8/10). The conference is being held at the White House and US State Department (Ministry of Foreign Affairs) as well as other locations in the Washington D.C. area.

The Conference’s 115 invited delegates come from 46 African countries and are said to represent an array of political, economic, cultural and social arenas in their African homes.

Botswana is being represented at the event by Yarona FM Radio Personality Itumeleng “Tumie” Ramsden and or BONELA (Botswana Network on Ethics, Law and AIDS) Director Uyapo Ndadi.

According to White House communications, the purpose of the forum is for the young African achievers to deliberate on how they see their continent’s future evolving over the next half century, in the process helping to craft innovative solutions to regional challenges. In the process, the African participants will be interacting with American peers, as well as U.S. government officials, business leaders and NGO representatives, in sharing their insights on the key conference themes of youth empowerment, good governance and economic opportunity.

Yesterday’s White House event took the form of a “town hall meeting”, where the African delegates were invited ask the America President questions, with the press corps observing.

Before opening the floor to questions, Obama spoke for about 10 minutes, during the conclusion of which he specifically singled out Botswana’s Tumie Ramsden and her Yarona FM radio Programme “The Real Enchilada” as an example of how young people can be mobilized to build a better future through the media. Said Obama:

"So the bottom line is this: Africa’s future belongs to its young people, including a woman who inspires young people across Botswana with her popular radio show, called, “The Real Enchilada” —- and that’s Tumie Ramsden. Where’s Tumie? Right here -- “The Real Enchilada.” As all of you go to -- as all of you pursue your dreams —- as you go to school, you find a job, you make your voices heard, you mobilize people —- America wants to support your aspirations. So we’re going to keep helping empower African youth —- supporting education, increasing educational exchanges like the one that brought my father from Kenya in the days when Kenyans were throwing off colonial rule and reaching for a new future. And we’re helping to strengthen grassroots networks of young people who believe -- as they’re saying in Kenya today -— “Yes, Youth Can!” “Yes, Youth Can!”. Now, this is a forum, so we've devoted some time where I can answer some questions. I don't want to do all the talking. I want to hear from you about your goals and how we can partner more effectively to help you reach them. And we want this to be the beginning of a new partnership and create networks that will promote opportunities for years to come. But I do want to leave you with this. You are the heirs of the independence generation that we celebrate this year. Because of their sacrifice, you were born in independent African states. And just as the achievements of the last 50 years inspire you, the work you do today will inspire future generations. So -- I understand, Tumie, you like to Tweet. And she shared words that have motivated so many -- this is what Tumie said: “If your actions inspire others to dream more, to learn more, to do more and become more, then you are a leader.”

Further to our Press Release above members of the press wishing to view online video of the event and/or access the White House statements, photo gallery etc., can do so at the official White House blog address below:

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