Trump hosts African leaders during U.N. session, makes a fool of himself
BY JIBRIL TURE
President Trump threw a luncheon today, September 20, for a select few African heads of state and their foreign ministers at the Palace Hotel in New York in the context of the ongoing 72nd United Nations General Assembly. The 45th president of the United States did not miss a chance to show his buffoon side, once again.
Trump’s guests were the leaders of Côte d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea, Namibia, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa and Uganda. “Africa has tremendous, tremendous business potential,” Trump said, then shocked his guests by stating, with a straight face:
“I have so many friends going to your countries trying to get rich. I congratulate you. They’re spending a lot of money.”
It appeared Trump thought he was complimenting his African guests, judging from the fact that he paused after making the statement, probably hoping for an applause. But the ensuing silence was a clear indication no one in the room was amused, as most certainly remembered how their continent’s natural resources were exploited for centuries by European countries and the United States, with American companies making billions of dollars from various deals.
Trump equally stunned his guests—not to say other people in the rest of the world—by praising the healthcare progress in a supposedly-African country that does not exist on the map, Nambia. The debate went on for a while as to whether Trumps was referring to Namibia, the Gambia or Zambia, until a White House script later said he meant Namibia.
Trump used the occasion to announce his intention to boost American investment in Africa. He also stated his administration’s concerns about unrest in parts of the continent, saying he’s been
“closely monitoring and deeply disturbed by the ongoing violence in South Sudan and in the Congo.”
He then announced his plan to dispatch the U.S. Ambassador at the United Nations, Nikki Haley, to Africa to “discuss avenues of conflict and resolution and, most importantly, prevention.”
One clear measure of Trump’s real interest in Africa should be seen in light of the fact that so far, eight months after assuming the presidency, and after recalling all of President Obama-appointed ambassadors to Africa, he has nominated ambassadors to just roughly a dozen posts in Africa, which leaves the majority of the 54 African nations without a U.S. spokesperson, at the ambassadorial level, to deal with.