ANC hails positive Obama visit

2013-07-01 14:58

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The outcomes of US President Barack Obama’s visit to South Africa, including his sentiments on ailing former president Nelson Mandela, have been welcomed by the ANC.

“His view that president Mandela and our people’s struggle and resilience have inspired him and the world are testament to the fact that indeed our nation and its triumphant spirit continue to be a beacon of hope and tenacity throughout the world,” the party said in a statement today.

The ANC saw the results of bilateral talks between Obama and President Jacob Zuma and their respective delegations as an indication of strengthened US-SA relations.

“The African National Congress is pleased by the outcomes of the engagement between the US and South Africa, in particular the commitments of cooperation on trade and investment, driving mutually beneficial relations to the people of both countries.”

The Obama administration’s commitment to lobby for the extension of the African Opportunity and Growth Act (Agoa), and to improve on it, won favour with the ruling party.

Agoa, which allows African countries, such as South Africa, to ship certain products to the US duty-free, expires in less than two years.

“The commitment to seek the extension of Agoa beyond 2015 ensures greater access for South African products to US markets, and the R7 billion commitment for renewable energy is a decisive intervention to support the continent’s initiatives to increase access to energy and electricity throughout Africa.”

The ANC also praised the establishment of a leadership academy which would benefit hundreds of South African youth.

“The ANC warmly welcomes the Washington-Africa Leadership Fellowship announced by President Obama to benefit the masses of South African and African youth; moulding global leaders for a continent that shall take its rightful place in the world.”

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