America should better assist Africa as a whole
BY RICHARD SENOU
Retired World Bank Manager and political activist
We cannot say that Obama has let Africa down. But his entire assistance package for Africa sounds a lot like business as usual. He continued his predecessor George W. Bush’s Millennium Challenge Account program, MCA, but didn’t go far enough. The MCA compacts should have been able to fill the gap in terms of resources that African countries face after receiving assistance from other bilateral donors as well as multilateral ones. The United States should not assist Africa just like any other country does while Barack Obama is president. America should have done way better during the tenure of the first black president of the United States. The MCA program goes back twelve years and should have been updated, for the situation in Africa is not the same today as it was a decade ago.
While there is a recognition that the MCA program is on the right track to take care of the energy crisis in Africa, this has remained an area where Africa needs more U.S. assistance, with hope that the next administration will go further than the Obama administration.
Another area that needs more American attention is health. It’s no secret that people who are not in good health cannot develop. The same goes with education.
Clearly, there’s something missing in America’s assistance to Africa, while China is going deeper and deeper on the continent and winning hearts all over.
President Trump should have all these crucial issues at heart. He should soon come to Africa, especially Benin, a country neighboring Nigeria, Africa’s second largest economy with a population of 200 million and a GDP of $568.51 billion. The United States should look at Benin as part of Nigeria in order to better assist Africa. As a matter of fact, for Nigerians themselves, it is highly recommended that any sound business targeting the West African market, particularly Nigeria, be established in Benin Republic.
In sum, America should better assist Africa as a whole, and Benin in particular.
A financial economist turned politician
A 1983 graduate Cum Laude of Florida University, Richard M. Sènou—who previously graduated as Financial Expert in Paris IX Dauphine in 1973—joined the political arena in recent years to put his decades-long experience as a principal financial economist at the World Bank to use for his country, Benin.
March 2016 Candidate for Benin Presidential Election.
2015-2011 President and Founder of the CDL Coalition, a Benin political and social movement.
2011-2008 Special Adviser to President Yayi Boni for Economic Affairs.
2008-2007 Senior Minister of Transportation, Public Work, Infrastructure and Maritime Economy.
2007-2006 Special Adviser to President Yayi Boni for Presidential Affairs.
2006 Candidate for Benin Presidential Election.
2006-1982 World Bank Senior Staff in Washington, D.C., USA in charge of the Sub-Saharan Energy Sector Development and Liberalization Programs.
1982-1973 Audit Manager at the Paris office of Ernst & Young.