EXECUTIVE LECTURE FORUM:
Activities: 2005: Abstract: Oguin
 

July 14, 2005

Ambassador Cyrille S. Oguin
Embassy of Benin
Washington, D.C. 

Topic:  The Future of Africa.

The briefing of Benin’s Ambassador Cyrille S. Oguin at the ELF business luncheon was a historic message from Africa.  He offered a clear and honest picture of Africa’s state of affair. He emphasized that the 50 African countries, with 850 million inhabitants, have different condition and different situations.  Some are caught in poverty and conflict with no good prospect in the nation-building process; and some countries have implemented significant macroeconomic reforms and are prosperous.  The Ambassador pointed out that the future of Africa is complex and provocative.  The turning point came in July 2000, when the transformation of the Organization of the African Union (OAU) to the African Union (AU) became a reality.  This political organization has assisted Africa to become a global player.  Economically, however, many African countries have grave economic and social problems.  The debt burden slowed down the much needed development.  Health is a major concern; HIV/AIDS affects and kills the juvenile forces of the continent; and malaria is the number one silent killer.  But, “There is hope,” said the Ambassador.  The Conference on “Security, Stability Development and Cooperation in Africa (CSSDCA)” aimed not only to prevent conflicts on the Continent, but also projected a roadmap for promoting democracy, good governance and cooperation among the African Nations.  He concluded with an enthusiastic remark that the recent debt relief, and the developed countries’ economic assistance and investments Benin and other stable African countries will bring the much needed prosperity.  “Indeed,” said the Ambassador, “our challenges in Africa are the best business opportunities” for the United States and, of course, for Mississippi.

© 2005 The Radványi Chair in International Security Studies, Mississippi State University.
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