Washington (CNN) - President Barack Obama will host a three-day forum next month for more than 100 "young leaders" from Africa, the White House announced Wednesday.
The August 3-5 gathering will include a town hall meeting at the White House by Obama and participants from more than 40 sub-Saharan African countries, according to the statement.
"Together with American counterparts and U.S. government officials, the participants will share their insights on key themes of youth empowerment, good governance, and economic opportunity," the statement said.
Titled "The President's Forum with Young African Leaders", the meeting "presents the U.S. government and American friends of Africa with an opportunity to deepen and broaden our understanding of the trajectories of African societies, and to reflect on how the next generation are building their communities' and their nations' futures - just as their predecessors did in the era of independence from colonial rule," the White House statement said.
I think this is a wonderful thing! A good friend of mine who resided in South Africa for 5 years recently wrote that widespread government corruption in the African continent is one of the key elements in keeping a number of African countries from progress. I believe, therefore, that focusing on young African men (why not women?) who have demonstrated promise and leadership abilities is a great way to break that cycle.
And please, regardless of how you feel about President Obama I urge you to see the positive impact that OUR African-American president would have on these young leaders. The ability to be able to see and experience, firsthand, what someone who looks just like them has been able to accomplish through education, diligence, and hard work, will speak louder to these young men than anything else.
I applaud your vision President Obama, and your ability to address present concerns while maintaining on eye on the future of the world at large.