2014-07-28T205911Z_1_LYNXMPEA6R0PF_RTROPTP_2_USA-OBAMA

Obama urges African nations not to make economic 'excuses'

U.S. President Obama speaks at the Summit of the Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders in WashingtonBy Annika McGinnis WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama on Monday gave a preview of a summit he will hold with African leaders next week, saying African nations should look inward for solutions to economic woes and not make “excuses” based on a history of dependence and colonization. Speaking to 500 young Africans finishing a six-week Washington leadership fellowship, Obama said while it was important for developed countries to consider providing some targeted debt relief, it was time to end the notion that all of African nations’ problems resulted from “onerous debt imposed by the West.” “At some point, we have to stop looking somewhere else for solutions, and you have to start looking for solutions internally,” Obama told the enthusiastic audience. “And as powerful as history is, and you need to know that history, at some point, you have to look to the future and say, ‘OK, we didn’t get a good deal then, but let’s make sure that we’re not making excuses for not going forward.’” Next week’s U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit in Washington will convene economic and political leaders from across Africa to discuss the continent’s development and the U.S. role in partnership and investment.

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