Bad governance responsible for Boko Haram – Obama
Despite the protests against the visit of President Barrack Obama to South Africa by coalition of trade unions and civil society groups in the country, the proposed Town Hall Meeting with youths from African countries went ahead as scheduled.
Fielding questions from journalists and young Africans, President Obama blamed the failure of governments on their inability to train the youths in relevant fields.
He said 'in terms of human capital and young people, I think the greatest investment any country can make, not just an African country, is educating it's youth and providing them with the skill to compete in a highly technological, advanced world economy'.
He further said 'countries that do not do that well will not succeed'.
He also noted that countries with limited skill will have 'problems' in drawing international businesses.
'This is a problem in the United State and not just a problem in Africa,' he added.
He said the U.S. is willing to collaborate with Nigeria to train teachers and incorporate technology in the education system.
'Across board we are having a rethink in education and work force training. And one of the things we want to do is to partner with a country like Nigeria and identify ways that we can provide direct value added, whether it is in helping to train teachers or helping to incorporate technology into the education process'
Obama said they have plans to work with all African countries to empower the youths depending on the plan of the countries.
'There are some excellent plans that sometimes we are doing country by country depending on the country plan. But this is a scenario where I would like to get input from young people in terms of what they think will work'.
Tackling Global Terrorist Cells
He praised his government for making a considerable effort in tackling insecurity and curbing terror with the death of Osama Bin Laden but was quick to recognize the existence of Boko Haram in Nigeria.
'There is no doubt in the progress we have made in dealing with some extremist groups, for example core Al Qaida and Bin Laden' stressing that 'they have been greatly diminished'.
He noted that 'What is also true is that in some ways the problem has also metastasized, we have more regional terrorist organisations like Boko Haram in Nigeria espousing an extremist ideology, showing no regard for human life'.
He admitted that despite not having a transnational capacity like the other organisations 'they are doing great harm in Africa and in the Middle East and in South Asia'.
Obama blamed the upsurge of terrorist groups on the fact that 'countries are not delivering for their people and where there sources of conflict and underlining frustrations that have not been adequately dealt with'
To curb such uprisings, Obama said 'we have to build institutions a lot of what we talked about in terms of responsiveness, governance and democracy. Those things become defence mechanisms against terrorism, they are the most important defence against terrorism' he said.
He however ruled out military solutions in tackling terrorism but advocated that governments 'give people opportunity, education and resolve conflicts through regular democratic processes, the less likely they are to take root'
He charged the African Union to send peace keeping missions to countries that are likely to have such terrorist cells come up and nip them in the bud before they cause harm, adding that 'we can provide advice, training and in some cases equipment'.
He said America will like to stand back and sell iPads and planes than remain as a global police, he however warned that America will not 'stand by and watch while our embassies are being attacked our people are in vulnerable situations'