(Bamako) U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Mr. Tibor P. Nagy visited Mali November 4-6. Mr. Nagy is the head of the bureau in the U.S. State Department responsible for U.S. policy in Africa, and promoting U.S. goals in support of bilateral relationships throughout Africa, including with Mali. In this, his first trip to West Africa as the new Assistant Secretary of State, Mr. Nagy traveled to Togo, Guinea, Mali, and Nigeria.
During Mr. Nagy’s meetings in Mali, he highlighted key U.S. priorities including, promoting stronger trade between the United States and Mali, harnessing the potential of youth for economic prosperity, and advancing peace and security in Mali and across the Sahel.
On November 4, Assistant Secretary Nagy met with Malian President Mr. Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, reaffirming the United States’ commitment to Africa and the longstanding friendship and strong bilateral relationship with Mali.
During his visit, Assistant Secretary Nagy also met with Prime Minister Mr. Soumeylou Boubeye Maiga, and Foreign Minister Ms. Kamissa Camara, emphasizing U.S. support for the full and rapid implementation of the Algiers Accord. He underscored the need for international partners to support Mali’s effective response to terrorist threats, including through the regional G5 Sahel; and providing sustainable foreign assistance in the areas of food security, health, education, and economic growth.
In his meetings with the Malian Minister of Energy and Water Mr. Sambou Wague, and the Minister of Mines and Petroleum Ms. Lelenta Hawa Baba Ba, Mr. Nagy said, “Strengthening commercial ties between the United States and our African partners is one of my top priorities.” The Assistant Secretary touched upon the hope that there would be increased access to reliable and affordable electricity in Mali to improve the quality of life for Malians, and enable American investors to operate in Mali. He encouraged new opportunities for economic partnerships and investment between Mali and the United States.
At an entrepreneurship roundtable with the Malian business community, Mr Nagy emphasized, the need for economic development, “We cannot achieve lasting peace and security without sustainable and inclusive economic growth. That is why I believe our engagement here in Mali and across the continent must include efforts to encourage entrepreneurship and innovation, support an educated workforce, advance economic partnerships between our countries, and improve the climate for foreign investment.”
At a meeting with the Malian international exchange participants from the Mandela Washington Fellows of the Young African Leadership Initiative (YALI) Mr. Nagy affirmed his admiration for the alumni, saying “YALI alumni make real differences in their communities, their ideas and energy are helping drive the future of Africa: new businesses, fair governance, and a just societies.”
Mr. Nagy is a former American Foreign Service Officer and served over 20 years in Africa as a U.S. diplomat in Cameroon, Togo and U.S. Ambassador to Guinea and Ethiopia. Before returning to the U.S. Department of State as Assistant Secretary of State for Africa, Mr. Nagy served as Vice Provost for International Affairs at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas, his alma mater.