Statement by Dr. Mima S. Nedelcovych, President & CEO of the Initiative for Global Development (IGD)

12 January 2018

As someone who has spent his whole life on the African continent, and in my present capacity as President and CEO of the Initiative for Global Development (IGD) , an influential network of African and global business leaders, I am personally shocked by the alleged disparaging remarks and “tough talk” made by the U.S. President about African nations. IGD vehemently rejects the President’s alleged statement about our colleagues in Africa, whose partnership we deeply value and respect.

The President’s alleged remarks reported in the press represent misperceptions about the continent and fail to reflect a rapidly changing and dynamic Africa. Indeed, Africa is a continent on the move, where more than half of Africa’s 54 countries have achieved middle-income status within a short period of time. African businesses have emerged as the drivers of growth on the continent, creating more than 80 percent of jobs.

The continent’s widening middle class has generated spending power totaling $4 trillion annually, which translates into a growing demand for U.S. products and services. Increasing trade opportunities and investments between the U.S. and Africa and strengthening the private sector can only build stronger economies and prosperity in both Africa and the U.S.

That is why IGD launched the Africa Investment Rising campaign to change the narrative on doing business on the continent by showcasing Africa’s tremendous business and economic potential. When equipped with knowledge, U.S. investors can benefit from the enormous opportunities on the continent.

At IGD, we are committed to amplifying the voices of our network of sector-leading business leaders because they have the power to shift mindsets. Let us take this opportunity to learn more about how we can, together, move the continent forward for mutual benefit.

MEDIA CONTACT: Shanta Bryant Gyan * * (202) 412-4603

The Initiative for Global Development (IGD) is a Washington, DC-based nonprofit organization that harnesses the power of the private sector to create sustainable development and inclusive growth in Africa. We bring together CEOs and senior executives from leading African and global companies through our Frontier Leader Network to catalyze greater business investment and impact on the continent. For more information, visit

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