Africa is a continent of “tremendous, tremendous potential,” U.S. President Donald Trump told African leaders at a luncheon on Wednesday.
“Africa has tremendous business potential,” Trump continued, while hosting the leaders of Côte d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea, Namibia, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa and Uganda during the United Nations General Assembly in New York.
“I have so many friends going to your countries trying to get rich. I congratulate you,” he said. “They’re spending a lot of money.”
He went on to praise health care advancements in the non-existent country of Nambia. It is unclear if he was referring to Gambia in West Africa, Zambia in southern Africa, or perhaps Namibia in southwest Africa. White House transcripts suggest the latter.
Trump also announced he’s interested in boosting American investment to create jobs in Africa.
His administration has been “closely monitoring and deeply disturbed by the ongoing violence in South Sudan and in the Congo,” and will be dispatching U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley to Africa to “discuss avenues of conflict and resolution and, most importantly, prevention,” he added.
In his first speech before the U.N. General Assembly on Tuesday, Trump spoke for 41 minutes on a number of controversial topics, at one point threatening to “totally destroy” North Korea.
But members of the Zimbabwean delegation, including President Robert Mugabe, seemed far from interested. A widely shared image appears to show the 93-year-old leader falling asleep in his seat.
Maybe Trump’s speech would have been better received by Nambian leaders.