Forbes — Donald Trump Is Ignorant About Africa, Says Ugandan Mogul Ashish J. Thakkar

Posted August 11, 2013 by Ugandan Diaspora News Team in Africa ~ 7,821 views


U.S President Barack Obama, who was on tour in Africa, pledged $7 billion to support the building of reliable electric power grids in sub-Saharan Africa.As Forbes contributor William Pentland correctly pointed out, two-thirds of Africa’s 1 billion population lack access to a stable supply of electricity. Obama’s plan, called “Power Africa,” entails investing American funds to change that, initially focusing on key markets such as Nigeria, Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda and Liberia.

On hearing the announcement, American billionaire real estate mogul Donald Trump took to Twitter and tweeted – “Every penny of the $7 billion going to Africa as per Obama will be stolen – corruption is rampant!” Prior to that, Trump had tweeted that Obama’s trip to Africa was a total waste of taxpayer’s money.

Trump’s tweets expectedly generated a lot of backlash from Africans all over the social network. One of the offended Africans was 32 year-old multi-millionaire tycoon Ashish J. Thakkar, who tweeted at Trump, saying- “This is a very ignorant statement – do NOT generalize us- we are not ‘a’ Country- we are a continent of 54 countries!!!”

Amused at the tweet, I called Thakkar, the wealthy founder of Mara Group, a Pan-African conglomerate that has interests in hotels, Real Estate, financial services, communications, telephony and manufacturing, to talk about his tweet. An irritated Thakkar said:

“The statement by Donald J. Trump, that every penny of the $7 billion ‘would be stolen’ is extremely ignorant. If he had travelled the African continent he would understand that this is a ridiculous assumption and that you cannot possibly generalize a continent of 54 countries. If you really want to generalize us, then do so positively and not negatively!”

He continued: “Today, most African governments are extremely committed to combating corruption, governance is increasing and overall Africa is going through an amazing transformation, which will make the continent prosper to become a world player.”

Obama’s  week-long African tour, took him to Senegal, South Africa and Tanzania to raise investment opportunities for American businesses, address development issues such as food and security and promote democracy. In the past, African social commentators had lamented Obama’s limited interest in the continent’s economic affairs. Obama attempted to dispel that prevailing notion on the last African trip, while forging strategic economic alliances between the U.S and African businesses. To Africans, these are important issues. According to Trump, it’s a “total waste of taxpayers money!”

Source — Forbes Magazine Contributor

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Ugandan Diaspora News Team

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    Robert Atuhairwe

    The very same words i would say to Trump. Perhaps that’s why billionaires are what they are-they are stingy and to them money going elsewhere is a waste! Africa unite!

    Robert Atuhairwe in Kampala

    Firing from Kampala, Uganda

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