Insider’s Swipe Unfair

US Ambassador Gaspard | Letter to the Editor |Business Day | OCTOBER 31 2014, 10:40

I WAS disappointed to see The Insider column (October 29) take an unfair swipe at visiting US Assistant Secretary of State for Africa Linda Thomas-Greenfield. Your journalist twisted her remarks at a private diplomatic reception when she praised the Mandela Washington Fellows who came to Washington DC for a summit as part of President Barack Obama’s Young African Leaders Initiative.

What she said was that if 500 young US leaders were to gather together for a week, you could be certain that a handful of them would get into trouble somehow. Her point was that the young leaders from the continent, including 46 from SA, showed remarkable leadership skills and represented their countries proudly.

They were truly an inspiration to all of the US government officials who met them, including Mr Obama. It is wrong for Business Day to imply she meant anything other than praise for these outstanding leaders from Africa.

Patrick Gaspard
US Ambassador to SA