Give attention to growing entrepreneurship, US envoy urges SA

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DURBAN – THE US Consul General in Durban has advised South Africa to focus on developing entrepreneurship to fight unemployment, educating voters and providing accurate information to the population to combat misinformation on social media.

Consul General Anne Linnee spoke exclusively to the Daily News on Tuesday.

On politics, she said there was a need for political education to empower voters to make the right decisions.

“It is important to give voters better education. South Africa is a very young democracy and there is a lot to learn. It is also necessary to deal with misinformation on social media.

“It is important to provide people with accurate information to combat misinformation.”

The role of multi-party democracy has potential to flourish even in Africa, she said.

“Compared to America, the South African system allows even more people.”

War in Afghanistan

Speaking of Afghanistan, she said the videos of what happened in that country were heartbreaking to watch.

“What happens next is entirely up to the Taliban. We have made it particularly clear to the Taliban in recent years that our expectations were of a democratically elected government in Afghanistan that respects the rights of women and girls and allows all progress, especially in civil society, to continue over the past 20 years.

“The goal of the USA was to defeat al-Qaida and to ensure that there is no further attack on the USA and to punish the perpetrators. And we have achieved all of that. “

US President Joe Biden announced the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan, which led to a polarization of the US media. “Only the TV news media is polarized. But the American public is not that divided about the withdrawal. Biden stands by his decision and has extensive experience in the region. “

There are also members of Afghan civil society who want to stay in the country and help rebuild, she said.

“I want everyone to learn, especially when it comes to Africa, that there can be no safe haven for terrorists.”

Linnee said Afghanistan will need a lot of help after what happened.

The US Consul General Anne Linnee in Durban spoke exclusively to Daily News editor Ayanda Mdluli on Tuesday about various topics affecting the country and the African continent. I Tumi Pakkies / African News Agency (ANA)

Entrepreneurship

Most countries, including the US, are able to create equitable growth by promoting entrepreneurship among the people who have created jobs, she said.

“We have to develop women and young entrepreneurs. As a consulate, we’ve trained 300 women entrepreneurs to date in a variety of ways, including business skills, corporate finance, mentoring programs, etc., ”Linnee said.

The US Mission to South Africa is currently running these flagship programs, the Mandela Washington Fellowship (MWF) and the International Visitors Leadership Program (IVLP), as part of its entrepreneurship development interventions. “We also connect people who are in business who make various products with those who do business who sell products. We promote relationships between entrepreneurs and network them so that they can mutually strengthen and strengthen one another. “

They also focused on women and young entrepreneurs in the agricultural sector, she said.

“Our IVLP program brings together a wide variety of sectors, from tourism to science to police, etc. Our Mandela Washington program has been the most successful to date. We are still accepting applications until September 13th for those who would like to receive training for free. We develop entrepreneurs and key people so that they can expand and create more jobs. We currently employ 1,000 people in the country. “

Covid-19

She urged people to get vaccinated so that the economy can open up and tourists can visit the country. “South Africa is a place everyone in America wants to visit. Above all, KZN is a one-stop tourist destination. We have the beaches, the mountains and various activities. The best thing is that there are luxury and low-cost packages. “

She welcomed the country’s vaccination campaign, which has now been vaccinated in 10.79 million people.

The US recently donated 5.7 million doses of vaccine that arrived in the country two weeks ago.

“I am happy when people stand in line to get vaccinated. We realized that South Africa is capable of advancing vaccines quickly. If everyone is vaccinated, tourism will get a boost. “