April 13, 2021 : By Logan Smith - Office of Communications & Public Engagement
In his keynote address to kick off the Equity for Africa summit, a three-day conference hosted by the Liberty University School of Business and powered by the Standing for Freedom Center, former U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo recognized faith principles as the propellant for economic growth across Africa.
The faith-based forum is assembling major government, business, and faith leaders from America and Africa to share visions of making Africa a more prosperous, secure, and flourishing continent. (Go to the event website to watch the livestream and view panel discussions and participants.)
“Every African, and indeed every human, wants the same basic things,” Pompeo said in his address from Liberty University’s campus on Tuesday night. “They want freedom and the ability to take care of their families, and they all understand that there’s very little that is more noble than the dignity that comes with a job and opportunity to work and to deliver on behalf of their families and community. And Africans who get the opportunity to do so are obviously better, and their nation more prosperous and secure.”
“We want to make sure that we’re doing all we can do to bring these groups together — to build our nations and our businesses around a set of faith-based principles that will strengthen the economies in African nations,” he added.
Before becoming the 70th U.S. Secretary of State, Pompeo served as director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) under the Trump Administration. He represented Kansas’ 4th congressional district from 2011-17.
Pompeo recognized the growing threats in Africa, including terrorist regimes and communism.
“Communism and socialism have failed every place they have been tried,” he said. “I hope that African nations will see that these failed socialist experiments should be of the past, and we should move forward to a new future based on a set of basic principles. … I’m supremely confident that together we can make the world better and make America better. And here, we are here to work on ways to make Africa stronger, more prosperous, and secure.”
In his closing, Pompeo gleaned from the parable of the talents from Matthew 25.
“Everyone out here has talents. None of us should hide them. We should each use them for their manifest purpose and for the good of both America and for the African people,” he said. “If we do that, we will find economic growth, we will find security growth, and we will all find spiritual growth. This should always be the ideal for which we strive.”
Panel participants include former NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine; Dr. Alveda King, niece of Martin Luther King Jr.; and President of Hobby Lobby and Chairman of the Board of the Museum of the Bible Steve and Jackie Green. African panel participants will include President of the Republic of Ghana Nana Akufo-Addo, former President of Malawi and first female president in Africa Joyce Banda, and Nigerian billionaire Folorunso Alakija.