November 4, 2009
Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Neal S. Wolin
University of the Witswatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa
Remarks as Prepared for Delivery
Good morning. Thank you so much, Boris, for that kind introduction.
It is a pleasure to be here. And to those of you studying here at Wits – the future
leaders of Africa – it's a particular privilege to be with you.
When I was studying development economics as a post-graduate at Oxford in the
mid-1980s, I spent a lot of time with a group of Wits graduates who had been very
active in National Union of South African Students.
We spent countless hours talking about the future of South Africa, and to be in
South Africa now is to marvel at how far this nation has traveled over the past few
decades. South Africa today is taking its place as an important regional and,
indeed, a global leader.
I must say that I wish this trip coincided with the World Cup. But perhaps I'll just
have to come back again next year. I have no doubt that South Africa will host a
great tournament, and I am looking forward to the U.S. side doing as well as – or
perhaps better than – it did in the Confederation Cup that South Africa hosted so
well earlier this year. Let's hope for U.S. versus Bafana Bafana in the final.
Johannesburg is the final stop of a three-country visit that took me first to Rwanda
and Tanzania. In both of those countries, and here in South Africa, I've had the
opportunity to talk with senior government officials and also to talk extensively both
with people in the private sector and in the development community.
Taken altogether, it's been a visit that has made me hopeful for the future of Africa
– and for the future of U.S.-Africa partnership.
I will talk a bit this morning about my trip and particularly about the important
development efforts with respect to agriculture, infrastructure, and financial
inclusion that were a large part of my focus here in Africa. But first, I'd like to take
a step back and lo