Nambia? Trump invents a new African country and sings its praises

The African Union has 55 countries, but Nambia isn’t one

US president Donald Trump mispronounces "Namibia" twice during a speech at a working lunch with African leaders. Video: The White House

 

As US president Donald Trump enthusiastically praised African leaders at a working lunch in New York yesterday, he referred to a yet-to-be-created African country.

In his address Mr Trump welcomed leaders from all over the continent, including Côte d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea... and “Nambia”.

Commenters on social media were quick to point out that this isn’t a country and wondered whether he actually meant Namibia... or Gambia... or maybe Zambia?

Mr Trump referred to ‘Nambia’ a second time in his short speech, praising their health system which is supposedly very self-sufficient, for a non-existent country.

An offical White House transcript clears up the confusion, giving Namibia as the name of country praised. Namibia’s president, Hage Geingob, and deputy prime minister, Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah, who were at the lunch, can’t have been too impressed.

“In Guinea and Nigeria, you fought a horrifying Ebola outbreak. Nambia’s health system is increasingly self-sufficient. My Secretary of Health and Human Services will be travelling to Africa to promote our Global Health Security Agenda,” Mr Trump told the crowd.

At the lunch Trump also praised the huge potential for growth in Africa, particularly the potential for American businessmen to make a profit: “I have so many friends going to your countries, trying to get rich. I congratulate you.”