With its commitment designed to build strong institutions embedded in democracy in Africa, the United States of America today revealed Obama’s administration strategy on Sub-Saharan Africa.
In her remarks on building sustainable partnerships in Africa, US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton says President Obama acknowledged that historically, Western powers had too often seen Africa as a source of resources to be exploited or as a charity cause in need of patronage.
“And he issued this challenge to Africans and Americans alike: Africa needs partnership, not patronage.” -Ms. Clinton
At Dakar, Senegal, Ms. Clinton also talks a about a model of sustainable partnership that adds value rather than extracts it.
“That’s America’s commitment to Africa.” -Ms. Clinton
According to Ms. Clinton, Obama Administration’s comprehensive strategy on Sub-Saharan Africa is based on four pillars: first, to promote opportunity and development; second, to spur economic growth, trade, and investment; third, to advance peace and security; and fourth, to strengthen democratic institutions.
She notes that US partnership with Senegal embodies all four of those pillars.
First, when it comes to development, we are building on the progress of programs like AGOA, PEPFAR, and MCC, and incorporating the lessons learned over the past decades, Ms. Clinton noted.
The US government is pursuing what is called country ownership of development.
That means a nation’s own efforts to lift Africans out of poverty, improve health and education, grow their economy, are led, planned, and ultimately implemented by their own government, their own communities, their own civil society, their own private sector, Ms. Clinton highlighted.
She announces that South Africa will be taking over the management of their HIV/AIDS programs that treat nearly 6 million people a year.
“The United States has been a partner and a donor, and we continue to provide assistance, but the South African Government and people have said, “This is our issue that we must address with our people.” -Ms. Clinton
In Senegal, the US is working in the MCC agreement and with USAID to make sure it is responsive to the needs that it hears about from its experts.
In addition, the United States also believes that good governance and political will matter.
Sustainable development hinges on political leaders making good choices to fight corruption and to create jobs, to prioritize investments in health and education, to put in place fair tax systems, transparent budgeting, and other responsible measures, Ms. Clinton said.
“The second pillar of our strategy is spurring economic growth, trade, and investment.” -Ms. Clinton
She cites that trade between the United States and Senegal rose 20 percent last year.
In Africa, Senegal have seven of the ten fastest-growing economies in the world.
“But too many businesspeople around the world don’t know that.” -Ms. Clinton
The US is encouraging greater economic integration between regional neighbors.
She says If one looks at Sub-Saharan Africa and one looks at the barriers to growth, many of those are the barriers that exist between and among neighbors.
She adds that if countries and regions of Africa traded as much between themselves as countries in Latin America or Asia do, growth would even be faster.
“The third pillar is a commitment to shared security and regional problem-solving.” -Ms. Clinton
The United States and Senegal are working together closely, working to combat terrorism, tackling regional threats such as drug trafficking, supporting peace and security throughout the region and the world.
The US government also welcomes the leadership of the African Union in promoting peace, security, and democracy.
Ms. Clinton notes that the African Union sent very strong messages about Africa’s emerging norms by suspending Madagascar, Guinea-Bissau, and Mali after their coups and calling for the restoration of elected civilian governments. And I look forward to discussing the future of the African
“It’s especially appropriate to emphasize the fourth pillar of our approach here in Senegal because it is the heart of the American model of partnership, and that is our enduring support for democracy and human rights, our helping other nations and people fulfill their own aspirations.” -Ms. Clinton
She states that by every measure, democracies make better neighbors and better partners.
Democracies are more capable of working together to solve shared challenges, she added.
“And if anyone doubts whether democracy can flourish in African soil, let them come to Senegal. ” -Ms. Clinton
Ms. Clinton adds that the links between democracy and development is a defining element of the American model of partnership.
Ms. Clinton notes that the United States will stand up for democracy and universal human rights, even when it might be easier or more profitable to look the other way, to keep the resources flowing. Not every partner makes that choice, but we do and we will.
In June this year, recognizing the tremendous untapped economic potential of Africa, the United States of America has underscored its commitment to expanding trade and investment in sub-Saharan Africa.
U.S. trade to and from Africa has grown significantly in the past ten years.
U.S. exports to sub-Saharan Africa tripled from just under $7 billion U.S. dollars in 2001 to over $21 billion dollars in 2011.
The United States and African nations shared a vision with many of you of a future in which economic growth in Africa would fuel growth and prosperity worldwide, Mr. Carson underlined.
Africa represents the next global economic frontier and
Sub-Saharan Africa continues to weather the global economic crisis more successfully than other regions.
Sub-Saharan Africa is home to six and soon to be seven of the ten fastest growing economies in the world.
The second pillar of President Obama’s recently announced U.S. Strategy Toward Sub-Saharan Africa directs the Administration to “spur economic growth, trade, and investment in sub-Saharan Africa.”
This new strategy elevates economic growth, trade, and investment issues by calling for increased U.S. focus to (1) promote an enabling environment for trade and investment ; (2) improve economic governance; (3) promote regional integration; (4) expand African capacity to effectively access and benefit from global markets; and (5) encourage U.S. companies to trade with and invest in Africa.
In addition to the President’s new U.S. Strategy Toward Sub-Saharan Africa, US efforts to increase its commercial engagement in Africa are firmly in line with Secretary Clinton’s global focus on Economic Statecraft.
The United States has worked to strengthen democratic institutions in sub-Saharan Africa through high-level diplomatic engagement, institution building, and programs that develop the capacity of judiciaries, legislatures, media and civil society.
The United States is investing in development partnerships across Africa to accelerate sustainable economic growth, promote food security, improve the capacity of countries and communities to respond to diseases and rebuild health systems, and to combat climate change.
Since taking office, the Obama Administration has signed multi-year grant agreements with five sub-Saharan Africa countries, totaling over $1.3 billion in investments that seek to reduce poverty through economic growth.