US and South Africa Strengthen Bilateral Ties

Today, the United States and South Africa reaffirmed their commitment to strengthen their bilateral ties in the 21st century.

In her remarks with South African Foreign Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane after their meeting, US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton stresses that America wants to build sustainable partnerships in Africa.

“And nowhere is that more true or more important to boost relationship than here in South Africa.” -Ms. Clinton

According to Ms. Clinton, both countris are building a partnership that adds value — saving and improving lives, spreading opportunity and sparking economic growth, and strengthening the institutions of democracy.

Ambassador Harry Schwarz with his wife, President Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton in 1993.

“First, our cooperation in the region and beyond. We are working together on a host of difficult issues, from Zimbabwe to the Democratic Republic of Congo to Syria, from climate change to nonproliferation.” -Ms. Clinton

She says both countries are forming a working group on global and African affairs to bring senior officials from our government together regularly to take our cooperation to the next level.

“The second is our work to expand our economic relationship.” -Ms. Clinton

The two countries hlready have strong two-way trade, Ms. Clinton noted.

However, Ms. Clinton says that both countries can and must do better for both of their nations and people.

Ms. Clinton also announces that the United States is committed to helping South Africa grow its economy.

She cites that US Export-Import Bank and South Africa’s Industrial Development Corporation have signed a $2 billion agreement to provide credit guarantees to stimulate the growth of South Africa’s renewable energy sector.

In addition, a new partnership between USAID and the South African-based firm Cadiz will make up to $150 million available to small-and-medium-sized businesses in South Africa with the hope of creating more than 20,000 jobs.

“We also recognize that strengthening South Africa’s education system, like in any country, is essential to your economic future.” -Ms. Clinton

Both countries are launching the school capacity innovation program to fund the scale-up of new approaches to teacher training, an innovative $7.5 million public-private partnership between the ELMA Foundation, USAID, J.P. Morgan, and designed in collaboration with the South African Department of Education.

Ms. Clinton announces that a $500,000 opportunity grants program will help talented South African students who need financial assistance to study in the United States by covering visa testing and application fees, as well as international travel.

“The third area is our shared fight against HIV/AIDS.” -Ms. Clinton

Ms. Clinton stresses that both countries are committed and invested billions of dollars over the last seven or eight years.

She says that together, the United States and South Africa have saved the lives of hundreds of thousands of South African men, women, and children.

South Africa’s ready to take the lead, and under the framework that will be signed tomorrow, South Africa will be increasing its own investment and taking more responsibility for managing this epidemic, Ms. Clinton added.

“The final area is expanding our cooperation into new issues and is quite a list.” -Ms. Clinton

According to Ms. Clinton, both countries are also creating a new cyber working group to identify the common cyber threats and national priorities to build capacity to fight cyber crime and coordinate in international forums.

In addition, both countries are also working to enhance gender equality.

Ms. Clinton also announces that South Africa’s Minister of Women, Children, and People With Disabilities has confirmed her nation’s commitment as a founding member to the Equal Futures Partnership, an initiative that fosters women’s political participation and economic empowerment by bringing governments together with multilateral organizations, the private sector, and civil society.

Ms. Clinton also stresses that the United States will intensify its diplomacy and development work to end child marriage, and it’s a personal commitment of mine as well as a great value that South Africa, the United States, and so many people around the world share.

Earlier this week, with its commitment designed to build strong institutions embedded in democracy in Africa, the United States of America revealed Obama’s administration strategy on Sub-Saharan Africa.

President Obama has 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.

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.

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.

The US government is pursuing what is called country ownership of development.

South Africa will be taking over the management of their HIV/AIDS programs that treat nearly 6 million people a year.

Trade between the United States and Senegal rose 20 percent last year.

The US is encouraging greater economic integration between regional neighbors as well.

The US government also welcomes the leadership of the African Union in promoting peace, security, and democracy.

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

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.

Mina Fabulous
Mina Fabulous follows the news, especially what is going on in the US State Department. Mina turns State Department waffle into plain English. Mina Fabulous is the pen name of Carmen Avalino, the NewsBlaze production editor. When she isn't preparing stories for NewsBlaze writers, she writes stories, but to separate her editing and writing identities, she uses the name given by her family and friends.