The United States places a high value on its cooperation with partner countries in Africa, and is committed to deepening its engagement on the continent. As Deputy Secretary of State William Burns said, the trip, “which comes on the heels of Secretary Clinton’s visit to West Africa last week, reaffirms the high priority the Obama Administration attaches to Africa. It highlights our ongoing commitment to work with African partners both to seize opportunities and address common challenges.”
“America’s commitment to the continent is underscored by our work to support gains in democratic governance, sustainable development, economic growth, and the peaceful resolution of conflict. This includes our support for democracy and governance programs across the continent, our ongoing efforts to strengthen commercial ties between the U.S. and Africa, and our steadfast support for the protection and promotion of human rights,” said Deputy Secretary Burns.
The United States supports programs such as President Obama’s Feed the Future Initiative with the goal of finding long-term solutions to chronic hunger and under-nutrition and of eliminating the root causes of food insecurity and poverty.
The United States has committed more than $870 million over the past eighteen months going toward alleviating suffering in the famine-stricken region. The United States is also committed to helping countries improve measurable health outcomes by strengthening health systems and building upon proven results.
During his trip, Deputy Secretary Burns met with civil society leaders, including young leaders engaged in dynamic work in a variety of sectors. “The Obama Administration has made a special point of engaging the continent’s next generation of leaders to discuss the broad spectrum of U.S.-African issues,” he said.
“I was particularly delighted to be able to lead the U.S. delegation in attending the opening of the African Union Summit. The United States has a special relationship with this vital regional organization, including by being the first non-member state to accredit a diplomatic mission dedicated exclusively to the African Union,” said Deputy Secretary Burns.
“We collaborate and partner with the African Union on a broad range of issues and will continue to assist in augmenting the AU’s capacity to address the many opportunities and challenges facing the continent.