On June 6, 2006 Secretary Rice stated, "Our policy toward Africa is rooted in partnership not paternalism, in doing things with the peoples of Africa not for the peoples of Africa." Africa is a region of opportunity and promise. The number of democracies significantly increased over the past decade and the trend is continuing. Many long-running conflicts are close to resolution. War criminals, particularly leaders, are facing accountability. More countries are eligible for the Millennium Challenge Account (MCA), which links good policy, effective governance, and economic growth. By 2012, we believe 11 countries will have successfully signed MCA Compacts, and seven others will progress towards this goal.
Africa faces great challenges. Fragile states border fledgling democracies. Conflicts displace many people and hinder economic growth. 350 million Africans live on less than one dollar per day, and HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other infectious diseases overwhelm health systems and further impoverish many families. Lack of economic freedom in many countries hampers investment, growth, and poverty reduction. Sub-Saharan Africa remains the world's poorest region.
U.S. policy is committed to peace and security, democracy, free markets and economic integration, a healthy environment, and humanitarian assistance. These principles support vital U.S. interests in Africa, one of the last large emerging markets that will soon supply 25 percent of U.S. oil imports. The U.S. priorities in Africa derive from the President's charge to make the world safer and better, and the Secretary's vision of transformational diplomacy to use America's power to help foreign citizens improve their own lives.
Sudan/Darfur: Our top priority is Sudan, where we seek to secure peace and democracy countrywide and support the Sudanese people to implement the North/South Comprehensive Peace Agreement. In Darfur, U.S. humanitarian assistance helps meet basic needs and provides protection to vulnerable people. We will continue to support accountability for serious violations of human rights. We will also continue to facilitate dialogue among the contending parties, negotiate the introduction of a credible, effective peacekeeping force leading to a sustainable peace, and encourage economic growth. (Strategic Goal Linkages: 1, 3, 5, and others)
Liberia, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), and Post-Conflict Countries: We will support post-conflict reconstruction in countries such as Liberia, where Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf was elected Africa's first female president, and DRC, which recently successfully held its first free election since 1960. There and elsewhere, our humanitarian assistance will speed recovery from conflict and disaster, facilitate the return of refugees, and support peace and economic growth. To promote stability across Africa, we will strengthen bilateral relations with key sub-regional states, such as South Africa, Nigeria, and Kenya. (Strategic Goal Linkages: 2, 4, 5, and others)
Democracy and Human Rights: We will help Africans reform and strengthen their democratic institutions, and learn to hold their newly-elected governments accountable. We will pay particular attention to the role of women and youth. (Strategic Goal Linkage: 2)
Counterterrorism: We will strengthen African counterterrorism cooperation and capacity, especially in the Trans-Saharan countries of West Africa, and in Somalia and surrounding countries in the Horn of Africa and East Africa. We also will assist African states in their resolve to fight corruption, an important enabler of illegal money and arms flows, and to meet international nonproliferation obligations regarding weapons of mass destruction (WMD). (Strategic Goal Linkages: 1, 2, and 5)
Building Local Capacity: We will work through African regional organizations, such as the African Union (AU), which encourage the building of democratic institutions throughout the region, such as in Sudan and Cote d'Ivoire. The United States is the first non-African country to be accredited to the AU, reaffirming America's strong commitment. To improve the AU's peacekeeping capability, we will support the Africa Standby Force to address transnational threats. We will also help improve African disaster management capabilities. (Strategic Goal Linkages: 1 and 2)
HIV/AIDS and Infectious Diseases: Health is a key priority that facilitates economic development and stable societies. Africa is the primary focus of the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), a wide-ranging prevention, treatment, and care initiative that funds projects in African countries bearing the HIV/AIDS burden (12 of the 15 PEPFAR focus countries are in sub-Saharan Africa). Through the President's Malaria Initiative (PMI), over the next five years we will expand malaria prevention and treatment to reduce African mortality from this disease by 50 percent in up to 15 of the most malaria-infected African countries. (Strategic Goal Linkage: 3)
Economics and Trade Including Conservation: To promote private sector development, increase African competitiveness, and integrate African nations into the global economy, we will work to improve investment climates, human capital, finance, and infrastructure. Through the African Global Competitiveness Initiative, we will build on the African Growth and Opportunity Act to increase trade throughout sub-Saharan Africa. We will also work to fund fully the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) program to achieve its debt-reduction goals by 2012. As education is an important driver of economic growth, we will help increase access to quality education through the Africa Education Initiative.
We seek to reduce hunger in Africa by half by 2015, in keeping with the United Nations (UN) Development Goals of the Millennium Declaration. To break the cycle of recurrent food crises, the Presidential Initiative to End Hunger in Africa will promote food security for rural populations by increasing agricultural productivity and promoting rural diversification, particularly in Ghana, Kenya, Mali, Mozambique, Uganda, and Zambia. We strongly support initiatives such as the Congo Basin Forest Partnership that conserve forest and wildlife resources and improve livelihoods. We will build technical capacity to improve natural resources management and increase agricultural productivity. (Strategic Goal Linkage: 4)
We see grounds for measured optimism in Africa, due in part to a growing unity of vision and purpose among African leaders. This is evidenced by African support for measures to foster greater accountability, such as the Africa Peer Review Mechanism, an AU voluntary mechanism where states undergo a self-assessment on shortcomings in political, economic, corporate, and socio-economic governance. To date over 24 countries have joined. The United States has a long-term commitment to partnership with Africa, promoting improvements in security, trade, democracy, and capacity to respond to humanitarian emergencies.
|Countries Comprising the Africa Region|
The following countries are in the Africa region: