The text of the following statement was released by the Government of the United States of America and the African Union Commission on the occasion of the U.S.-African Union High-Level Dialogue.
The United States and African Union Commission (AUC) convened the eighth annual U.S.-AUC High-Level Dialogue on March 11 in Washington, D.C., led by Secretary of State Antony Blinken and AUC Head of Delegation Chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat. The AUC and United States reaffirmed their strong commitment to collaboration, grounded in mutual interests and shared values, to address global issues including health security, climate change, inclusive economic growth, and peace, security, and governance. Secretary Blinken and Chairperson Moussa Faki signed a new Memorandum of Cooperation to advance the partnership between the United States and the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC).
Secretary Blinken and Chairperson Moussa Faki discussed strengthening the U.S.-AUC partnership to focus on shared global concerns including ending the current COVID-19 pandemic and preparing for future health threats; partnering on climate change strategies addressing threats to global stability; and bolstering democracy and democratically elected governments on the continent.
Health: U.S. interagency officials and AU Commissioner for Health, Humanitarian Affairs, and Social Development Minata Samate Cessouma discussed health capacity building in Africa and operationalizing Africa CDC’s Regional Collaborating Centers. Ensuring strong systems and infrastructure, including National Public Health Institutes is vital to prevent, detect, and respondto future infectious disease threats and improve the health of our global citizens. Participants also discussed COVID-19 response efforts and highlighted U.S. investments in the health sector, including through PEPFAR and other programs.
It was discussed to build upon existing public health assets including those for combatting HIV, TB, and malaria, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and other future disease threats. Participants acknowledged the importance of the operationalization of the Africa Medicines Agency (AMA).
Climate: Assistant Secretary of State for Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs Monica Medina underscored U.S. support for the AUC Africa Continental Climate Change and Resilient Development Strategy through U.S. programs including PREPARE, the President’s Emergency Plan for Adaptation and Resilience. U.S. and AUC officials discussed Africa’s priorities for COP27, which will be hosted by Africa in November 2022, especially just transitional and sustainable funding. The AU plays a leading role in advancing continental implementation of global climate commitments to keep the global temperature from rising beyond 1.5 degrees Celsius. Participants also discussed the nexus of climate and food security and food systems in the context of the AU’s theme on Nutrition and Food Security for 2022.
Economic Growth: Deputy Assistant Secretary Akunna Cook and AUC Commissioner for Economic Development, Tourism, Trade, Industry, and Minerals Albert Muchanga
led a strategic discussion on inclusive economic growth and investment opportunities. Noting the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on economies in the region, officials discussed the importance of spurring economic growth as a response to the pandemic. Officials reaffirmed U.S. support for the AfCFTA and other Agenda 2063 programs and projects to achieve sustainable economic development, build regional value chains, and increase both competitiveness and investment opportunities for mutual benefit. Participants discussed the importance of engaging with the private sector to increase trade and investment with Africa in pursuit of inclusive economic development, including by enhancing AGOA beyond its current framework.
Peace and Security: Special Assistant to the President and National Security Council Senior Director for Africa Dana Banks, Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Molly Phee, and AUC Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security Bankole Adeoye outlined the shared principles that underpin the U.S.-AUC security relationship. They discussed the importance of concrete action to address threats to democracy, including recent coups and military takeovers, lack of respect for constitutional term limits, and growing negative influence around the world.
Officials emphasized that these negative trends across the continent undermine the foundational principles of the AU, including the promotion of democratic ideals. U.S. and AU officials share the vision that the AU becomes the continental security guarantor, promoting peace and democracy through an operationalized and sustainable African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA) and African Governance Architecture. Additionally, the APSA provides a vital platform for preventing conflict, including in addressing the governance shortfalls fueling conflict and creating vulnerabilities exploited by terrorists, insurgencies, and international criminal networks. Participants affirmed their commitment to intensifying efforts to strengthen vital and inclusive democratic institutions and promote good governance as the most effective way to address the needs and aspirations of African citizens for a healthier, more peaceful, and more prosperous future.