Assistant Secretary Carson uses Reform Language to Outline Policy

Yesterday Johnnie Carson, Assistant Secretary of State in the Bureau of African Affairs, testified before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Africa and Global Health to discuss U.S. government policy for sub-Saharan Africa.  He emphasized the priority of the continent to the administration – as evident by President Obama’s trip to Ghana in July 2009 and Secretary Clinton’s 11-day, seven-country tour, among others – and the commitment to view Africa as a partner to the U.S. and the international community. His testimony outlined eight guiding principles for U.S. policy to Africa:

  • Strengthening democratic institutions
  • Promoting economic growth, development, and reform
  • Improving health, including combating HIV/AIDS and other epidemics
  • Preventing and resolving conflicts
  • Working to resolve transnational challenges
  • Supporting a strategic dialogue with Angola, Nigeria, and South Africa
  • Striving for greater diplomatic presence
  • Improving public affairs outreach through American centers

See excerpts from his testimony below that use reform language to shape policy:

Johnnie Carson“The Obama Administration is committed to a positive and forward-looking policy in Africa, but we know that additional assistance will not automatically produce success across the continent. Instead, success will be defined by how well we work together as partners to build Africa’s capacity for long-term change and ultimately eliminate the continued need for such assistance.”

“The United States is committed to supporting a new Global Hunger and Food Security Initiative, which builds upon the model of the African-led Comprehensive African Agriculture Development Program (CAADP) to partner with countries and other development partners to reduce hunger, poverty and undernourishment. The President’s commitment of at least $3.5 billion over three years to agricultural development will help us work with African farmers to employ new agricultural methods and technologies, and help them deliver their production to markets.”

“The United States also wants to strengthen its trading relationship with Africa…We also continue to explore ways to promote African private sector growth and investment, especially for small and medium-sized businesses…In the midst of these efforts, we cannot forget the critical role African women play as producers and agricultural traders – they must take part in this economic growth. We must ensure that African women are an equal part of Africa’s economic future and success.”

“Since GHI aims to maximize the sustainable health impact the United States achieves for every dollar invested, we will work in partnership with African governments and civil society, supporting their efforts to ensure that high-quality treatment, prevention, and care are accessible to communities throughout Africa. We will also engage in dialogue with partner countries, multilateral organizations, and other donors to ensure that there is a shared global response to global health needs.”

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