The United States says Africa is a trusted friend and partner in a mutual partnership between the two parties.
This was contained in remarks delivered by Under Secretary Thomas Shannon at the “United States-African Partnerships: Advancing Common Interest Symposium”, held at the United States Institute of Peace (USIP).
In his 9-minute address, Shannon stressed the importance of Africa to take charge especially of its peace and security and for governments to do all it takes to lift their people out of poverty – efforts that the U.S. was fully committed to.
“Africa is a place of trusted friends and partners, we must continue to journey together in our quest for peace and security, inclusive development and good governance, a trained workforce with economic opportunities and an empowered civil society.
“As an old African proverb says, ‘If you want to go quickly, go alone, if you want to go far, go together,’ we plan to go together with our African partners,” Shannon said.
He spoke about how Africans were fighting security threats across the continent in countries like Somalia, Nigeria and the Sahel region, noting further that the U.S. was ready at every point to assist with logistics and training as they already are doing.
On the topic of promoting growth through economic growth and prosperity, he said: “This administration seeks not just to do business in Africa, but with Africa. Moving the focus of our economic relations on the continent from aid to trade and investment. Trade will be free, fair and reciprocal, and our investors will be more competitive.
“This is about creating jobs for both Americans and Africans throughout the continent. One of our most important bi-partisan endeavours in the economic arena is the African Growth and Opportunities Act (AGOA).”
He described AGOA as the “cornerstone of U.S. economic engagement with the countries of sub-Saharan Africa since 2000.” He noted the massive jump in U.S. investments under AGOA and the fact that it created lots of jobs in Africa.
‘We remain committed to our economic partnerships with Africa and continue to seek opportunities to strengthen two-way trade and investment,’ he added. He said USAID had opened trading hubs to help private investors as best as possible.