US Unveils New Strategy for Sub-Saharan Africa

Posted June 14th, 2012 at 6:50 pm (UTC-5)
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The United States has announced a new strategy toward sub-Saharan Africa to improve democracy, economic growth, security and trade in the region.

A White House statement issued Thursday said the plan takes a “proactive and forward-looking” approach toward Africa, one that is grounded in partnership.

The policy directive aims to advance African democracy by strengthening institutions for more open and accountable governance and for promoting human rights and the rule of law. It also vows to challenge leaders “whose actions threaten the credibility of democratic processes.”

The plan commits the U.S. to increasing trade and investment in sub-Saharan Africa by improving economic governance, promoting regional integration, expanding African access to global markets and encouraging U.S. companies to trade with and invest in Africa.

The new strategy was released as U.S. officials hosted a meeting on the U.S. Africa Growth and Opportunity Act of 2000. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the law has created new jobs and sectors in African economies.

“Africa offers the highest rate of return on foreign direct investment of any developing region in the world. In fact, it is the only developing region where the growth rate is expected to rise this year.”

The Obama administration says its new policy builds on what it calls “numerous accomplishments” in Africa, including helping to end political violence in Ivory Coast and Kenya, working to bring peace to Sudan, pursuing the Lord's Resistance Army rebel group and helping to bring stability to Somalia.