As we look toward the future, it is clear that Africa is more important than ever to the security and prosperity of the international community, and to the United States in particular. Africa’s economies are among the fastest growing in the world, with technological change sweeping across the continent and offering tremendous opportunities in banking, medicine, politics, and business. At the same time, the burgeoning youth population in Africa is changing economies and political systems in profound ways.
Addressing the opportunities and challenges in Africa requires a comprehensive U.S. policy that is proactive, forward-looking, and that balances our long-term interests with near-term imperatives. This U.S. Strategy Toward Sub-Saharan Africa solidifies and advances many of the initiatives that we have launched since I took office in order to help achieve that balance, and elevates two efforts that will be critical to the future of Africa: strengthening democratic institutions and boosting broad-based economic growth, including through trade and investment.
Strong, accountable, and democratic institutions, sustained by a deep commitment to the rule of law, generate greater prosperity and stability, and meet with greater success in mitigating conflict and ensuring security. Sustainable, inclusive economic growth is a key ingredient to security, political stability, and development, and it underpins efforts to alleviate poverty, creating the resources that will bolster opportunity and allow individuals to reach their full potential.
While many countries on the continent have made tremendous strides to broaden political participation and reduce corruption, there is more work to be done to ensure fair electoral processes, transparent institutions that protect universal rights, and the provision and protection of security and public goods.
Our message to those who would derail the democratic process is clear and unequivocal: the United States will not stand idly by when actors threaten legitimately elected governments or manipulate the fairness and integrity of democratic processes, and we will stand in steady partnership with those who are committed to the principles of equality, justice, and the rule of law.
America believes in Africa as a region of growing opportunity and promise, for Africa, for America, and for our people and our economies. We believe that Africa can be the world’s next major economic success story. We will work with our African partners to build strong institutions, to remove constraints to trade and investment, and to expand opportunities for African countries to effectively access each other’s markets and global markets, to embrace sound economic governance, and diversify their economies beyond a narrow reliance on natural resources, and—most importantly—create opportunities for Africa’s people to prosper. As we support these efforts, we will encourage American companies to seize trade and investment opportunities in Africa, so that their skills, capital, and technology will further support the region’s economic expansion, while helping to create jobs here in America.
Across all of
these efforts, the United States will prioritize efforts to empower the next
generation of African leadership. These young men and women have shown time and
again the willingness and ability to change their communities and their
countries for the better, and the United States will continue to be their
steadfast ally and partner. America’s partnership with this new generation of
Africans will extend beyond our Government to the broad and deepening
relationships between our peoples, businesses, and institutions. These roots
will drive our path to a future of democracy, peace, and prosperity for
generations to come.