Africa seeks stronger ties with the U.S Government

By African Union Commission (AUC)

African Union Commission Deputy Chairperson H.E. Mr. Erastus Mwencha held talks with United States Senator Mr. Christopher Coons highlighting Africa's priorities as captured in Agenda 2063 and underlined areas of collaboration between Africa and the U.S. Government's.

Meeting on the sidelines of the Annual 2016 Spring Meetings in Washington DC, H.E. Mr. Mwencha restated the need for support in technology, skills and capacity building from the U.S Government, through the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as Africa moves to establish African Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (African CDC). He noted that the African CDC are critical and a show of commitment by the continent, to the ownership and improvement of the health for its people. Senator Coons reaffirmed the U.S Government support to Africa in the health sector, highlighting the PEPFAR programme, where he said, millions of US Dollars continue to be allocated in the fight against the HIV/ AIDS pandemic.

On the US - African trade relationship, AUC Deputy Chairperson called for further capacity building to ensure the benefits of the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) are realized, in promoting growth and development, industrialization and strengthening the intra-continental and global markets.

While highlighting the many factors that contribute to the humanitarian crisis on the African continent, H.E. Mr. Mwencha, observed that a climate-oriented partnership from the U.S Government was paramount. He acknowledged the role of the African Risk Capacity, which he said had been paramount in supporting AU participating member States manage natural disaster risk and adapt to climate change. He however observed the need for further financial and resource support, to strengthen ARC's capacity in predicting and responding to natural disasters in a timely and effective manner to the affected communities.

In his remarks, Senator Coons highlighted peace and security as one of the areas the U.S Government has been proactive on, particularly on assisting fragile states address security challenges and threats. He underscored the sustainability of peace keeping operations in Africa as key, in addressing the global security burden.

Laudable past

The African Union acknowledged the role that the U.S. Government's has played in Africa highlighting the historic visit by U.S President Barack Obama's to the African Union Headquarters in Addis Ababa and that of the of State John Kerry, which H.E. Mr. Mwencha said demonstrated stronger ties between Africa and the U.S. Further, he lauded the frequent dialogue between the AUC Chairperson H.E Dr. Nkosazama Dlamini Zuma and US Secretary Kerry while encouraging such dialogue to continue, especially at the level of congress. The AUC Deputy Chairperson was accompanied on this mission by H,E Dr. Anthony Mothae Maruping, Commissioner for Economic Affairs of the AUC and Mr. Amine Idriss Adoum, Director of Administration and Human Resources Management of the AUC.