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Everything you need to know about the US Strategy Toward Sub-Saharan Africa

Cape Town – What does the US aim to achieve in sub-Saharan Africa? Well, a lot, according to its new strategy for the region which was presented to South Africa’s International Relations ministry on Monday by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

In this article, we break down the American’s manifesto for sub-Saharan Africa and how they plan to improve on America-Africa relations, assist in growing the sub-Saharan Africa economy in a post-Covid-19 world, all while Africans are battling to make ends meet thanks to rising fuel and food prices.

The US strategy or sub-Saharan Africa focuses on four core pillars:

– Fostering openness and open societies

– Delivering democratic and security dividends

– Advancing pandemic recovery and economic opportunity

– Supporting conservation, climate adaptation, and just energy transition.

Here’s what you need to know about the US Strategy Toward Sub-Saharan Africa

1. Fostering openness and open societies

The US wants the region to remain open and accessible to all, and for governments and the public to be able to make their own political choices, consistent with international obligations. Open societies are generally more inclined to work in common cause with the US, attract greater US trade and investment, pursue policies to improve conditions for their citizens, and counter harmful activities by the People’s Republic of China (PRC), Russia, and other foreign actors.

The US will work with African governments, civil society and the public to increase transparency and accountability. Consistent with the first-ever US Strategy on Countering Corruption, the US – working with its African partners – says it will seek to improve fiscal transparency, expose corruption, and support reforms.

According to the policy document, the strategy will increase its focus on the rule of law, justice, and dignity to deepen resilience and undercut negative influences, as supporting independent judiciaries serves as a bulwark against democratic backsliding, including constraining leaders who attempt to embezzle funds, change constitutions illegally, or steal elections.

The US looks to assist African countries to more transparently leverage their natural resources, including energy resources and critical minerals, for sustainable development while helping to strengthen supply chains that are diverse, open and predictable.

The strategy includes addressing the drivers of food insecurity and boosting food production in the region.

2) Delivering democratic and security dividends

The US government looks to anticipate, prevent, and address emerging and long-running conflicts in the region.

It admits that high levels of corruption, human rights abuses, including sexual and gender-based violence, and insecurity are often exploited by terrorist groups and malign foreign actors.

According to the report, the US says it will seek to stem the tide against authoritarianism and military takeovers in the region, which have seen a huge rise in recent years.

The US wants to develop its relationship with the AU and to partner with other governments and regional bodies, to address public dissatisfaction with the performance of some countries.

In addition, the US aims work closely with civil society groups, including activists, workers, LGBTQIA+ individuals; centring the voices of women and youth in reform efforts; and defending free and fair elections.

It wants to respond to the drivers of conflict across the region to advance regional stability and security.

The US says it will prioritise counter-terrorism resources to reduce the threat from terrorist groups to the country.

3) Advancing pandemic recovery and economic opportunity

The US says it wants to prioritise policies and programmes and strengthen existing partnerships to assist African countries in the post-Covid-19 climate.

It says its support for the region’s equitable recovery is a prerequisite to regaining Africa’s trust in US global leadership.

It says it will build core capacities to prevent, detect, and respond to infectious disease threats and address challenges for procuring and delivering vaccines, diagnostics and therapeutics, among other health needs.

The US will work with African countries to promote a stronger growth trajectory and debt sustainability to support the region’s economic recovery.

It says it will also partner with African countries to rebuild the human capital and food systems that were further weakened by the pandemic and fallout from Russia’s war against Ukraine.

Supporting conservation, climate adaptation and a just energy transition

Essentially, the US says that it will use its influence, development assistance and financing to help African partners adapt and build resilience to climate impacts and promote mitigation strategies to achieve a sustainable and low-carbon future. It will work closely with countries as they determine how to best meet their specific energy needs.

The US said that it needed to reset its relations with African counterparts by listening to diverse local voices, and widen the circle of engagement to advance its strategic objectives to the benefit of Africans and Americans.

IOL

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