Friday, November 30, 2012

Acting U.S. Commerce Secretary Blank Launches Doing Business in Africa Campaign

Source: Department of Commerce website

November 28, 2012

Acting U.S. Commerce Secretary Rebecca Blank today announced the launch of the “Doing Business in Africa” campaign at an event in Johannesburg, South Africa. This campaign is part of a larger U.S. Strategy Toward Sub-Saharan Africa, which President Obama issued in June. The “Doing Business in Africa” campaign will promote economic growth, trade and investment in Africa. In her remarks, the Acting Secretary emphasized the United States’ ongoing commitment to deepening economic ties with these nations. She also shared a message from President Obama (PDF) in support of the campaign.

The United States is pursuing four objectives in Sub-Saharan Africa: strengthening democratic institutions; spurring economic growth, trade and investment; advancing peace and security; and promoting opportunity and development. The new Doing Business in Africa campaign is a key part of this effort. It leverages the federal government’s strengths as assets in trade promotion, financing, and more. Goals of the campaign include helping U.S. businesses identify and seize opportunities in Africa, and helping them overcome any challenges they face to establishing business relationships with Africa.

Also as part of her trip to South Africa, Dr. Blank met with a multi-sector trade mission led by the Department of Commerce’s Under Secretary for International Trade, Francisco Sánchez. This delegation is comprised of representatives from 13 U.S. firms who were traveling to Lusaka, Zambia; and Johannesburg and Cape Town, South Africa.

Sub-Saharan Africa presents enormous opportunities to the American private sector. According to the World Bank, its GDP totaled approximately $1.25 trillion in 2011, and six of the 10 fastest-growing economies in the world are in Sub-Saharan Africa. U.S. total merchandise exports to Sub-Saharan Africa tripled between 2001 and 2011.

President Obama Delivers Remarks on the Observance of World AIDS Day – Dec. 1

The White House
Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release

November 29, 2012

This Saturday, December 1st, on World AIDS Day, we will come together as a global community to stand with people affected by HIV/AIDS, to remember those we have lost, and to renew our commitment to ending the pandemic once and for all. We have made great strides in combating this disease, and an AIDS-free generation is within sight. Here in the United States we are implementing a National HIV/AIDS Strategy and concentrating our efforts in communities where HIV rates are highest, including among gay men, Latinos, and African Americans. We are investing in comprehensive HIV prevention and care, including through the Affordable Care Act, to prevent infection and ensure that all people living with HIV have access to life-extending treatment. Testing for HIV remains a top priority, and thanks to ongoing scientific advancements, finding out your HIV status has never been easier and treatment is more effective than ever.

Today, I am pleased my Administration will make public new data that demonstrates we are on track to meet the ambitious treatment and prevention targets I announced on World AIDS Day a year ago. As of today, we are treating over 5 million people with lifesaving medicines for AIDS, up from 1.7 million in 2008, and, as I pledged last year, we are on track to treat 6 million people by the end of 2013. This year, we have also reached over 700,000 HIV-positive pregnant women with antiretroviral drugs that will prevent them from passing the virus to their children. As we meet these new targets, we are joined by a growing number of countries and the Global Fund for AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, who share our commitment to doing more so that more may live. As we continue this important work with our partners around the world and here at home, let us remember the lives we have lost to AIDS, celebrate the progress we have made, and, together, recommit to ourselves to achieving our shared vision of an AIDS-free generation.


About World Aids Day

World AIDS Day is held on 1 December each year and is an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV, show their support for people living with HIV and to commemorate people who have died. World AIDS Day was the first ever global health day and the first one was held in 1988.

Around 100,000 are currently living with HIV in the UK and globally an estimated 34 million people have HIV. More than 25 million people between 1981 and 2007 have died from the virus, making it one of the most destructive pandemics in history.

Today, many scientific advances have been made in HIV treatment, there are laws to protect people living with HIV and we understand so much more about the condition. But despite this, people do not know the facts about how to protect themselves and others from HIV, and stigma and discrimination remain a reality for many people living with HIV. World AIDS Day is important as it reminds the public and Government that HIV has not gone away – there is still a vital need to raise money, increase awareness, fight prejudice and improve education.

World AIDS Day is an opportunity for you to learn the facts about HIV and put your knowledge into action. Find out how much you know by taking our online quiz: Are you HIV aware? Test your knowledge and awareness by taking the quiz and act aware by passing the quiz on and sharing it with your friends on Twitter and Facebook.

If you understand how HIV is transmitted, how it can be prevented, and the reality of living with HIV today – you can use this knowledge to take care of your own health and the health of others, and ensure you treat everyone living with HIV fairly, and with respect and understanding. Click here to find out the facts.

You can also show your support for people living with HIV on World AIDS Day by wearing a red ribbon, the international symbol of HIV awareness.

World AIDS Day is also a great opportunity to raise money for NAT (National AIDS Trust) and show your support for people living with HIV. If you feel inspired to hold an event, bake sale or simply sell red ribbons, click here to get started. If you’d like to see what other events are taking place — click here and find out more.

Although World AIDS Day is a great opportunity to get the public talking about HIV and fundraise, we need to remember the importance of raising awareness of HIV all year round. That’s why NAT has launched HIVaware — a fun, interactive new website which provides all the information everyone should know about HIV. Why not use what you have learnt on World AIDS Day to Act Aware throughout the year and remember, you can fundraise at any time of year too — NAT is always here to give you suggestions and ideas.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

African Union Chairperson Dlamini-Zuma Delivers Remarks With Secretary Clinton

African Union Chairperson Dlamini-Zuma and Secretary Clinton On DRC

Photo courtesy of

Treaty Room
Washington, DC

November 28, 2012

SECRETARY CLINTON: Good afternoon, everyone. It is such a personal pleasure for me to welcome the Chairperson here for our high-level meetings. This is our third high-level meeting, and we highly value the relationship and the increasing cooperation that we are enjoying with the African Union. And of course, I want to congratulate the Chairperson for becoming the first woman chair of the African Union.

I want to start by saying a few words about the ongoing situation in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The humanitarian impact of this conflict in the eastern part of the country is devastating. More than 285,000 people have been forced to flee their homes since this rebellion began back in April. They are in critical need of assistance. Health workers in Goma have been killed and abducted. Members of civil society, human rights activists, judicial authorities throughout the Democratic Republic of Congo have received death threats. The United States strongly condemns these tactics of fear and intimidation. And those who abuse human rights must be held accountable.

Assistant Secretary Johnnie Carson has been in the region holding discussions with leadership from the DRC, Rwanda, and Uganda to try to help bring about a ceasefire. We strongly support continued cooperation among the leaders of these countries and throughout the region and commend the African Union for its recent decision to send a special envoy to the Great Lakes.

With regard to the M23 rebel group, there is only one way forward: They must meet their commitments under the Kampala Accords to cease their attacks, withdraw from Goma, and pull back to the July lines. Under the Kampala Accords, President Kabila’s government has agreed to hear and address the grievances of the M23 leaders, and we call on leaders and governments from throughout the region to halt and prevent any support to the M23 from their territory.

Now this is just one issue that illustrates the importance of enhanced, strong cooperation between the African Union and the United States. First, on peace and security, we strongly support the AU missions in Somalia and Darfur as well as the AU’s facilitation efforts in Sudan and South Sudan. And we are working to support the AU’s leadership with respect to the crises in Mali, and as I said, eastern DRC.

The AU is the partner who is best able to empower and mobilize the resources and the will throughout the continent to address crises, and we are very pleased to see this strong role getting even stronger. Secondly, we want to work together to promote credible elections and foster good governance, strong transparent institutions, and democracy. Third, we want to enhance trade and investment between the United States and Africa. As I never tire of saying, seven of the world’s ten fastest-growing economies are located in Africa. And we want to do more to really see greater prosperity across the continent.

We have a lot of work ahead of us. This high-level meeting builds on President Obama’s presidential policy directive on Sub-Saharan Africa, and we are going to do all that we can to promote peace and prosperity. So it’s a great pleasure to have this meeting, which is a two-day set of meetings here in the State Department and in agencies across our government, and to work together on a framework for implementation with timelines and accountability, something that both the Chairperson and I believe strongly in doing, so that everyone knows what we are trying to achieve together.

So, thank you so much.

CHAIRPERSON DLAMINI-ZUMA: Well, thank you very much. We are very happy to be here, and our approach to this meeting is that we have to have a balance between dealing with crises and peace and security matters with development, because we feel that these are two sides of the same coin. If we delay development, there’ll be more crises and more instability. But at the same time, if we don’t deal with the security situation, we can’t develop. So that balance for us is very important. And going forward, we are working as the AU towards a prosperous Africa which is at peace with itself and the world. And so all our efforts are geared towards those – towards that vision. And we have had very fruitful discussions. And obviously, discussions are as good as the follow-up, and we are going to make sure that we follow up on all the decisions that – and discussions that we’ve had. Thank you.

MS. NULAND: Good. We’ll take two this evening. We’ll start with CNN, Jill Doughterty.

QUESTION: Madam Secretary, thank you. I wanted to ask you about tomorrow. The Palestinians go to the United Nations, asking for non-observer status. We know that the U.S. objects, and we know many of the reasons. But why are you adamant about it at this point when Mahmoud Abbas could use some shoring up at home – he’s losing support – and even as Hamas is gaining support?
And then if I could ask you one question on Benghazi: Some are saying since the State Department is responsible for embassies, why wasn’t it you who was on the talk shows on Sunday, as opposed to Ambassador Rice?
Thank you.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, first with regard to the Palestinian question, I have said many times that the path to a two-state solution that fulfills the aspirations of the Palestinian people is through Jerusalem and Ramallah, not New York. We have made very clear to the Palestinian leadership – you know I met with President Abbas just last week – that we oppose Palestinian efforts to upgrade their status at the UN outside of the framework of negotiations to achieve a two-state solution, because no matter what happens at the United Nations, it will not produce the outcome that this government, this President, and certainly I strongly support. And the only way to get a lasting solution is to commence direct negotiations, and we need an environment conducive to that. And we’ve urged both parties to refrain from actions that might in any way make a return to meaningful negotiations that focus on getting to a resolution more difficult. So I may have more to say about that later, but certainly that’s our overall view.

Let me just say, first of all, that Susan Rice has done a great job as our Ambassador to the United Nations. And of course, this decision about my successor is up to the President, but I’m very happy he has the opportunity with a second term to make a decision. And I’m not going to answer any hypothetical questions about what could’ve happened but didn’t happen. I’m looking forward to being able to discuss all of the issues pertaining to this after the conclusion of the Accountability Review Board. My responsibility was to appoint such a board, which I did immediately. They have been hard at work. We are hoping that they will be finished with their work very soon, and we intend to make the results of their investigation publicly, and at that time I will be able to address all of these issues.

MS. NULAND: Last one this evening, (inaudible).

QUESTION: Madam Chairperson, Madam Secretary, can Rwanda be part of the solution in Kivu if it continues to deny that it’s part of the problem, specifically its support for M23? And do you think President Kagame has any personal responsibility to bear on what’s going on there now?

CHAIRPERSON DLAMINI-ZUMA: Well, our approach to this matter is that it doesn’t help us in fingerprinting – finger-pointing. We just need a solution. And we met in Kampala on Saturday, the summit took decisions that the M23 must be out, that there must be a special force, a neutral force to deal with that area, and that President Kabila should listen and evaluate the concerns of the M23. And so for us, what is important is to get that resolution of that problem, and the rest will be taken care of because Rwanda is part of the Great Lakes. They have taken a decision that there must be a neutral force there. And Rwanda was there. It supported that decision that M23 must move out of Goma. Rwanda was there. It supported that decision. So for us, that’s what is important.

SECRETARY CLINTON: And I would fully support the Chairperson’s comments. We have consistently called on all parties, including Rwanda, to play a positive role in helping to bring about a peaceful resolution of this conflict. And that includes ending any and all support for the M23. Any military assistance from anyone to the M23 is in violation of the UN arms embargo. And we were very heartened by the results of the Kampala summit. And as the Chairperson said, now we want to see it implemented. There was an agreement. There’s a path forward. But it is up to the parties now to hold themselves accountable, and each other, for acting on those agreements.

Thank you.

MS. NULAND: Thank you all very much.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Statement by Secretary Clinton on Mauritania National Day

Department of State
Washington, DC
November 28, 2012

On behalf of President Obama and the people of the United States, I am delighted to send best wishes to the people of Mauritania on your 52nd anniversary of independence this November 28.

Mauritania and the United States continue to work closely to advance regional peace and security. The United States fully supports Mauritania’s democratic and economic development. And we look forward to finding new opportunities to collaborate on promoting human rights and expanding economic opportunities for all citizens.

I wish all Mauritanians a happy 52nd anniversary celebration. We are committed to building upon our partnership to promote prosperity and peace in the coming year.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Statement by the U.S. on Elections in Sierra Leone Election

Photo courtesy of

Office of the Press Secretary
The White House
Washington, DC

November 23, 2012

The United States congratulates President Ernest Bai Koroma and the people of Sierra Leone after a successful election on November 17. With an estimated 2.4 million votes cast representing 87 percent of the country’s diverse electorate, the people of Sierra Leone have made their voices heard. This election demonstrates the progress that Sierra Leone has made in strengthening its democratic institutions since the end of the civil war in 2002. The United States encourages all parties to accept the results as representing the will of Sierra Leone’s people, and to resolve any outstanding grievances through Sierra Leone’s judiciary.


Friday, November 16, 2012

Rosa Whitaker on A Bipartisan Trade Strategy that Works

Africa: Hidden in Plain Sight – A Bipartisan Trade Strategy that Works

By Rosa Whitaker, 6 November 2012

It’s Election Day and we are still being bombarded as usual by diverging claims on how to consolidate and strengthen America as a global economic power.

Yet, beyond the rhetoric on proposed remedies for America’s trade and foreign policy, there is a way forward that has consistently garnered bipartisan support and which has already led to US job growth, bolstered national security, and helped maintain US economic leadership globally. That strategy rests on aggressively increasing America’s trade, business and investment ties with sub-Saharan Africa. Africa is home to six of the world’s fastest growing economies, a consumer middle class that has expanded by 60% since 2000, and markets that have delivered more than 17% average annual return over the past decade.

Yet this strategy remains hidden in plain sight as economic engagement with sub-Saharan Africa has been largely absent in the high-level debates on US foreign policy this campaign season. Ignoring Africa’s extraordinary potential to help boost the US economy, this election cycle has (perhaps necessarily) focused on more immediate crises facing US interests abroad.

A casual observer of the presidential election could easily assume that Democrats’ and Republicans’ proposed foreign policies diverge on nearly every issue, yet the record shows that this is definitely not the case with regard to US policy towards Africa. As recently as this past August, members of the infamously gridlocked 112th Congress came together to extend the critical Third Country Fabric provision of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), thereby saving nearly half a million jobs in Africa and allowing US retailers to pay lower prices for imported garments. Even more tellingly, this was the fourth time since it’s initial passage in 2000 that a bipartisan consensus was reached to enhance and extend AGOA which redefined America’s economic and diplomatic relationship with Africa. Clearly, increased US-Africa engagement is something that both sides agree on.

Following passage of the extension, Rep. David Camp (R-MI), Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, cogently expressed why it was in America’s interest to continue to support AGOA: “This important legislation will strengthen US global competitiveness and trade leadership. Today’s vote to extend certain AGOA provisions…demonstrates the bipartisan dedication of this Congress to sub-Saharan Africa and reaffirms the success of the AGOA program. [It] encourages deeper integration within the region, promotes US exports, and supports US jobs.” To their credit, Representative Camp and House Republicans worked side-by-side with Democrats to ensure that America and Africa’s interests were protected.

Yet, in spite of Africa’s demonstrated importance to America’s economic future, stewardship of AGOA remains the task of a small group of legislators and advocates from both sides of the aisle. In a divided Congress with Africa relegated to a backburner in an election year, renewal of the Third Country Fabric provision was achieved perilously close to the wire. It took the concerted efforts of AGOA’s backers – often behind the scenes within their own party caucuses – to push the legislation through at the eleventh hour. The delay caused Africa’s apparel manufacturers to lose orders as US buyers, uncertain that their African suppliers would retain their AGOA eligibility, took their business elsewhere.

As the law stands now, AGOA will expire in just three years, at the end of 2015. All of its backers should learn from this year’s experience. The success of AGOA depends on the consistent engagement of diverse advocates in the US and African countries. There is a precedent for this, after all – AGOA was originally scheduled to expire in 2008, but in 2004 that expiration date was extended with bipartisan support to 2015, a full four years before it was due to expire. We must get started on AGOA’s full extension now.

More than that, we need to continue to press Congress and the winner of today’s presidential election to accord US-Africa trade policy the importance it merits. One piece of proposed legislation that will likely die in the lame duck session – but which should engage the active support of the incoming Administration – is the Increasing US Jobs Through Greater Exports to Africa Act. Sponsored by Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) and Rep. Bobby Rush (D-IL), this bipartisan bill seeks to position the US to take advantage of the rich opportunities for domestic economic growth presented by Africa’s rapidly growing purchasing power, projected to expand to more than $1.4 trillion over the next decade. Again, Africa – more than any other region of the world – consistently elicits bipartisan support.
Whoever wins the White House needs to take notice. Given the rapidly changing dynamics driving global economic integration, the US cannot afford to drag its feet any longer in prioritizing its economic relationship with Africa. Brazil, Russia, India, and especially China are all vigorously pursuing partnerships in Africa that will define the global economy for decades to come. Many of these strategies are already bearing fruit: In 2009 China surpassed the US to become Africa’s largest trading partner and African enterprises are beginning to invest in China. By the end of 2009, Brookings reports, Africa’s total direct investment in China equaled roughly $10 billion and drew from a wide range of industries, from petrochemical engineering to telecommunications, textiles and real estate.

It’s clear that neither Presidential candidate will be elected with a vast majority of support from Americans. Unifying the nation and reaching across the political aisle will be vital. AGOA, in its own way has demonstrated that this it possible. It is a cogent example of America at its best. For our economic sake as well as Africa’s, we need to build on what’s working, and recognize and encourage the bipartisan spirit that can drive US-Africa engagement in a new Administration. It is my great hope that this bipartisanship can be something that our next president can lead and count on.

Statement by U.S. on New Somali Cabinet

Some members of the new Somali cabinet being sworn in

Photo courtesy of

Mark C. Toner
Deputy Spokesperson, Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC

November 15, 2012

The United States welcomes the confirmation of the new Somali Cabinet by the Somalia Federal Parliament on November 13. This overwhelming endorsement by the federal Parliament is historic and marks progress in ushering in a new era of accountable and representative leadership. It also demonstrates continued constructive cooperation between the executive and legislative authorities in Somalia. This new cabinet, with equal minority clan representation, reflects the diversity of the Somali population; and the presence of two women, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Deputy Prime Minister Fawzia Yusuf Haji Adan and Minister of Social Services and
Development Dr. Mariam Kasim, underscores the active participation of women in Somali society. The United States remains steadfast in its support for the Somali people and looks forward to working with the new cabinet as it begins the challenging work to promote security, stabilization, and economic revitalization for all of Somalia’s regions and people.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Tunisia and the United States to Co-Chair the 9th Forum for the Future

Photo courtesy of

Office of the Spokesperson
Department of State
Washington, DC

November 13, 2012

The United States and the Republic of Tunisia hosted the G-8 Broader Middle East and North Africa (BMENA) Initiative’s Sub-ministerial meeting at the U.S. Department of State on November 1-2. Over 100 senior government officials, civil society activists, and private sector representatives from the G-8 and BMENA countries met to discuss developments and reform efforts in this year’s BMENA themes: women’s empowerment, economic governance and entrepreneurship, and freedom of expression and association. Deputy Secretary of State William J. Burns and the Tunisian Secretary of State for American and Asian Affairs Mr. Hédi Ben Abbes opened the November 2 session.

The sub-ministerial meeting developed plans of action and reform goals for the 9th BMENA Forum for the Future, the culminating annual event of the BMENA Initiative. The Forum for the Future will be held in Tunis, Tunisia, December 12-13, and Secretary Clinton will lead the U.S. delegation. This is the first year that government, civil society, and private sector representatives have actively participated in all BMENA events as equals, including the Sub-Ministerial meeting, which reflects the goals of the U.S. and Tunisian co-chairs to reinvigorate BMENA to foster meaningful government-citizen dialogue and generate reform-oriented discussions.

Since 2004, the BMENA Initiative and the Forum for the Future have provided a multi-lateral platform to support reform voices in the region. The initiative offers opportunities for governments and civil society organizations to engage in collaborative dialogue on political, economic, and social issues. For more information about the BMENA initiative and the Forum for the Future, please visit

U.S. & U.K. Issue Joint Statement on Upcoming Elections in Sierra Leone

Photo courtesy of

Office of the Spokesperson
Department of State
Washington, DC

November 13, 2012

Following is a joint statement issued November 13, 2012 by the United States of America and the United Kingdom:

On November 17, Sierra Leone will hold its third consecutive series of presidential and parliamentary elections since the end of its civil war in 2002. Sierra Leone has made considerable progress over the last decade. Free, fair, and peaceful elections in 2012 are critical for consolidating Sierra Leone’s democratic and economic gains. We welcome the effort that has gone into preparing this month’s elections.
We call upon all Sierra Leoneans to participate actively in the process, to abide by the rule of law, to respect human rights, and to respect the eventual results. We also urge Sierra Leone’s presidential and parliamentary candidates to adhere to Sierra Leone’s democratic and electoral processes, to renounce violence and incitement to violence, and to ensure that the elections are free, fair, and transparent.

The international community will be following the process closely. The United States and the United Kingdom value highly their long-standing friendship with Sierra Leone and the Sierra Leonean people. We look forward to continuing our work with them to ensure progress, sustainable economic development, and lasting peace in the region.

U.S. Special Advisor for Children’s Issues Travels to Ghana

Photo courtesy of

Office of the Spokesperson
Department of State
Washington, DC

November 13, 2012

Special Advisor for Children’s Issues Ambassador Susan Jacobs will visit Accra, Ghana from November 12-November 14.

While in the country, Special Advisor Jacobs will meet with government officials to discuss intercountry adoption and international parental child abduction issues. She will also attend an adoption workshop with regional consular officers.

For more information about children’s issues, please visit:
For updates on Special Advisor Jacobs’ trip, follow her on Twitter: @ChildrensIssues

Note: November is National Adoption Month in the U.S.

U.S. State Department Launches Africa Regional Media Hub in Johannesburg

Story credit: U.S. State Department official blog

Posted by Mike Hammer, Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs.

November 5, 2012

When asked by a Tanzanian journalist earlier this month about U.S. policy in Africa, Assistant Secretary for African Affairs Johnnie Carson highlighted the President’s Policy Directive for sub-Saharan Africa and said the United States wants “to develop our friendship with Africa based on mutual respect, mutual interest, mutual responsibility. We want to base it on a partnership and not patronage.”

To this end, in just the last few months, journalists from around the continent have joined U.S. policymakers via the Africa Media Hub to discuss a broad array of topics that include trade, investment, security, health, food security, humanitarian aid, and press freedom. Today, Under Secretary for Political Affairs, Wendy Sherman, addressed journalists while in Nairobi to discuss her second trip to the region and to highlight the United States’ continued commitment to the continent. This is the most recent example of how the Africa Hub continues its efforts to connect African journalists with high-level U.S. officials.

In addition to bringing policy makers and journalists together, the Africa Hub hosts regional training sessions to help provide journalists the skills they need to succeed in incredibly demanding environments. This past week, the Hub partnered with U.S. Mission South Africa to bring 21 journalists from around Africa to Johannesburg, where they participated in an investigative journalism conference aimed at improving the quality of reporting, analysis and opinion-writing. The participants also had the opportunity to meet and engage with prominent media professionals, tour media houses in South Africa, and ask me questions at a press conference.

These are only some of the examples of the great work — and positive impact — that the State Department’s Africa Regional Media Hub does every day. And it is part of the reason I am so pleased to have been in Johannesburg last week to officially launch the Hub in its new location, as we look forward to continued engagement in the region.

The Africa Regional Media Hub is the newest of the Bureau of Public Affairs’ Hubs around the world. Our aim is to communicate U.S. foreign policy directly to international audiences in the languages and mediums they prefer. The Africa Hub helps policymakers deliver messages on regional and global issues to targeted audiences, works with African media outlets to arrange interviews and distributes audio and video content to media throughout the continent.

The Hubs put into practice what Secretary Clinton calls 21st century statecraft — that is, harnessing the networks and technologies of the today’s interconnected world to advance U.S. foreign policy. We are reaching broader, previously untouched audiences throughout Africa and around the globe.

My visit to the region began in Uganda, where I met with over 100 young journalism students from Makerere’s School of Communications and Journalism. I was impressed by their insights and by their passion for ensuring journalistic integrity in a challenging work environment. I was equally inspired as I toured a community school in Kampala’s Kitintale neighborhood, engaged with a vibrant group of journalists who kept me on my toes with their insightful questions, and as I answered questions from callers from the community on Radio Bilal during an evening call-in program. In Kenya, I met with opinion-makers, writers, media owners, and journalists and was impressed with their determination to contribute to the betterment of Kenyan society through their work. Finally, in South Africa, I met with leading Twitterati and visited the African Leadership Academy, whose students represent the bright promise of the continent. I was also able to impress upon government officials the importance of protecting and advancing press freedom. All of these experiences underscored just how dynamic and important Africa is on the world stage.

As our Africa Hub settles into its new location, I am certain it will continue to contribute to the telling of America’s story and forging even better relations between the United States and the continent.

To get in touch with the Africa Regional Media Hub, please e-mail

Thursday, November 8, 2012

President Mahama (Ghana) Congratulates President Obama On His Re-Election

Photo courtesy of

Transcript of President John Mahama’s Congratulatory Message to President Obama

November 8, 2012
Accra, Ghana


I have received with great joy the news of your re-election as the 44th President of the United States of America, and on behalf of the Government and People of Ghana and on my on behalf, I wish to convey to you our heartfelt congratulations and best wishes for success during your second term of office.

Your resounding victory in the closely fought presidential elections held on Tuesday 6th November 2012, is a strong testimony of the unshakeable confidence reposed by the American people in you and in the Democratic Party, to lead the United States of America in the years ahead, to continue to strengthen America’s economy, maintain its strong political institutions, protect its borders and give hope to the millions of people around the world who cherish the values of freedom, unfettered economic growth and the pursuit of their ideals of a better life.

I look forward to continuing to work with you and your government, to strengthen and deepen the excellent partnership between Ghana and the United States of America over the next four years, for the realisation of fruitful programmes that will inure to our mutual benefit.

Accept, Excellency, the assurances of my highest consideration.


Ghana and the US have a cordial bilateral relationship. President Obama visited Ghana in July 2009 and later hosted the late President, Atta Mills at the White House in March 2012.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

South Sudan Basketball Coaches to Visit U.S.

Photo courtesy of

Office of the Spokesperson
Department of State
Washington, DC

November 7, 2012

The U.S. Department of State announced that five youth basketball coaches from South Sudan will travel to Washington D.C. from November 8 – 20, as part of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) Sports Visitors program.
This exchange builds on Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s vision of “smart power,” which embraces the full range of diplomatic tools – in this case sports– to foster greater understanding.

Throughout the twelve-day program, the youth basketball coaches will be participate in teambuilding activities, as well as working alongside their American counterparts and youth at local schools. This is the first ever Sports Visitor program with South Sudan.

SportsUnited is the U.S. Department of State’s sports exchange program within the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs’ Division. Since 2003, SportsUnited has brought more than 1,000 young athletes from more than 60 countries to the United States to participate in Sports Visitor programs. Sports Visitors are youth and coaches who travel to the United States for an exchange. Sports Visitor programs give young people an opportunity to discover how success in athletics can be translated into the development of life skills and achievement in the classroom.

Nov. 6, 2012 – Africans Observes U.S. Presidential Elections with Keen Interest

White House Photo: Pete Souza

President Obama’s Speech (Below) in Accra on July 11, 2009 Highlights U.S.-Africa Interdependency

Accra International Conference Center
Accra, Ghana
12:40 P.M. GMT

THE PRESIDENT: (Trumpet plays.) I like this. Thank you. Thank you. I think Congress needs one of those horns. (Laughter.) That sounds pretty good. Sounds like Louis Armstrong back there. (Laughter.)

Good afternoon, everybody. It is a great honor for me to be in Accra and to speak to the representatives of the people of Ghana. (Applause.) I am deeply grateful for the welcome that I’ve received, as are Michelle and Malia and Sasha Obama. Ghana’s history is rich, the ties between our two countries are strong, and I am proud that this is my first visit to sub-Saharan Africa as President of the United States of America. (Applause.)

I want to thank Madam Speaker and all the members of the House of Representatives for hosting us today. I want to thank President Mills for his outstanding leadership. To the former Presidents — Jerry Rawlings, former President Kufuor — Vice President, Chief Justice — thanks to all of you for your extraordinary hospitality and the wonderful institutions that you’ve built here in Ghana.
I’m speaking to you at the end of a long trip. I began in Russia for a summit between two great powers. I traveled to Italy for a meeting of the world’s leading economies. And I’ve come here to Ghana for a simple reason: The 21st century will be shaped by what happens not just in Rome or Moscow or Washington, but by what happens in Accra, as well. (Applause.)

This is the simple truth of a time when the boundaries between people are overwhelmed by our connections. Your prosperity can expand America’s prosperity. Your health and security can contribute to the world’s health and security. And the strength of your democracy can help advance human rights for people everywhere.

So I do not see the countries and peoples of Africa as a world apart; I see Africa as a fundamental part of our interconnected world — (applause) — as partners with America on behalf of the future we want for all of our children. That partnership must be grounded in mutual responsibility and mutual respect. And that is what I want to speak with you about today.

We must start from the simple premise that Africa’s future is up to Africans. I say this knowing full well the tragic past that has sometimes haunted this part of the world. After all, I have the blood of Africa within me, and my family’s — (applause) — my family’s own story encompasses both the tragedies and triumphs of the larger African story.

Some you know my grandfather was a cook for the British in Kenya, and though he was a respected elder in his village, his employers called him “boy” for much of his life. He was on the periphery of Kenya’s liberation struggles, but he was still imprisoned briefly during repressive times. In his life, colonialism wasn’t simply the creation of unnatural borders or unfair terms of trade — it was something experienced personally, day after day, year after year.

My father grew up herding goats in a tiny village, an impossible distance away from the American universities where he would come to get an education. He came of age at a moment of extraordinary promise for Africa. The struggles of his own father’s generation were giving birth to new nations, beginning right here in Ghana. (Applause.) Africans were educating and asserting themselves in new ways, and history was on the move.

But despite the progress that has been made — and there has been considerable progress in many parts of Africa — we also know that much of that promise has yet to be fulfilled. Countries like Kenya had a per capita economy larger than South Korea’s when I was born. They have badly been outpaced. Disease and conflict have ravaged parts of the African continent.

In many places, the hope of my father’s generation gave way to cynicism, even despair. Now, it’s easy to point fingers and to pin the blame of these problems on others. Yes, a colonial map that made little sense helped to breed conflict. The West has often approached Africa as a patron or a source of resources rather than a partner. But the West is not responsible for the destruction of the Zimbabwean economy over the last decade, or wars in which children are enlisted as combatants. In my father’s life, it was partly tribalism and patronage and nepotism in an independent Kenya that for a long stretch derailed his career, and we know that this kind of corruption is still a daily fact of life for far too many.

Now, we know that’s also not the whole story. Here in Ghana, you show us a face of Africa that is too often overlooked by a world that sees only tragedy or a need for charity. The people of Ghana have worked hard to put democracy on a firmer footing, with repeated peaceful transfers of power even in the wake of closely contested elections. (Applause.) And by the way, can I say that for that the minority deserves as much credit as the majority. (Applause.) And with improved governance and an emerging civil society, Ghana’s economy has shown impressive rates of growth. (Applause.)

This progress may lack the drama of 20th century liberation struggles, but make no mistake: It will ultimately be more significant. For just as it is important to emerge from the control of other nations, it is even more important to build one’s own nation.

So I believe that this moment is just as promising for Ghana and for Africa as the moment when my father came of age and new nations were being born. This is a new moment of great promise. Only this time, we’ve learned that it will not be giants like Nkrumah and Kenyatta who will determine Africa’s future. Instead, it will be you — the men and women in Ghana’s parliament — (applause) — the people you represent. It will be the young people brimming with talent and energy and hope who can claim the future that so many in previous generations never realized.

Now, to realize that promise, we must first recognize the fundamental truth that you have given life to in Ghana: Development depends on good governance. (Applause.) That is the ingredient which has been missing in far too many places, for far too long. That’s the change that can unlock Africa’s potential. And that is a responsibility that can only be met by Africans.

As for America and the West, our commitment must be measured by more than just the dollars we spend. I’ve pledged substantial increases in our foreign assistance, which is in Africa’s interests and America’s interests. But the true sign of success is not whether we are a source of perpetual aid that helps people scrape by — it’s whether we are partners in building the capacity for transformational change. (Applause.)

This mutual responsibility must be the foundation of our partnership. And today, I’ll focus on four areas that are critical to the future of Africa and the entire developing world: democracy, opportunity, health, and the peaceful resolution of conflict.

First, we must support strong and sustainable democratic governments. (Applause.)
As I said in Cairo, each nation gives life to democracy in its own way, and in line with its own traditions. But history offers a clear verdict: Governments that respect the will of their own people, that govern by consent and not coercion, are more prosperous, they are more stable, and more successful than governments that do not.

This is about more than just holding elections. It’s also about what happens between elections. (Applause.) Repression can take many forms, and too many nations, even those that have elections, are plagued by problems that condemn their people to poverty. No country is going to create wealth if its leaders exploit the economy to enrich themselves — (applause) — or if police — if police can be bought off by drug traffickers. (Applause.) No business wants to invest in a place where the government skims 20 percent off the top — (applause) — or the head of the Port Authority is corrupt. No person wants to live in a society where the rule of law gives way to the rule of brutality and bribery. (Applause.) That is not democracy, that is tyranny, even if occasionally you sprinkle an election in there. And now is the time for that style of governance to end. (Applause.)

In the 21st century, capable, reliable, and transparent institutions are the key to success — strong parliaments; honest police forces; independent judges — (applause); an independent press; a vibrant private sector; a civil society. (Applause.) Those are the things that give life to democracy, because that is what matters in people’s everyday lives.

Now, time and again, Ghanaians have chosen constitutional rule over autocracy, and shown a democratic spirit that allows the energy of your people to break through. (Applause.) We see that in leaders who accept defeat graciously — the fact that President Mills’ opponents were standing beside him last night to greet me when I came off the plane spoke volumes about Ghana — (applause); victors who resist calls to wield power against the opposition in unfair ways. We see that spirit in courageous journalists like Anas Aremeyaw Anas, who risked his life to report the truth. We see it in police like Patience Quaye, who helped prosecute the first human trafficker in Ghana. (Applause.) We see it in the young people who are speaking up against patronage, and participating in the political process.

Across Africa, we’ve seen countless examples of people taking control of their destiny, and making change from the bottom up. We saw it in Kenya, where civil society and business came together to help stop post-election violence. We saw it in South Africa, where over three-quarters of the country voted in the recent election — the fourth since the end of Apartheid. We saw it in Zimbabwe, where the Election Support Network braved brutal repression to stand up for the principle that a person’s vote is their sacred right.
Now, make no mistake: History is on the side of these brave Africans, not with those who use coups or change constitutions to stay in power. (Applause.) Africa doesn’t need strongmen, it needs strong institutions. (Applause.)

Now, America will not seek to impose any system of government on any other nation. The essential truth of democracy is that each nation determines its own destiny. But what America will do is increase assistance for responsible individuals and responsible institutions, with a focus on supporting good governance — on parliaments, which check abuses of power and ensure that opposition voices are heard — (applause); on the rule of law, which ensures the equal administration of justice; on civic participation, so that young people get involved; and on concrete solutions to corruption like forensic accounting and automating services — (applause) — strengthening hotlines, protecting whistle-blowers to advance transparency and accountability.

And we provide this support. I have directed my administration to give greater attention to corruption in our human rights reports. People everywhere should have the right to start a business or get an education without paying a bribe. (Applause.) We have a responsibility to support those who act responsibly and to isolate those who don’t, and that is exactly what America will do.
Now, this leads directly to our second area of partnership: supporting development that provides opportunity for more people.
With better governance, I have no doubt that Africa holds the promise of a broader base of prosperity. Witness the extraordinary success of Africans in my country, America. They’re doing very well. So they’ve got the talent, they’ve got the entrepreneurial spirit. The question is, how do we make sure that they’re succeeding here in their home countries? The continent is rich in natural resources. And from cell phone entrepreneurs to small farmers, Africans have shown the capacity and commitment to create their own opportunities. But old habits must also be broken. Dependence on commodities — or a single export — has a tendency to concentrate wealth in the hands of the few, and leaves people too vulnerable to downturns.

So in Ghana, for instance, oil brings great opportunities, and you have been very responsible in preparing for new revenue. But as so many Ghanaians know, oil cannot simply become the new cocoa. From South Korea to Singapore, history shows that countries thrive when they invest in their people and in their infrastructure — (applause); when they promote multiple export industries, develop a skilled workforce, and create space for small and medium-sized businesses that create jobs.

As Africans reach for this promise, America will be more responsible in extending our hand. By cutting costs that go to Western consultants and administration, we want to put more resources in the hands of those who need it, while training people to do more for themselves. (Applause.)

That’s why our $3.5 billion food security initiative is focused on new methods and technologies for farmers — not simply sending American producers or goods to Africa. Aid is not an end in itself. The purpose of foreign assistance must be creating the conditions where it’s no longer needed. I want to see Ghanaians not only self-sufficient in food, I want to see you exporting food to other countries and earning money. You can do that. (Applause.)

Now, America can also do more to promote trade and investment. Wealthy nations must open our doors to goods and services from Africa in a meaningful way. That will be a commitment of my administration. And where there is good governance, we can broaden prosperity through public-private partnerships that invest in better roads and electricity; capacity-building that trains people to grow a business; financial services that reach not just the cities but also the poor and rural areas. This is also in our own interests — for if people are lifted out of poverty and wealth is created in Africa, guess what? New markets will open up for our own goods. So it’s good for both.

One area that holds out both undeniable peril and extraordinary promise is energy. Africa gives off less greenhouse gas than any other part of the world, but it is the most threatened by climate change. A warming planet will spread disease, shrink water resources, and deplete crops, creating conditions that produce more famine and more conflict. All of us — particularly the developed world — have a responsibility to slow these trends — through mitigation, and by changing the way that we use energy. But we can also work with Africans to turn this crisis into opportunity.

Together, we can partner on behalf of our planet and prosperity, and help countries increase access to power while skipping — leapfrogging the dirtier phase of development. Think about it: Across Africa, there is bountiful wind and solar power; geothermal energy and biofuels. From the Rift Valley to the North African deserts; from the Western coasts to South Africa’s crops — Africa’s boundless natural gifts can generate its own power, while exporting profitable, clean energy abroad.

These steps are about more than growth numbers on a balance sheet. They’re about whether a young person with an education can get a job that supports a family; a farmer can transfer their goods to market; an entrepreneur with a good idea can start a business. It’s about the dignity of work; it’s about the opportunity that must exist for Africans in the 21st century.

Just as governance is vital to opportunity, it’s also critical to the third area I want to talk about: strengthening public health.
In recent years, enormous progress has been made in parts of Africa. Far more people are living productively with HIV/AIDS, and getting the drugs they need. I just saw a wonderful clinic and hospital that is focused particularly on maternal health. But too many still die from diseases that shouldn’t kill them. When children are being killed because of a mosquito bite, and mothers are dying in childbirth, then we know that more progress must be made.

Yet because of incentives — often provided by donor nations — many African doctors and nurses go overseas, or work for programs that focus on a single disease. And this creates gaps in primary care and basic prevention. Meanwhile, individual Africans also have to make responsible choices that prevent the spread of disease, while promoting public health in their communities and countries.

So across Africa, we see examples of people tackling these problems. In Nigeria, an Interfaith effort of Christians and Muslims has set an example of cooperation to confront malaria. Here in Ghana and across Africa, we see innovative ideas for filling gaps in care — for instance, through E-Health initiatives that allow doctors in big cities to support those in small towns.

America will support these efforts through a comprehensive, global health strategy, because in the 21st century, we are called to act by our conscience but also by our common interest, because when a child dies of a preventable disease in Accra, that diminishes us everywhere. And when disease goes unchecked in any corner of the world, we know that it can spread across oceans and continents.
And that’s why my administration has committed $63 billion to meet these challenges — $63 billion. (Applause.) Building on the strong efforts of President Bush, we will carry forward the fight against HIV/AIDS. We will pursue the goal of ending deaths from malaria and tuberculosis, and we will work to eradicate polio. (Applause.) We will fight — we will fight neglected tropical disease. And we won’t confront illnesses in isolation — we will invest in public health systems that promote wellness and focus on the health of mothers and children. (Applause.)

Now, as we partner on behalf of a healthier future, we must also stop the destruction that comes not from illness, but from human beings — and so the final area that I will address is conflict.

Let me be clear: Africa is not the crude caricature of a continent at perpetual war. But if we are honest, for far too many Africans, conflict is a part of life, as constant as the sun. There are wars over land and wars over resources. And it is still far too easy for those without conscience to manipulate whole communities into fighting among faiths and tribes.

These conflicts are a millstone around Africa’s neck. Now, we all have many identities — of tribe and ethnicity; of religion and nationality. But defining oneself in opposition to someone who belongs to a different tribe, or who worships a different prophet, has no place in the 21st century. (Applause.) Africa’s diversity should be a source of strength, not a cause for division. We are all God’s children. We all share common aspirations — to live in peace and security; to access education and opportunity; to love our families and our communities and our faith. That is our common humanity.

That is why we must stand up to inhumanity in our midst. It is never justified — never justifiable to target innocents in the name of ideology. (Applause.) It is the death sentence of a society to force children to kill in wars. It is the ultimate mark of criminality and cowardice to condemn women to relentless and systemic rape. We must bear witness to the value of every child in Darfur and the dignity of every woman in the Congo. No faith or culture should condone the outrages against them. And all of us must strive for the peace and security necessary for progress.

Africans are standing up for this future. Here, too, in Ghana we are seeing you help point the way forward. Ghanaians should take pride in your contributions to peacekeeping from Congo to Liberia to Lebanon — (applause) — and your efforts to resist the scourge of the drug trade. (Applause.) We welcome the steps that are being taken by organizations like the African Union and ECOWAS to better resolve conflicts, to keep the peace, and support those in need. And we encourage the vision of a strong, regional security architecture that can bring effective, transnational forces to bear when needed.

America has a responsibility to work with you as a partner to advance this vision, not just with words, but with support that strengthens African capacity. When there’s a genocide in Darfur or terrorists in Somalia, these are not simply African problems — they are global security challenges, and they demand a global response.

And that’s why we stand ready to partner through diplomacy and technical assistance and logistical support, and we will stand behind efforts to hold war criminals accountable. And let me be clear: Our Africa Command is focused not on establishing a foothold in the continent, but on confronting these common challenges to advance the security of America, Africa, and the world. (Applause.)

In Moscow, I spoke of the need for an international system where the universal rights of human beings are respected, and violations of those rights are opposed. And that must include a commitment to support those who resolve conflicts peacefully, to sanction and stop those who don’t, and to help those who have suffered. But ultimately, it will be vibrant democracies like Botswana and Ghana which roll back the causes of conflict and advance the frontiers of peace and prosperity.

As I said earlier, Africa’s future is up to Africans. The people of Africa are ready to claim that future. And in my country, African Americans — including so many recent immigrants — have thrived in every sector of society. We’ve done so despite a difficult past, and we’ve drawn strength from our African heritage. With strong institutions and a strong will, I know that Africans can live their dreams in Nairobi and Lagos, Kigali, Kinshasa, Harare, and right here in Accra. (Applause.)

You know, 52 years ago, the eyes of the world were on Ghana. And a young preacher named Martin Luther King traveled here, to Accra, to watch the Union Jack come down and the Ghanaian flag go up. This was before the march on Washington or the success of the civil rights movement in my country. Dr. King was asked how he felt while watching the birth of a nation. And he said: “It renews my conviction in the ultimate triumph of justice.”

Now that triumph must be won once more, and it must be won by you. (Applause.) And I am particularly speaking to the young people all across Africa and right here in Ghana. In places like Ghana, young people make up over half of the population.
And here is what you must know: The world will be what you make of it. You have the power to hold your leaders accountable, and to build institutions that serve the people. You can serve in your communities, and harness your energy and education to create new wealth and build new connections to the world. You can conquer disease, and end conflicts, and make change from the bottom up. You can do that. Yes you can — (applause) — because in this moment, history is on the move.

But these things can only be done if all of you take responsibility for your future. And it won’t be easy. It will take time and effort. There will be suffering and setbacks. But I can promise you this: America will be with you every step of the way — as a partner, as a friend. (Applause.) Opportunity won’t come from any other place, though. It must come from the decisions that all of you make, the things that you do, the hope that you hold in your heart.

Ghana, freedom is your inheritance. Now, it is your responsibility to build upon freedom’s foundation. And if you do, we will look back years from now to places like Accra and say this was the time when the promise was realized; this was the moment when prosperity was forged, when pain was overcome, and a new era of progress began. This can be the time when we witness the triumph of justice once more. Yes we can. Thank you very much. God bless you. Thank you. (Applause.)

END 1:10 P.M. GMT

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mahamud Meets U.S. Under Secretary of State Wendy Sherman

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

Office of the Spokesperson
Department of State
Washington, DC

November 4, 2012

On November 4, Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman visited Mogadishu, Somalia to meet with Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mahamud, Speaker of the Federal Parliament Mohammed Osman Jawari, African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) Force Commander Lieutenant General Andrew Gutti, the UN Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary General for Somalia, and leaders of Somalia’s civil society and business community. Under Secretary Sherman is the highest ranking U.S. official to visit Somalia in more than twenty years, and her visit underscored the U.S. Government’s commitment to Somalia’s stabilization efforts.

Under Secretary Sherman welcomed the announcement by Somalia’s Prime Minister Abdi Farah Shirdon that he has named his new cabinet. Under Secretary Sherman noted that the United States is pleased to see that the new cabinet includes two women, which is a positive reflection of the important role women play in all aspects of Somali life. Somalia’s parliamentarians will soon meet to consider the new cabinet.

In her comments to senior Somali officials, Under Secretary Sherman stressed her conviction that Somalia is now a place of hope, not of despair. She congratulated the Somali President and Speaker of Parliament on the important political progress made in Somalia, including the August 20 formation of Parliament and September 10 election of President Hassan Sheikh. The Under Secretary affirmed the centrality of the Somali government and people in guiding international support to the country.

Under Secretary Sherman urged the Somali leadership to continue to consolidate gains by helping local governance structures emerge through community dialogue and reconciliation, rapidly providing services, drafting legislation to facilitate implementation of the provisional constitution adopted in August, and addressing al-Shabaab defectors and the charcoal stockpile in the port city of Kismayo.
The Under Secretary congratulated AMISOM Force Commander Gutti for AMISOM’s recent success in driving al-Shabaab out of strategically important population centers and acknowledged the courage and professionalism of the AMISOM forces in achieving these gains. Ambassador Sherman underscored the continued U.S. commitment to support AMISOM and the Somali National forces in their critically important responsibility of extending security throughout Somalia.

Under Secretary Sherman congratulated the Somali business community for its efforts to sustain the Somali economy during Somalia’s 20 years of civil conflict and civil society for its provision of services to the Somali people in the lack of a functioning government. The Under Secretary encouraged Somalia’s civil society and business community to continue giving robust voice to their constituencies in engaging the emerging governmental institutions and holding them accountable as the new government establishes itself and its priorities.

U.S. Congratulates Egyptians and Coptic Orthodox Christians on Selection of New Coptic Pope

Bishop Tawadros

Photo courtesy of

Office of the Press Secretary
The White House
Washington, DC

November 4, 2012

The President sends his warm congratulations to Coptic Orthodox Christians and all Egyptians on the joyous occasion of the selection of Bishop Tawadros as the 118th Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of all Africa on the Holy See of St. Mark the Apostle. The United States shares Bishop Tawadros’ commitment to unity, tolerance, and interfaith dialogue. We wish him great success in leading the Middle East’s largest Christian community during a time of great change in the region, and reaffirm our strong support for religious freedom and mutual respect among people of all faiths. The American people will continue to stand with Egyptians of every faith as they work to fulfill the goals of their revolution, including freedom, dignity, and economic opportunity.


Statement by U.S. on Formation of Libyan Government

Victoria Nuland
Department Spokesperson, Office of the Spokesperson
Department of State
Washington, DC

November 2, 2012

The United States congratulates the Libyan people on the formation of a government. This is a critical milestone in their democratic transition. We encourage the country’s leaders to build democratic and security institutions and to promote economic development and the rule of law. The Libyan people fought a difficult revolution in order to enjoy a democratic future with peace, security and prosperity. The United States looks forward to working closely with the new government and is committed to supporting the Libyan people during this historic transition.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Secretary Clinton's Video Message to DEMO Africa

For more information about DEMO Africa visit

South Africa Hosts U.S.-S.A. Working Group on African and Global Affairs

Ambassador Jerry Matjila, Director General, Department of International Relations and Cooperation

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Office of the Spokesperson
Department of State
Washington, DC

November 1, 2012

On October 30, 2012, South Africa hosted the first meeting of the U.S.-South Africa Senior Officials’ Working Group on African and Global Affairs. The working group was announced by Secretary Clinton and Minister Nkoana-Mashabane as part of the broader strategic dialogue between the United States and South Africa during the Secretary’s August 2012 trip to South Africa.

The Working Group was chaired by Department of International Relations Director-General Ambassador Jerry Matjila and Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman. The officials held discussions on a range of topics including the African Union, regional economic integration, the Great Lakes, Zimbabwe, Sudan and South Sudan, Iran, and the Middle East. The United States and South Africa remain committed to pursuing shared goals of peace and prosperity on the African continent and around the world, and look forward to continued engagement on these pressing issues.