U.S Policy in Southern Africa

Today, Wednesday 5/22/2019, at the invitation of the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of African Affairs,in partnership withthe Bureau of Public Affairs,I participated in the Bureau’s stakeholder discussion conference call on U.S. Policy in Southern Africa.

The call, which is part of the Department’s domestic engagement with its stakeholders, was hosted by an experienced career foreign service officer, who provided a readout on current diplomatic relations with countries in Southern Africa; relief efforts towards victims of Cyclone Idai in Mozambique; and ways the United States government works with its partners to spur mutually beneficial trade and investment, strengthen security capacity, promote good governance, and engage youth through the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) and Mandela Fellow programs.

The host highlighted some of the key US goals for Africa, including the extension of the Africa Growth Opportunity Act (AGOA) program to 2025; the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) compact which offers grants rather than loans; and the upcoming US-Africa Business Summit 2019, June 18-21 in Maputo, Mozambique.

SADC member states
Image: SADC
During the question and answer session, participants discussed the representation of the U.S government in Africa’s regional bodies such as the Southern African Development Community (SADC), high-level visits to Africa, and the significance of African YALI and Mandela Fellows alumni.

Vivian Birchall

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