News / Africa

Kerry: US Working to Strengthen African Peace, Security

U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew (L) talks with Secretary of State John Kerry on the White House South Lawn in Washington, D.C., Feb. 11, 2014.
U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew (L) talks with Secretary of State John Kerry on the White House South Lawn in Washington, D.C., Feb. 11, 2014.
Jennifer Lazuta
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry says the United States continues to work toward obtaining and maintaining peace and security in Africa, as well as promoting development initiatives. 

Secretary of State John Kerry said the United States remained committed to supporting African countries.

“There are huge challenges, but what is happening in Africa, is really so exciting overall.  And we are really deeply engaged and the president has instructed us to really try to light a fire under our efforts throughout the continent,” he said.

Speaking in Washington Tuesday, Kerry said the United States was trying to build the capacity of security forces in the Central African Republic to deal with the violence that broke out following a March 2013 coup by Seleka rebels. 

He said efforts to disarm militant group M23 continued in the Democratic Republic of Congo and that a special envoy has been sent to South Sudan, where thousands of civilians have been killed since fighting broke out between government and rebel forces in December 2013.

Assistant Secretary for African Affairs Linda Thomas-Greenfield said while such peace building was important, Africa was more than sporadic violence.

“I think that it is so clear that there is so much to be optimistic about on the continent of Africa.   Yes, we have some countries where violence is taking place ... but there are 40-plus other countries in Africa where there is not fighting and there is not war, and we need to build on the successes of these countries and help those countries that are having problems get out of trouble,” she said.

Kerry said that it was important to keep Africa’s growing “youth bulge” in mind.

“When you look at it, and you think that over the course of the next 20, 30 years, a quarter of the workforce in the world ... is going to wind up coming from Africa, being in Africa.  And 60 percent of the population under the age of 30 presents us not just with an enormous challenge, because we need to provide education, we need to provide opportunity, but it also provides us with the chance to define the future,” he said.

Kerry said President Obama would build on various initiatives in Africa, including those dealing with trade, electricity and youth leadership, when he hosts African leaders at the White House this August.

You May Like

Photogallery US to Send 3,000 Troops to Liberia in Expanded Ebola Effort

At US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Obama is to announce troop deployment, other details of US plans to fight Ebola outbreak More

Hong Kong Democracy Calls Spread to Macau

Macau and Hong Kong are China’s two 'special administrative regions' which gives them a measure of autonomy More

Kenyan Coastal Town Struggles With Deadly June Attacks

Three months after al-Shabab militants allegedly attacked their town, some Mpeketoni residents are still bitter, question who was really behind the assaults More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Communityi
X
September 16, 2014 2:06 PM
Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.
Video

Video Washington DC Mural Artists Help Beautify City

Like many cities, Washington has a graffiti problem. Buildings and homes, especially in low-income neighborhoods, are often targets of illegal artwork. But as we hear from VOA’s Julie Taboh, officials in the nation's capital have come up with an innovative program that uses the talents of local artists to beautify the city.
Video

Video US Muslim Leaders Condemn Islamic State

Leaders of America's Muslim community are condemning the violent extremism of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. Muslim leaders say militants are exploiting their faith in a failed effort to justify violent extremism. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Americans' Reaction Mixed on Obama Strategy for Islamic State Militants

President Barack Obama’s televised speech on how the United States plans to “degrade and destroy” the group known as the Islamic State reached a prime-time audience of millions. And it came as Americans appear more willing to embrace a bolder, tougher approach to foreign policy. VOA producer Katherine Gypson and reporter Jeff Seldin have this report from Washington.
Video

Video Authorities Allege LA Fashion Industry-Cartel Ties

U.S. officials say they have broken up crime rings that funneled tens of millions of dollars from Mexican drug cartels through fashion businesses in Los Angeles. Mike O'Sullivan reports that authorities announced nine arrests, as 1,000 law enforcement agents fanned out through the city on Wednesday.
Video

Video Bedouin Woman Runs Successful Business in Palestinian City

A Bedouin woman is breaking social taboos by running a successful vacation resort in the Palestinian town of Jericho. Bedouins are a sub-group of Arabs known for their semi-nomadic lifestyle. Zlatica Hoke says the resort in the West Bank's Jordan Valley is a model of success for women in the region.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid