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

    Self-doubt, Cultural Barriers Hinder Cambodian Women in Tech

    Longtime Cambodian tech observer Sok Sikieng says that although more women have joined profession in recent years, there remain significant factors hindering women from reaching tech potential

    Trans-Adriatic Pipeline to Boost European Energy Security

    $4.5 billion-pipeline will become operational in 2020 and will deliver gas from Azerbaijan’s Shah Deniz II field to southern Italy

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Annual festival showcases the region's harvested agriculture, fine wines and offers opportunities to experience the gentle breeze in a hot air balloon flight

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora