The new U.S. Assistant Secretary
of State for African Affairs said the Obama administration plans to invest
substantial amounts of money over the coming years in agricultural development to
promote food security in Africa.
Ambassador Johnnnie Carson spoke Monday in
Washington to a constituency of Africa advocacy groups.
He outlined what is likely to be the Obama
administration's Africa policies for the next four years.
Carson told the African American Unity Caucus that over the next four years the Obama
administration will focus on four key issues as part of its Africa policy.
he said, include promoting and strengthening democratic institutions and the rule
of law, preventing and resolving conflicts, encouraging sustained growth and
working with African countries to address what he called the new and old global
Carson praised Africa for the progress the continent has made over the last 15
years in strengthening democratic institutions. He referenced recent successful
elections in Ghana, South Africa and Malawi.
he said challenges still remain as evident by recent electoral problems in Zimbabwe
and Kenya. He said Washington will do all it can to help strengthen democratic
constantly have to encourage those in civil society to be the voice and
conscience of their countries, and we have to promote constitutional democratic
governments, strong court systems, strong legislatures, regular elections, free
media, and religious tolerance," he said.
praised the African Union for the role it played in resolving the conflicts in
Liberia, Sierra Leone and Angola.
He said challenges also remain as evident by the continued conflicts in
Somalia, eastern Congo, and Sudan.
have to do as much as we possibly can to help resolve those conflicts," Carson said.
said President Obama has taken a keen interest in resolving the conflict by his
appointment of General Scott Gration as special envoy on Sudan.
said the Obama administration plans to focus on food security and agricultural
development in Africa.
administration plans over a number of years to put a substantial amount of
money into agricultural development to do two things. One is to lift people out
of poverty and the other one is to help grow…agriculture," Carson said.
what he called the new and old global challenges, Ambassador Carson said the
Obama administration plans to work with African countries to address the issues
of climate change and illicit drug trafficking
Carson said President Obama will elaborate on some of these topics when the
president visits Ghana on July this year, the earliest visit to Africa by
a sitting American president.