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US House Of Rep Committee Passes Resolution On AU-America Relationship

(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – Foreign Affairs Committee of the United States House of Representatives has passed by voice vote a resolution introduced by Africa Subcommittee Chair, Karen Bass (D-CA) and Ranking Member Chris Smith (R-NJ) reaffirming the significance of the African Union (AU) as a strategic international partner to the United States.

The resolution also seeks to encourage strong support for partnerships between the U.S. and AU, particularly for the successful implementation of the newly established African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), which aims at cultivating intra-African trade.

Bass said the U.S. and the AU enjoy a strong relationship with a deep history of cooperation and collaboration, adding that as the first non-African country to establish a diplomatic mission to the AU, the U.S. has continued to work with the AU toward shared geopolitical, socioeconomic, and security goals since its inception 20 years ago.

“Promoting free trade and the AfCFTA in particular, is just another level of support that continues their commitment to advancing African-led strategies for economic expansion. Bolstering the implementation of the AfCFTA must be a focus of U.S. foreign policy since free trade across Africa will improve the quality of life of all Africans while growing investment opportunities for U.S. businesses”, she said.

The resolution (H.Res. 1342), details how the U.S. has engaged in numerous partnerships with the African Union and its member states to meet our shared goals of peace and security, democratic governance, public health and nutrition, and food security in Africa.

“I am proud to have led this resolution, passed by the House Committee on Foreign Affairs during the 20th anniversary of the African Union, which puts the U.S. Congress on record committing to strengthening our partnerships with the AU and African nations, and the next chapter of that partnership is in backing the AfCFTA’s transformational goals” she added.

The resolution is co-sponsored by Reps. Ami Bera (CA-07), Anthony Brown (MD-04), Shontel Brown (OH-11), Cori Bush (MO-01), Andre Carson (IN-07), Joaquin Castro (TX-20), Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick (FL-20), David N. Cicilline (RI-01), Emanuel Cleaver, II (MO-5), Steve Cohen (TN-09), Madeleine Dean (PA-04), Theodore E. Deutch (FL-22), Adriano Espaillat (NY-13), Dwight Evans (PA-03), John Garamendi (CA-03), Steven Horsford (NV-04), Sheila Jackson Lee (TX-18)/

Others are; Sara Jacobs (CA-53), Henry C. “Hank” Johnson, Jr. (GA-04), William R. Keating (MA-09), Robin L. Kelly (IL-02), Brenda L. Lawrence (MI-14), Barbara Lee (CA-13), Ted W. Lieu (CA-33), James P. McGovern (MA-02), Gregory Meeks (NY-05), Gwen Moore (WI-04), Ilhan Omar (MN-05), Jimmy Panetta (CA-20), Donald M. Payne, Jr. (NJ-10), Dean Phillips (MN-03), Jamie Raskin (MD-08), Bobby L. Rush (IL-01), Terri A. Sewell (AL-07), Brad Sherman (CA-30), Albio Sires (NJ-08), Thomas R. Suozzi (NY-03), Bennie G. Thompson (MS-02), Dina Titus (NV-01), Juan Vargas (CA-51), Bonnie Watson Coleman (NJ-12), and Nikema Williams (GA-05).

Meanwhile, the U.S. continues to support the member states of the AU through various longstanding global health initiatives, including the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), the President’s Malaria Initiative, and efforts to combat infectious disease outbreaks and build the capacity of health systems to benefit the health and wellbeing of hundreds of millions of Africans;

U.S. equally supports the AU’s Agenda 2063 goal of fostering improved education on the continent and the development of the next generation of African leaders through support for basic and secondary education, the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI), and people-to-people ties through cultural and educational exchange programs benefitting Africa’s youth and young Americans seeking to enhance their understanding of the continent.

The U.S. has provided security support to the African Union Commission Peace Support Operations Division and 23 African nations.

On its part, the AU has mobilized peacekeeping missions to regions on the continent experiencing conflict and in 2018 revitalized the Peace Fund through which its member states will finance African peace and security operations

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