On June 14, 2010, the U.S. Department of State hosted the second installment of the "Diplomacy Briefing Series." The Bureau of Public Affairs invited non-governmental organizations, members of academia, and members of the African Diaspora to engage in a conversation on Sub-Saharan Africa, the issues that affect the countries in that region, and the U.S. relationship with them.
The event culminated with remarks by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, who underscored the region's importance to the United States. Secretary Clinton said that the relationship is to be one of "partnership, not patronage." She continued:
"[W]e believe that the future of Africa is in the hands of Africans. And we have to join hands to work together to develop that partnership to expand democracy that delivers for people, good governance that actually can be accountable to the people, promoting sustainable economic growth that provides benefits to all people, improving access to healthcare, education, basic services, and working to eliminate the conflicts that destroy lives and destabilize the region.
“Now, achieving these goals requires close cooperation across governments, business communities, the not-for-profit sector, civil society groups. And we have established high-level dialogues with our counterparts. We have a bilateral dialogue with South Africa, we have one with Nigeria, we're working hard with many of the countries, from Angola to Tanzania to Liberia, and we are increasing our relationship with the African Union."
The Secretary concluded, “[W]e need to do a better job of spreading the word about the progress in Africa. So if you're part of the African Diaspora community, we want you to stay in touch with us to get information about what we're doing and what the impacts are, and we also need your advice. If you're a student, we want to look for ways to involve you in the work that is improving the lives of the African people, whether it's in public health, agriculture or entrepreneurship. If you're in an NGO, we want you to let us know what you're doing so we can better partner with you and support you.
“But there's a lot of exciting work that is going on, and we are extremely committed to that work. But we recognize that it is not the work of a year, nor even the work of a single four-year or eight-year administration. It needs to be the work of America, and therefore, it needs to be firmly rooted in how we define our interests and our values. And to that end, we believe strongly that Africa can have and should have a very positive future for its people, and we want to be the partners who help to realize those dreams that stretch across the continent and give people a feeling that life can be better, and to help show the way by being a good supporter of what is already happening in Africa.”
Read the Secretary's full remarks here.