On Africa Day, Celebrating U.S.-Africa Partnership and Cooperation
My first three months with the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) have been a whirlwind – learning about our portfolio from our talented staff, engaging with MCC’s country partners, and speaking with friends and stakeholders in Congress, civil society, and across the US Government.
I am struck by the scope of the challenges ahead and how profoundly the global landscape has changed since the agency’s founding in 2004. In the immediate term, the COVID-19 pandemic threatens to erase hard-won development gains, with the first increase in global poverty levels in nearly 20 years.
It has been 40 years since the first cases of what later became known as AIDS were reported— and despite incredible scientific and programmatic strides, the end of the HIV/AIDS epidemic is not yet in sight. But lessons learned from HIV/AIDS are germane as the world responds to other infectious disease threats, including COVID-19. We asked Dr. Paul Stoffels of Johnson & Johnson about these lessons, the success of PEPFAR and the importance of global health security for preventing future pandemics.
In celebration of Africa Day 2021 and its 58th anniversary, we had the opportunity to interview Ambassador Cindy Courville, who served as the first U.S. Ambassador to the African Union (AU) from 2006 to 2008. Ambassador Courville’s long and illustrious public service career includes decades of experience shaping and transforming U.S. policy in Africa while serving with the Defense Intelligence Agency, the National Security Council, and as Ambassador to the AU based in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
As Vice President Harris prepares for her upcoming trip to Central America, recent events have raised concerns about corruption not only as one of the root causes of migration but also as a risk that potentially undermines U.S. assistance to improve conditions on the ground.
Africa Day 2021 marks the 58th anniversary of the Organization of African Unity—now the African Union—and is a celebration of the diversity and independence of Africa’s 54 countries. The U.S. has a long and robust bipartisan history of support for building partnerships across the continent, especially when it comes to strengthening public health, developing local infrastructure, supporting political stability, and advancing trade. In celebration of Africa Day 2021, here are five areas where the United States’ partnership with the African continent has led to tremendous progress in recent years.
In Malawi, poor sanitation, space limitations and inadequate provision for personal hygiene at schools, paired with societal norms and expectations, cause girls to abandon school far too prematurely. In result, girls are left uneducated which often leads to early pregnancy, marriage, and/or new HIV infection. To address these significant constraints to girls’ education, USAID is partnering with the Government of Malawi to build more schools and deliver education more equitably through the five-year Secondary Education Expansion for Development (SEED) project.
America’s diplomacy and development tools are on the front lines of the global COVID-19 response—and during today’s hearing on COVID-19 and the international response, both Democratic and Republican leaders of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee agreed that U.S. global engagement is a critical component of our country’s own health and economic recovery.
Each semester, we recruit an ambitious team of interns to help us advocate for American diplomacy and development around the world—and the international affairs funding that supports U.S. global engagement—as part of the USGLC’s internship program. As a capstone of the internship experience, our interns dive into different aspects of the budget. Here in their own words, our spring class of interns provide highlights of their presentations on global health programs, the Millennium Challenge Corporation, the State Department’s educational and cultural exchange programs, USAID’s Bureau for Europe and Eurasia, and the Asia Foundation.
Friday, April 30th marks the Biden Administration’s first 100 days in office. While the Administration’s next 100 days are likely to be as critical as the first, here’s a look back at how America’s development and diplomacy tools have been deployed to address many of the complex global challenges affecting the world’s most vulnerable and with impacts to America’s security, prosperity, and safety.
Yesterday, the Biden Administration announced that it would share over 60 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccines to countries around the world—with India included as a potential recipient, since the country is an experiencing a sharp uptick in the number of COVID-related cases and deaths since March. As the COVID-19 crisis continues to devastate the country, there are real concerns that India’s health care system could collapse, and the outbreak could spread to other countries and destabilize the region—prompting the United States and others in the international community to step up to help India respond to this terrible outbreak.