T H E W H I T E H O U S E
WA S H I N G T O N
June 14, 2012
Nearly 3 years ago, I remarked in front of the Ghanaian Parliament that Africa is a fundamental part of our interconnected world. Since that time, we have partnered with leaders, youth, and civil society in Africa to deepen the principles of democracy and human rights, to expand economic opportunity, and to support those who seek peace where war and deprivation have plagued communities. Africa and its people are partners with America in creating the future we want for all of our children—a future that is grounded in growth, mutual responsibility, and mutual respect.
As we look toward the future, it is clear that Africa is more important than ever to the security and prosperity of the international community, and to the United States in particular. Africa’s economies are among the fastest growing in the world, with technological change sweeping across the continent and offering tremendous opportunities in banking, medicine, politics, and business. At the same time, the burgeoning youth population in Africa is changing economies and political systems in profound ways.
Addressing the opportunities and challenges in Africa requires a comprehensive U.S. policy that is proactive, forward-looking, and that balances our long-term interests with near-term
imperatives. This U.S. Strategy Toward Sub-Saharan Africa solidifies and advances many of the initiatives that we have launched since I took office in order to help achieve that balance,
and elevates two efforts that will be critical to the future of Africa: strengthening democratic institutions and boosting broad-based economic growth, including through trade and investment.
Strong, accountable, and democratic institutions, sustained by a deep commitment to the rule of law, generate greater prosperity and stability, and meet with greater success in mitigating conflict and ensuring security. Sustainable, inclusive economic growth is a key ingredient to security, political stability, and development, and it underpins efforts to alleviate poverty, creating the resources that will bolster opportunity and allow individuals to reach their full potential.