US-Africa Cooperation: Focus on Sustainable Development Outcomes

26/06/2013
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In its cooperation with Africa the United Sates focuses on sustainable development outcomes based on economic growth, democratic governance, and sustainable systems for meeting basic human needs and food security. The U.S. government emphasizes the critical role good governance plays in development.

In January 2012 the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) launched a major effort to move 30 per cent of its funding to the private sector, entrepreneurs and local civil society organizations in Africa to promote private sector-led development and to form innovative and high-impact public private partnerships.

The U.S. government’s bilateral cooperation with the AfDB has been strengthened through two cooperation agreements. In 2008, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed with USAID to launch a five-year partnership in support of African small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The thrust of this MoU is to accelerate investment in African SMEs.

In another MoU that was concluded with the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) in October 2010 to collaborate in infrastructure (transportation, water and sanitation), agriculture, environment, and health, as well as gender integration.

In 2012, USAID contributed US $200,000 to the Migration and Development Initiative (MDI), which is a Multi-Donor Trust Fund.  The MDI aims at improving knowledge on migrant remittances in Africa, providing support to reforms of the regulatory frameworks required to improve transfer conditions, developing financial products, and providing support for productive investment and local development in the migrants’ countries of origin.

At the Launch of the Sustainable Energy For All (SE4All) Africa Hub held during the African Development Bank’s (AfDB) 2013 Annual Meetings in May 2013 in Marrakech, Morocco, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)  announced that it will support  the Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa as part of the agency’s long-term commitment to foster the growth of sustainable energy sources on the continent.

The agency announced a USD 5 million contribution to the Fund. “Many of Africa’s small businesses lack access to the capital and technical expertise they need to build the continent’s electricity infrastructure,” the USAID Assistant Administrator for Africa, Earl Gast, said.  “Because reliable energy is key to Africa’s long-term development and economic growth, USAID is eager to help remove the obstacles that prevent entrepreneurs from advancing those objectives,” he added.

Overall, concerning the promotion of the private sector, trade, governance, inclusive and green growth, the African Development Bank (AfDB) is in total agreement with the American government. In its exchanges with member countries, and support to investment projects, the AfDB advocates the furtherance of these issues. One of the best examples is the support given to renewable energy projects in several countries, in particular Cape-Verde and Morocco.


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