A New Partnership

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Nowhere in the world is development such an important part of U.S. engagement efforts as it is in Africa. The President’s strategies on global development and Africa laid the foundation for a new approach to the continent that focuses on sustainable development and a new operational model for U.S. development assistance. USAID in Africa is focused on ending extreme poverty by removing constraints to growth, promoting food security, transforming public health, increasing opportunities for women and youth, responding to humanitarian emergencies while building resilience to future crises, and promoting low-emissions growth and sustainable development. 

Realizing this vision requires a different model for development, one built on expanding and deepening partnerships with African governments, private sector actors, universities, local civil society—as well as with a new generation of African leaders, thinkers, entrepreneurs, and innovators, who are leading the transformation of their societies. This new model for development is at the core of USAID’s approach.

We are committed to working together with Africans, their leaders and our many partners to advance this new model of development and partnership in pursuit of two core goals: eradicate extreme poverty in a generation, and realize the promise of a more peaceful, more productive, more prosperous Africa. USAID's work in Africa focuses on:

  • Boosting agricultural productivity through the Feed the Future Initiative by addressing the root causes of chronic hunger and poverty and spurring economic growth in a region with incredible resources and arable land
  • Strengthening health systems through the Global Health Initiative so that countries can help their children survive, overcome the ancient threat of malaria, give mothers the support they need to give birth safely and turn the tide against the HIV/AIDS epidemic on the continent
  • Supporting democracy, human rights, and good governance to help governments fight corruption, expand space for civil society, help citizens choose their leadership and strengthen the trend toward democratization in Africa
  • Increasing resilience to climate shocks by helping communities adapt to erratic rainfall and longer, harsher droughts—weather effects we know will hit Africa hardest
  • Leading quick responses to humanitarian crises to save lives and help prevent instability and loss, critical in a region prone to destabilizing droughts and food emergencies

These efforts reap dividends for both Africa and the United States. As we support the development of Africa’s economic growth, it can generate new export markets and tap into a common market that will one day outpace India or China. At the same time, USAID's work in preventing conflict and violent extremism reduces political instability that can threaten U.S. national security. And above all, our support of democracy, opportunity and freedom from poverty and disease represents this country’s most cherished values.

Our continued commitment contributes to positive change:

  • Child mortality in Africa has dropped by nearly a third over the past 20 years, thanks in large part to U.S. support of vaccine research and distribution.
  • The number of people newly infected with HIV is decreasing for the first time since the HIV epidemic struck, a trend driven by the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief.
  • Ten African countries, including Rwanda, South Africa and Zambia, reduced the number of malaria cases and deaths by over 50 percent in the last decade, accelerated by the efforts of the President’s Malaria Initiative.
  • The continent's primary school completion rate has increased from 53 percent in 1993 to 70 percent in 2011.
  • At the end of the Cold War, only three African countries were democracies; since then the number has risen to 25.
  • Over the past ten years, personal income has increased by more than 30 percent, whereas in the previous 20 years it shrank by nearly 10 percent.

Last updated: July 08, 2014

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