During the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit, USAID Administrator Samantha Power and other senior Agency representatives reinforced the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to revitalizing global partnerships and alliances across the African continent. Through a number of new initiatives, events, and bilateral meetings, Administrator Power showcased how the United States is collaborating with Africa on the most pressing global challenges and opportunities, including catalyzing private sector partnerships, improving food security, supporting emerging democracies, and responding to the climate crisis.
Promoting inclusive partnership between civil society and governments
On December 13, Administrator Power hosted the opening session, “Inclusive Partnerships to Advance Agenda 2063,” of the Civil Society Forum at the United States Institute for Peace. She opened the forum with remarks that emphasized the importance of partnerships between civil society and government, urging the audience to embrace ideas from all corners and be open to the views of those outside government. The forum brought together civil society representatives, African heads of delegation and other government officials, and senior U.S. government officials for an exchange of ideas on promoting anti-corruption reforms, protecting workers’ rights, and ensuring that marginalized voices are represented in public life.
Investing in Africa’s health workforce and building more resilient health systems
This week, USAID announced several new partnerships and initiatives to continue to build more resilient health systems across Africa. USAID outlined the Biden-Harris Administration’s plans to reduce inequities in access to health services through strategic and coordinated investments in the health workforce, especially to close the workforce gap in Africa. Recognizing that primary health care-oriented health systems, anchored by a strengthened primary health workforce deliver markedly better results, from lower mortality, to improved equity, and increased cost efficiency, USAID announced the initial five partner countries – Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, and Nigeria – for its new Accelerating Primary Health Care Collaborative. The Collaborative will harness the USAID and PMI health footprints in these five countries to reclaim lost ground on global health and to foster resilience and preparedness against future threats.
During the U.S.-Africa Business Forum, USAID and the Development Finance Corporation jointly announced the new Transform Health Fund, for which USAID will provide $1 million in catalytic grant funding. The Fund supports locally-led supply chain transformation, innovative care delivery, and digital solutions to secure Africa’s healthcare future, and has now reached total approved commitments of $50 million. These are just a few of the ways USAID will deliver with impact on the continent, along with our additional investments for COVID-19 relief, global health security, and health facility electrification.
Improving lives and promoting peace through democratic reforms and the rule of law
On December 13, Administrator Power attended the Peace, Security and Governance Forum to discuss the importance of the rule of law, democratic reforms, and the corrosive impacts of unrestrained use of force. She urged attention to supporting issues such as improving livelihoods and economic opportunities, climate resilient agriculture, and the provision of basic services as integral parts of stabilization.
Supporting Africa’s young leaders
On December 13, Vice President Harris announced plans to work with Congress to fund a U.S. government investment of more than $100 million in the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI). As part of this expansion and in collaboration with partners, USAID will create the Young African Leaders Exchange, the first pan-African virtual platform that will enable the Diaspora and other key stakeholders to connect directly with nearly 28,000 YALI alumni from 49 sub-Saharan countries. The Exchange will promote networking, strengthen the role of mentors and coaches, showcase initiatives, enhance women and marginalized youth’s leadership, and support young African leaders to access grant or internship opportunities.
Tackling the climate crisis and harnessing the opportunity to generate jobs, grow clean energy economies, and build resilient communities
On December 13, Administrator Power spoke at the Supporting Conservation, Climate Adaptation, and a Just Energy Transition Session, where she highlighted U.S. and African partnerships addressing conservation and highlighted the need for African countries to both benefit from, and preserve, natural resources. She lifted up USAID’s work with partners throughout Africa to protect the continent’s forests from illegal logging, and other bad practices such as unplanned agricultural expansion, so communities can sustainably use their forests for their livelihoods for generations to come.
On December 14, USAID announced a Global Development Alliance – one of the largest in USAID history. The Health Electrification and Telecommunication Alliance is a five-year cooperative agreement that will invest USAID resources to leverage more than $150 million of additional private sector resources to install reliable, renewable power and provide mobile network and Internet access for at least 10,000 health facilities across sub-Saharan Africa. The announcement follows USAID Power Africa’s call for new business approaches based on the latest clean energy technology.
USAID also announced a new Prosper Africa partnership with ThirdWay Partners and The Nature Conservancy to protect African landscapes and bolster the tourism sector. With $2.5 million in catalytic funding from USAID, ThirdWay, and the Nature Conservancy will unlock a $75 million Africa Conservation and Communities Tourism Fund to assist safari tour operators across Africa. This will benefit 44,000 community members and generate $40 million in annual revenue for conservation landscape owners, managers, and communities. With a protected area larger than the U.S. state of California, the fund will cover parts of Botswana, Kenya, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania, and Zambia.
Providing life-saving humanitarian assistance to communities in need
President Biden announced plans to provide $2 billion in life-saving assistance, through USAID, to support crisis-affected people in Africa. Humanitarian crises, from catastrophic drought to torrential flooding, continue to affect countries across the continent. This urgently needed humanitarian assistance includes emergency food, shelter, critical healthcare, water, sanitation and hygiene support, gender-based violence survivor services and other protection support, and critical nutrition services. It will help the people of African nations hardest hit by disasters recover and withstand future crises, as well as mitigate the impacts of the historic levels of growing food insecurity and malnutrition.
The United States, through USAID, also provided an additional $2.5 million in humanitarian assistance in response to persistent needs following unprecedented flooding in Chad. This life-saving relief comes at a critical moment as some communities remain without access to food assistance, health care, shelter, and safe water sources.
Addressing the global food security crisis
On December 14, USAID announced through the Prosper Africa Initiative a new partnership to increase the supply and quality of maize on the African continent, initially in Zambia. The partnership is possible thanks to support from agribusiness and energy firm AfricaGlobal Schaffer, infrastructure firm Bechtel’s social impact company bechtel.org, and South Africa-based firm Export Trading Group and its social impact arm, Empowering Farmers Foundation. In response to the global food security crisis, USAID is leveraging U.S. taxpayer funds by collaborating with businesses motivated to improve market systems. USAID’s investment through the TradeBoost program is also making this new partnership possible. USAID’s funds will be matched 1:1 by the private sector partners to magnify their potential to improve food security and increase shared prosperity.
To learn more or watch USAID-hosted and Administrator Power’s public events at the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit, visit our website.