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AU Chief confers with US Secretary of State

African Union (AU) Commission Chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat hosted U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson at the AU Headquarters in Addis Ababa. Both sides reaffirmed their strong commitment to the shared goal of a stable and prosperous Africa.
Their conversation builds upon their previous meeting in November on the margins of the annual US- AU High Level Dialogue in Washington D.C. The United States was the first country to establish a mission uniquely dedicated to the AU in 2006. During their meeting, Chairperson Faki and Secretary Tillerson reinforced their commitment to common priorities. She said that the AU has made significant progress on institutional reform and regional integration, including the planned signing of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement, and the launch of the Single African Air Transport Market. The United States applauded the work of the AU’s Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC), which has tracked and responded to disease outbreaks on the continent.
The two also discussed a few country  specific issues, including the Democratic Republic of Congo (DCR), where the United States continues to urge the AU to press all parties- including the DRC government and the political opposition- to work towards December 2018 DRC elections. Tillerson and Faki agreed that the AU and Intergovernmental Authority on Development should continue to apply pressure on the warring parties in South Sudan for a negotiated solution, to protect the lives and welfare of innocent South Sudanese.
The AU has named 2018 as the year of “Winning the Fight against Corruption,” and the United States supports the AU’s fight against all forms of corruption to improve the conditions for free and fair trade and enabling the environment for business and good governance.
Meeting against the backdrop of International Women’s Day, the AU and the United States joined their efforts to help those who decry gender-based corruption, inequality of opportunity, harassment, and gender-based violence.
Economic engagement between the United States and the AU is extensive and builds on existing US programs such as Trade Africa, Power Africa, the African Growth and Opportunity Act, and Feed the Future. Opportunities for greater collaboration include joint trade facilitation workshops, and supporting greater agricultural trade between the United States and Africa, including by harmonizing agricultural standards and building on ongoing food safety standards efforts through the AU-led Partnership for Aflatoxin Control in Africa.
The AU’s ongoing efforts to enhance its legal framework through the early entry into force of its Convention on Cyber security and Personal Data Protection will establish a sound basis for collaboration on efforts to develop cyber security capacities to protect Africa’s citizens.
Peace and security remain a mutual priority. The February launch of a US supported unarmed, unmanned aerial surveillance platform to support the AU Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) underscores commitment to the fight against terrorism in Somalia. The United States recognizes the perseverance and sacrifice of African Union soldiers participating in AMISOM and acknowledges the need to ensure predictable and sustainable funding for AMISOM to enable it to achieve its mandate.


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