December 13, 2022

Van Hollen Statement as U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit Kicks Off

Today, U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Africa and Global Health Policy released the following statement on the beginning of the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit:

“Building stronger partnerships between the many countries of Africa and the United States holds tremendous benefit for all of our nations. From boosting trade and economic growth to working together to address global challenges like climate change and food insecurity, this Summit provides an opportunity to come together on many of our vital shared priorities. As I meet with African leaders this week, I am eager to discuss efforts I’ve led in these areas, including to bolster the AfCFTA and AGOA. I’ve been pleased to see the Biden Administration already signal important progress on these fronts coming into this week with their support of the African Union’s bid to join the G-20 and their willingness to further partner on both the AfCFTA and AGOA. I’ll also seek to emphasize the need to meaningfully invest in our relationships with African nations – both through assistance funding and through people-to-people programs like the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI). I look forward to discussing these shared goals as we commit to working together to strengthen the future of the United States and the nations of Africa.”

As the Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Africa and Global Health Policy, Senator Van Hollen has introduced both the YALI Act and the Strengthening the AfCFTA Act to strengthen our economic, diplomatic, and people-to-people ties with African nations. These bills will promote engagement with and investment in African leaders and countries, respectively. He’s also pressed for the need to do more infrastructure work as part of our development efforts and has urged the extension of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) without delay. This important authority, which provides African countries duty-free access to the U.S. market, is currently set to expire in 2025.