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U.S. Africa Command greeting

This is from General William Ward’s introduction on our website, originally posted October 6, 2009, at http://www.africom.mil/africomDialogue.asp?entry=856

From Gen William "Kip" Ward<!– Share –>

My staff and I spend much of our time traveling and meeting with people across Africa, throughout the United States, and around the world. A lot of those people ask us: What is U.S. Africa Command really about? Why has the United States created this organization? What did the American government expect to gain for the American people by building U.S. Africa Command?

These are all excellent questions. The U.S. Africa Command works with Africans and the international community to promote the fundamental idea that establishing professional military service is an effective approach for building self-sustaining stability and fostering conditions that promote development.

Everything we do works toward that goal. We became responsible for all U.S. military activity in Africa in October 2008. Since then, we have worked continuously to listen and learn from our partners so that our activities and programs support the needs of the Africans to provide for their own security and stability.

I personally have learned enormously from our African partners, and I greatly enjoy every opportunity I get to engage with African leaders and their people on the continent and its island nations. Although Africa comprises more than fifty different and independent nations, I have found some common elements of concern:

— Economic security – This includes the safe and secure movement of people and goods. It also includes complex factors such as how to prevent piracy, reduce corruption, provide greater access to health, and promote good governance;

— Respect for rule of law, civil authority, human rights, and valuing dignity for all – I’ve been repeatedly told and seen firsthand that mutual respect is an essential building block of stable, prosperous communities;

— Self-empowerment – People tell me they want to be capable of solving their own problems. They do not want others doing their work for them. Nor do they want others telling them what to do or how to do it.

— Self-sustaining stability The Africans remind me consistently how security and development go hand-in-hand. They want a better tomorrow, and recognize this means coming to terms with the threats to peace in their midst. Continue reading ‘U.S. Africa Command greeting’

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