The goal of the United States Mission to the African Union (USAU) is to partner with the African Union in ways that will strengthen democratic institutions, promote peace and stability, support sustainable economic development through increased trade and investment, and improve the lives and health of all Africans. USAU's relationship with the AU is based upon historical ties and shared culture between Africa and the U.S., increasing coordination due to globalization, and a deep appreciation of the strategic significance of the African continent.
To this end, USAU is pursuing a program focused on the following objectives that both we and the AU recognize as vital to the future:
Good Governance and Democracy
Every year, more than a dozen African States will go to the polls to elect presidents and national assemblies. Each of these elections will be scrutinized by a myriad of election observers from within and outside Africa - including the AU - to determine whether they were conducted in a credible manner.
The AU would like to send pre-election assessments and possibly full election monitoring delegations to every election on the continent to establish a consistent and credible African-led institution that validiates good elections and discredits bad ones.
USAU supports the AU's Democracy and Electoral Assistance Unit (DEAU) through financial and technical assistance for elections missions. Moreover, USAU envisions an AU Political Affairs Directorate (PAD) that will promote not only democartic development, but also rule of law, respect for human rights, a stronger civil society, and durable solutions for humanitarian crises.
Peace and Security
Political conflicts on the African continent-- in Somalia, Sudan, Mauritania, Madagascar, and Guinea -- have monopolized the AU's attention, and consequently, the attention of the AU's international partners, whose good offices are often sought to help find solutions to these crises.
USAU works with the AU Peace and Security Commission and the African Permanent Representatives who serve on the Peace and Security Council to support:
- Confilict mitigation through mediation and peacekeeping;
- a Continental Early Warning System that will detect threats to peace and security on the continent before they erupt;
- the African Standby Force (ASF), a network of five regionally-based
peacekeeping forces that -- once created--will be rapidly deployed to
quell conflicts that arise in any African state;
- a Coordination and Communications plan for maritime safety and security.
Learn about three peace and security mechanisms at the African Union:
Shared Values and Communications
AUC Chairperson Jean Ping issued a statement on behalf of the AU in which he spoke of "the full availability" of the AUC to work in partnership with the new U.S. Administration to strengthen the natural links that already exist between the United States and the African continent. The AU and the United States should build upon "this good work which has had an immeasurable impact on the lives of many of the poorest and most vulenerable people on the African Continent." The Commission, in its commitment to peace-building in the world, will continue to be a partner in the search for peace and the development of Africa, Ping added. USAU seeks to:
- Increase cultural understanding and facilitate diplomatic channels between the U.S. government and member states of the AU;
- Build AU capacity to support and capability to interact more effectively with international media.
For more information about USAU support for AU Communications, see our News and Events section.
The staff of the U.S. Mission to the African Union includes representatives from the U.S. Department of State, the U.S. Agency for International Development, and the U.S. Department of Defense.