Under President George W. Bush, the US became involved in negotiations to end fighting in the Sudan between government forces and the Southern People’s Liberation Movement. Bush also launched a new initiative on debt relief, including the adoption of a new policy increasing the grant content of World Bank lending to Africa’s poorest nations. Bush’s efforts to promote democracy and market-based economic growth were showcased in Benin, Tanzania and Ghana.
- More than two-thirds of sub-Saharan African countries have had democratic elections since 2000. Power has changed hands in a number of nations, from Senegal to Tanzania and from Ghana to Zambia. Over the next two to three years, the goal is to move beyond elections as the measure of freedom, and toward supporting African efforts to fortify government accountability. Through the Millennium Challenge Account (MCA), the US seeks out countries that have already implemented economic reforms and good governance programs to help transform their economies and fight poverty. Half of the countries eligible for funding under the President’s initiative are in Africa, including: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Ghana, Lesotho, Madagascar, Mali, Mozambique, Namibia, Senegal and Tanzania.
In September 2007, the Millennium Challenge Corporation awarded a five-year, $698 million
to the government of Tanzania to reduce poverty, stimulate economic growth and increase household incomes through targeted infrastructure investments in transport, energy and water. The Millennium Challenge Compact with Tanzania is designed specifically to address each of these constraints, including the: Transport Sector Project ($373 million), Energy Sector Project ($206 million) and Water Sector Project ($66 million). Upon project completion, it is estimated that the program will directly or indirectly benefit approximately 4.8 million Tanzanians.
A retired U.S. ambassador, Johnnie Carson spent 37 years working for the Foreign Service, mostly on assignments throughout sub-Saharan Africa. On May 6, 2009, he was confirmed as the Assistant Secretary for African Affairs.