Washington, D.C. – Last week, U.S. Senator Chris Coons (D-Del.), a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, led a bipartisan Senate delegation to Niger, South Africa, Zimbabwe, and Burkina Faso. The Senators participated in bilateral meetings with heads of state and senior government officials, including President Mahamadou Issoufou of Niger, President Emmerson Mnangagwa of Zimbabwe, President Roch Marc Christian Kabore of Burkina Faso, and senior ministers from the government of South Africa. The delegation reaffirmed bipartisan support for strong ties between the United States and Africa, examined political transitions in South Africa and Zimbabwe, and assessed U.S. development and security assistance to Burkina Faso and Niger.
Senator Coons was joined by U.S. Senators Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), and Gary Peters (D-Mich.).
“At a time when the United States faces no shortage of international challenges from nuclear programs in North Korea and Iran to increased assertiveness from Russia and China, we cannot afford to ignore the critical challenges and opportunities that we face in Africa, a continent where targeted investments can have an outsized impact,” said Senator Coons.“Particularly as the Senate Foreign Relations Committee prepares to consider the nomination of Mike Pompeo to be the next Secretary of State, this trip was a timely opportunity to hear directly from officials in each country about important issues from security and terrorism to the successes and failures of U.S. foreign policy across the continent. The clearest lesson from this trip was a simple one: we need more American engagement in Africa, not less, and I will continue pushing the Trump Administration to deepen and strengthen ties across the continent.”