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Bureau of African Affairs' 50th Anniversary Reception

Condoleezza Rice, Secretary of State
Washington, DC
October 6, 2008

I dearly wish that I could have joined you in person this evening. But I am honored to add my congratulations to the celebration of the Bureau of African Affairs’ 50th anniversary. I want to thank the Corporate Council for Africa for hosting this event in recognition of what is truly a milestone not only for the State Department, but for U.S.-Africa relations as well.

The Bureau of African Affairs was founded at the dawn of Africa’s independence as a sign of America’s support for Africans’ quest for the dignity, respect, and opportunity that come from freedom. That pivotal period saw Africans bring centuries of colonial rule to a close in more than 30 nations, where newly liberated African leaders inspired hope—not just in Africa, but here in the United States as well—that the light of liberty would soon shine brightly across the continent. 

Today, as many African nations prepare to celebrate their own Golden Jubilees, a renewed spirit of independence is driving Africans to open a new era in their nations’ development. A new ethos of responsibility is alive in Africa today, among peoples and governments who are increasingly meeting their own challenges, creating their own opportunities, and leading their nations into the global economy. 

The United States has welcomed this renewed spirit of independence with a renewed commitment of our own to supporting responsible African leaders.  Led by the men and women of our Bureau of African Affairs, we have forged new partnerships throughout Africa to build peace, combat disease, expand prosperity, and improve governance. We have committed unprecedented resources to ensuring that those partnerships succeed. Africa still faces profound challenges, but I am optimistic about Africa’s future. Our relations with Africa have never been better, and I am confident that under the stewardship of the Bureau of African Affairs, we will continue to support Africa’s journey towards peace, prosperity, and freedom.

 Thank you, and once again, congratulations.


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