“Africa Has Done Marvelous Over the Last 12-18 months” Amb Johnnie Carson
At a farewell reception held in honor of outgoing United States of America Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of African Affairs, Ambassador Johnnie Carson at the Ronald Reagan International Centre in Washington DC on the 26th February, Carson remarked “Africa has done marvelously over the past twelve and eighteen months in the area of deepening of democracy and strengthening of democratic institutions. (Photo: group photo of Ambassador Johnnie Carson and Congresswoman Bass (purple) and some distinguish guests)
The out-going Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of African Affairs said “I am responsible for 49 states in Sub-Saharan Africa, and I am pleased that the continent is doing good.
“Across those 49 states, we have 45 embassies and we are promoting economic development, economic reforms, sustained growth and development of Africa’s economies.
“The United States help and partner with Africans to do for themselves by strengthening democracy, democratic institutions and good governance.
“The number of elections and the pace of democracy across Africa make good news: and I think Africa has done marvelously over the last 12-18 months in terms of deepening of democracy, supporting elections and strengthening of democratic institutions.
He said “Africa has enormous economic potential. It has enormous economic riches and resources.
“Africa has the capacity to be a major, global, economic player and this in fact should be Africa’s century. “It is the place where people should be going: where they ought to be going, because it has enormous potentials” said Ambassador Carson.
Ambassador Carson paid glowing tributes to President Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who chose him to serve as the Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs.
The outgoing Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs said he is enormously proud of the fact that given his background and experience in Africa, he can’t think of no more an honor than the one he received.
“It is the pinnacle of a long career of working across Africa on both easy and difficult issues – being the administration’s chief policy maker on a day-to-day basis for Africa. It’s an enormous pride that I will always have and take with me.
“My bureau is responsible for on a day-to-day basis for states that are small and island states like Cape Verde, or Comoros, or Sao Tome and Principe, small states in Africa such as Togo, Sierra Leone and Benin and Swaziland and Lesotho, but also the giant states of Africa, Nigeria, with its population of a 150 million people, Sudan, Ethiopia, countries that are enormous in size including places like the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
Earlier, several guests including Grant T. Harris – Special Assistant to the President & Senior director for African affairs, Hon. Karen Bass Ranking member House Committee on Africa, Global Health and Human Rights ,Walker A. Williams of leadership Africa USA, members of Congress, and Benin Ambassador Cyrille S. Oguin shower praises on Ambassador Carson for his dedication of service to the continent while Melvin P Foote & Stanley L. Straughter of Constituency for Africa reflected on the life and career of the Ambassador.
Ambassador Johnnie Carson was sworn in as assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of African Affairs on May 7th2009
Prior to this, he was the National Intelligence Officer for Africa at the NIC after serving as the senior vice President of the National Defense University in Washington DC (2003-2006).
Ambassador Carson’s 37 year Foreign Service career includes ambassadorships to Kenya, (1993-2003) Zimbabwe (1995-1997) and Uganda (1991-1994.
Before joining the Foreign Service, Ambassador Carson was a Peace Corps volunteer in Tanzania.
Presentation of two meritorious Awards to Ambassador Johnnie Carson and Congresswoman Karen Bass in the full view of members of the diplomatic community including Sierra Leone’s Charge’ d’ Affairs ( ai ) Mrs. Aisha S. Sillah formed the highlight of the evening.
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