By Rohey Jadama
The United States of America’s Ambassador to the African Union (AU)
Mr. Reuben Brigety, has said that Africans have to demand for
themselves that their own governments respect the rights they sworn and agreed to. He said African countries themselves have adopted anumber of treaties, protocols and agreements to uphold the human
rights of their own people.
Ambassador Brigety said this in a press conference at the American
Corner along the Kairaba Avenue on Friday 8th May 2015 with
Journalists and students from the University of the Gambia School of
Journalism and Digital Media.
He said that as a friend of the continent they are not pushing
Africans and that they should not push Africans to do anything that
Africans have not decided in their own and do for themselves – how
African institutions and governments make real and effective human
rights objectives and the human rights standards that their
governments have adopted themselves.
He opined that the nature of the US and AU Partnership is based on
four pillars, which are partnerships on democracy and good governance
in Africa, Private sector Economic Growth and Investment, Peace and
Security and Opportunity and Development.
He indicated that the reason why democracy and good governance is the
first pillar is because Africa’s peace and prosperity depends on its
investment in democracy and good governance and part of which is human
rights in the continent. He said that is the reason why he came to the
He disclosed that he had the opportunity to attend the closing
ceremony of the 56th ordinary session of the African commission of
human and people’s rights. “We were delighted and impressed with the
work of the commission in the last six weeks, particularly on migrant’s
rights, women’s rights.
I was very honoured to have a private session with the Chairperson and
the vice chairperson of the commission as well as most of the
commissioners. We talked about the nature of human rights in Africa
and ways in which the US can partner with the commission to advance
this particular aspect of the work of the AU.”
He said the US sees itself as the natural partner of choice for
Africa. He said that is because of their history in the continent,
much of which is painful, but much of which is hopeful and that is
because they share a vision which is a peaceful and prosperous Africa.
He said support for Africa’s development is a key priority for
President Barack Obama.
He said irregular Migration is a concern for the AU and the Europeans.
He continued: “What I can say as a concerned representative is that it
is critical for the migrant receiving countries that receive irregular
migrants to continue to treat them with humanity and to provide them
with assistance and to ensure that they are screened properly.
“It is vital for governments to address conditions in Africa so that
young people, young families see a future for themselves in Africa. So
that they don’t have to risk their lives for some sort of uncertain
‘better future’ abroad and they can make a future for themselves and
He added that this requires increased in economic development, to make
investment attractive in the continent and strengthening democracy and
good governance so that people do not have to risk their lives.
“The role of US is to strengthen democracy and good governance, and to
strengthen economic growth for Africans to know that they have a
future in Africa without risking their lives going to Europe.”
By Rohey Jadama