Chargé d’Affaires Boustani Remarks – Foreign Affairs Ministry Debate 

CDA MFA Debate

Chargé d’Affaires Martina Boustani Remarks
MFA Debate « Quel partenariat international pour le développement du Sénégal ?»
July 8, 2017

(As prepared)

Monsieur le Ministre
Vos Excellences, Chefs des Missions Diplomatiques
Membres de corps diplomatique
Chers invites

It is my pleasure to take part in tonight’s event and I thank the Minister for the kind invitation.  It is an honor to join the four colleagues and Minister Ndiaye for this panel discussion on international partnerships for the development of Senegal.

I hope to be able to introduce our incoming Ambassador, Tulinabo Mushingi, to you in the near future.

On the foundation of the strong partnership between the United States and Senegal, we work together to build regional security, promote economic opportunity, and expand bilateral trade.  Our model for development assistance prioritizes working with the Government of Senegal to affect lasting positive change.  We are proud to support a diverse range of programs from multi-million dollar infrastructure projects to community-based projects led by the 240 Peace Corps Volunteers who are working throughout Senegal.  Regardless of the size of our development programs, each is infused with our shared values and goals.

To advance democratic values, for example, we empower citizens and government entities through technical assistance, awareness campaigns, and training.

To build regional security the United States and Senegal work together through training and joint exercises.

To promote opportunity and development we help the Government of Senegal to reach goals outlined in the Plan Sénégal Emergent.  We follow the vision that Senegal has established for itself and make sure that the goals of our projects are tied to this vision.  We also invest in the well-being of the people through health and education programs.

With our partners, we tap into the vibrant entrepreneurial spirit across Senegal to create an environment where businesses can thrive and contribute to the common good.  The private sector creates jobs and generates the tax revenues the state needs to achieve its objectives.  We support Senegalese policies in favor of a positive business environment to help increase trade and investment.

Working together we have achieved impressive results.

Take the Millennium Challenge Corporation—or MCC—for example.  In 2011, Senegal qualified for a $540 million direct investment from MCC.  Senegal also invested its own funds.  Together, we rehabilitated more than 370 kilometers of roads and expanded agricultural production on over 35,000 hectares in both the Senegal River Valley and the Casamance.

Like the Government of Senegal, we view assistance programs as interconnected.  For example, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has implemented three Food-for-Progress programs with total funding of over $26 million to improve value chains for cashews and millet and build rural roads to facilitate the transportation of goods to markets.  Together with the MCC’s trunk road in the Casamance—the Route Nationale 6— these projects have made it possible for refugees to return to the Casamance and earn a living.

Not only do we work on infrastructure projects, we also invest in the well-being of the people.  Health programs sponsored by the U.S. Agency for International Development—or USAID— have contributed to a 50% decrease in infant and child mortality in Senegal over the past 10 years and the useof contraceptives has nearly doubled in just five years.  That means women have healthier children, find more opportunities for education, and contribute more to the economy.

These are just a few examples of the large scope of the development partnership between Senegal and the United States.  As our Senegalese partners say, “Benn loxo du tàccu.” [Been lok-ho doo ta-chew]

That’s what American assistance programs in Senegal are all about: our two countries share fundamental values and vital interests. And so we join hands to reach common goals.

Thank you very much.