‘Africans themselves have to demand for their rights’


By Rohey Jadama The United States of America’s Ambassador to  the African Union (AU)AMBASSADOR BRIGETY 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 Gambia. 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 their continent”. 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.”]]>