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US to reinforce democratic institutions in Africa

Xinhua | Updated: 2013-06-28 21:14

US to reinforce democratic institutions in Africa

US President Barack Obama (L) participates in a toast during an official dinner with Senegal's President Macky Sall at the Presidential Palace in Dakar June 27, 2013. [Photo/Agencies]

DAKAR - The United States will help African countries to strengthen democracy, good governance, the rule of law and respect for human rights, US President Barack Obama says on his visit to Senegal, the first leg on his three-nation African trip.

He made the remarks in the Senegalese capital Dakar on Thursday when meeting with judicial heads from 12 African countries.

"We appreciate the progress that most African countries have made to expand political participation and improve governance, and we shall remain a faithful partner to help them in the reinforcement of electoral processes, transparency and security while also respecting and protecting the universal rights and fundamental freedoms," he said in a statement sent to Xinhua.

He said the US had spent more than $292 million in support of these efforts, especially in aid to the civil society, independent media, credible elections to create strong democratic systems and the capacity of African electoral commissions.

Obama also announced the launch of an anti-corruption training program for West Africa. It will be a two-year program to support the creation of teams of judges and institutions that will be in charge of fighting against organized crime and drug cartels.

"The US will continue to promote responsible and open governance in Africa and across the whole world and will also expand its support to technological innovations that will improve governance systems," Obama added.

Obama's African tour will also take him to South Africa and Tanzania.

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