Throughout her entire time in Congress, Bass has held the position of being the top Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Africa, Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights and International Organizations. Her goal is to transform how we think and engage African nations and to promote the many opportunities to expand trade and economic growth between the U.S. and African nations. During her time in that post, one of her key priorities was the re-authorization and Strengthening of the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), which enables the nations of Africa to export goods to the U.S. duty-free. In 2015, Bass was instrumental in reauthorizing the bill.
Bass has been a leading voice and an advocate for preventing and ending famine in Africa. In 2017, she helped secure nearly $1 billion in funds to combat famine in Nigeria, Somalia, and South Sudan.
She has introduced more than 50 bills and resolutions pertaining to democracy protection, expanding economic opportunity, and other issues pertaining to the continent. Bass continues to engage the African diaspora with regular popular policy breakfasts, which are open for public participation, to discuss the latest issues on the continent.
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“I call on the Government of Uganda to let all votes be counted without interference. Election observers are impartial to the electoral process and should not be harassed nor arrested for doing their job, and I urge President Museveni to immediately investigate the arrest of any Ugandan election observers. There have also been reports that the government has shut down many forms of communication throughout this electoral process to silence citizens, including blocking social media apps and imposing an indefinite internet blackout. This is a clear violation of their human rights.
“I urge the Government of Uganda to release Nicholas Opiyo and investigate his unlawful detention by the Ugandan Security Forces. Mr. Opiyo must be given due process, and his unlawful arrest sends a strong message that the country has no regard for basic human rights and the rule of law.”
WASHINGTON - Today, Rep. Karen Bass (D-CA), Chair of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Africa, issued the following statement regarding the abduction of over 300 students in northern Nigeria.
“I am deeply concerned about the recent abduction of more than 300 students in Katsina State in northern Nigeria. I urge the Government of Nigeria to investigate this matter, bring these attackers to justice, and for the attackers to release the boys and return them safely to their families.”
“To know Linda is to know an incredibly smart, caring, and insightful diplomat dedicated to bettering this country and the relationships our country has with others throughout the world.
“Our offices have been alerted that African asylum-seekers from Cameroon and other African countries, many of whom were allegedly improperly coerced by ICE to sign voluntary deportation orders, will be deported as early as tomorrow morning. Upon their arrival to their designated countries, many will be at imminent risk of death. Their deportation should be put on hold until the new administration is sworn in and able to carefully review these claims. Anything otherwise is outrageous and unacceptable. We plan to introduce a measure this week to condemn this deportation should it take place.
"We are deeply concerned about the ongoing crises in Ethiopia that have the potential to further destabilize the country while endangering civilians’ lives and liberties and call for a ceasefire and national dialogue.
“I am deeply concerned for the safety of the American citizen who has been kidnapped in Niger. The safety of American citizens abroad is one of our top priorities and I urge the Government of Niger to do all that they can to work toward returning him to safety. The Sahel region has been grappling with increased violence over the past years. The United States must continue to support our African partners as they beat back rising insecurity and attack the root causes of attacks in the area. United States support is critical to ensure we keep those working in the region safe.”
In the letter, the Congressmember expressed particular concern with the documented force used by the Nigerian police and military, which has resulted in the loss of lives and injury of dozens of protestors like the recent events at the Lekki Tollgate on October 20, 2020. She urged President Buhari to prioritize the following:
“Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed spearheaded significant and commendable reform measures following his selection in April 2018, including releasing thousands of political prisoners, inviting exiled political opposition back to Ethiopia, negotiating a peace agreement with Eritrea, lifting bans on over 200 websites and improving media freedom.
“This resolution marks an important step toward strengthening our supply chains in the Western Hemisphere and confronting a rising China,” said Congressman Sires. “This legislation makes clear that there is bipartisan opposition to including textile, apparel, and footwear products in the Generalized System of Preferences, as this would be a big win for China and would send jobs out of the United States, Latin America, and Sub-Saharan Africa.