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Congresswoman Karen Bass

Representing the 37th District of California

U.S.-Africa Policy

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.

More on U.S.-Africa Policy

December 2, 2019 Press Release

"I offer my profound condolences to the families of those who lost their lives and wish the injured a speedy recovery.  I join President Kabore in condemning this attack.  Burkina Faso has experienced increased insecurity over the past two years with innocent civilians bearing the brunt of the violence. I encourage the international community to support the government of Burkina Faso especially in addressing the root causes of violent extremism."

December 1, 2019 Press Release

“Today is a day to raise awareness, reflect on our progress, and recommit our resolve to fight HIV/AIDS throughout the world.

“Last year, Congress came together in a bipartisan fashion to extend the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), a program which has already saved 17 million lives across the globe. There is still work to be done. Successful U.S-Africa policy hinges on mutual efforts on issues such as global health, education, and disease awareness. 

November 22, 2019 Blog Post

NBC 7: Rep. Bass Hosts Field Hearing At US-Mexico Border

CBS8: Representatives Tackle Humanitarian Crisis At US-Mexico Border

October 25, 2019 Press Release

"I am troubled by the recent news of four journalists and a civilian being detained by Burundi authorities this week. The journalists were detained while trying to do their job and bring important information to the citizens of Burundi.

October 21, 2019 Press Release

"I remain concerned by the continued detention of journalist, human rights activist, and founder of Sahara Reporters Omoyele Sowore.  Mr. Sowore was arrested on August 3rd ahead of a planned demonstration against the government.  

"Mr. Sowore has the right to exercise freedom of expression and protest for change in a peaceful manner; he also has the right to peacefully assemble and voice opposition to the government.  The right to peaceful protest is a fundamental human right guaranteed under both Nigerian and international law.

October 18, 2019 Press Release

"I would like to commend King Mohammed VI for pardoning Hajar Raissouni, her fiancé, and Dr. Jamal Belkeziz for an alledged abortion allegation that Ms. Raissouni denied having.

"I am committed to human rights for all and disagree with the persecution or imprisonment of anyone because of their personal beliefs. The silver lining for this dark incident is that an open dialogue about the dated laws in Morocco is now taking place, creating a growing demand to repeal the illegalization of non-marital sex from the legal system.

October 11, 2019 Press Release

“I would like to congratulate Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed on receiving the Nobel Peace Prize.  This honor is well deserved for Africa’s youngest leader in his commitment to peace and reconciliation in Ethiopia and throughout the Horn of Africa. His display of courage by signing a peace agreement between Ethiopia and Eritrea last year—ending one of Africa’s longest-running conflicts—was truly inspiring.

October 6, 2019 Press Release

“I’m encouraged by the release of Maurice Kamto and dozens of supporters yesterday in Cameroon after months of detainment. The rule of law must be adhered to regarding the civil liberties of all Cameroonian citizens including the right to free speech and assembly without the threat of being detained. All parties, both the government and opposition groups, must come together to find a peaceful resolution to the country’s continuing conflict and I am hopeful that this release is a step in that direction.”

September 6, 2019 Press Release

“I want to acknowledge the passing of former Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe.  Robert Mugabe helped liberate Zimbabwe from the British colony in 1980 and served as its leader for 37 years. His ZANU-PF party won Zimbabwe’s first independent election. He helped build a foundation for a country where his government instituted health and education programs that lowered infant mortality rates and increased the number of high school and college graduates. 

September 5, 2019 Press Release

“I call on both the South African and Nigerian governments to stand in solidarity against isolated malicious attacks against the people of Nigeria and South Africa. I am extremely concerned by the increased violence and retaliatory attacks against citizens in both countries and denounce violence of any kind on the people of Nigeria and South Africa including the rape and kidnapping of young girls, and gender-based violence against women and young children.