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
“I want to thank the local organizers and families in my district who brought this incredibly important issue to my attention at a local town hall a few years ago,” said Rep. Karen Bass. “The division of the Korean Peninsula millions of families, including some who are now citizens of the United States and have not been able to see their families in more than 70 years. Reunification with family members should be a humanitarian priority of immediate concern. I am glad that we are now one step closer to make it the sense of the United States House of Representatives.”
“Already, President Biden has signaled to the world his support for strengthening our partnership with the continent of Africa and the countries there,” said Congressmember Bass. “The Young African Leaders Initiative flourished under President Obama and Vice President Biden. I commend my colleagues for passing this important bill to solidify our embrace of the future of the continent. I look forward to working with my colleagues in the Senate to get this bill to President Biden’s desk.”
“I am saddened to learn of the recent passing of President Idriss Déby Itno and express my condolences to his family, and the people of Chad. I stand with the people of Chad, and hope that their rights to free speech, expression, and assembly are recognized, and urge for a peaceful transfer of power.”
“I condemn the alleged military coup near the presidential palace just two days before new President Mohmed Bazoum is to take office. This is Niger’s first elected transition in its history since independence from France in 1960, and the perpetrators are trying to impede on the country’s democratic progress. Outgoing President Mahamadou Issoufou voluntarily stepped down after two five-year terms, and I urge the country to stay the course.
“I want to thank my colleagues for supporting this resolution,” said Rep. Karen Bass. “We all want this pandemic to be over but this simply cannot happen unless we act in collaboration and coordination to fight COVID-19 throughout the world. Renewed, strategic, respectful, and focused approach to U.S. policy toward Africa will lay the foundation for long-term post-COVID-19 recovery.
“I am deeply concerned by the escalated violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and about the growing crisis in the Great Lakes region writ large. The conflict in northeastern DRC has worsened since the start of the year, leading to the deaths of hundreds of people, and forcing tens of thousands from their homes with nearly 20 million dealing with food insecurity.
“Africa represents a myriad of opportunities for the United States and must be met where it is – a continent of diverse people, cultures, critical natural resources, and multilateral organization,” said Rep. Karen Bass.
“Shortly after COVID-19 was declared a pandemic, doomsday scenarios were predicted for the African continent,” said Rep. Karen Bass. “While Africa defied the COVID-19 nightmare scenarios, the toll of the pandemic on the continent, which has now surpassed 100,000 deaths, should not be ignored. Renewed, strategic, respectful, and focused approach to U.S. policy toward Africa will lay the foundation for long-term post-COVID-19 recovery.
“I am very concerned by the allegations of human rights violations and atrocities in the Tigray region of Ethiopia. Reportedly, thousands of civilians have been killed, raped, or assaulted due to the escalated dispute between the Government of Ethiopia and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF). There has been an escalation of ethnic violence in the country where extrajudicial killings, sexual violence, looting of property, mass executions, and impeded humanitarian access in the Tigray region has continued.
“I am deeply concerned for the safety of school children in Nigeria who have been kidnapped in the northwest part of the country in the last few weeks. Innocent children are being held for ransom when they should be protected and have a safe learning environment. Reportedly, this is the second abduction in less than two weeks by various militant groups, and the latest reports remind us that the international community must amplify efforts to protect children at all costs.