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
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.
“I am concerned about reports indicating restrictions of freedom of expression, association and assembly in Tanzania ahead of a possibly contentious election next month,” said Rep. Bass. “We must support Tanzanian people, especially right before an election. I urge the Government of Tanzania to allow citizens, civil society organizations political parties to express their views freely without fear and to safeguard press freedoms.
"This week, Paul Rusesabagina appeared in Rwanda in handcuffs facing terror-related charges. According to reports, a spokesman for the Rwanda Investigation Bureau would not go into details about how and where Mr. Rusesabagina was apprehended, saying that he has to answer "charges of serious crime.” My office is monitoring this situation very closely. I urge the Rwandan government to follow an open and transparent process and treat Mr. Rusesabagina respectfully. If there’s evidence, show it. If there’s not, release him."
"The Trump administration is preparing to deport Pastor Steven Tendo of Uganda who could face harassment, repression, arrest, and even death for advocating for human rights and voting rights. The United States government should allow people facing repression to remain in the United States. They should never have to face deportation."
"I urge those responsible for the undemocratic seizure of power to return the country to a constitutional government. I recognize that the people of Mali have been in the streets protesting for months and there is a general sense of anger and frustration over the slow pace of political change and continuing insecurity throughout the country. However, a violent and unconstitutional change of government may increase instability in Mali.
"I call on the Government of Zimbabwe to release journalist Hopewell Chin’ono and Jacob Ngarivhume, leader of the opposition party Transform Zimbabwe. The Government of Zimbabwe has continuously detained and arrested individuals who oppose their economic and political views, and this is a direct violation of their right to freedom of press, speech, and assembly.
The bill is being cosponsored by Congresswoman Judy Chu (D-CA), Chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus; Congressman Joaquin Castro (D-TX), Chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus as well as the Vice-Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee; and Congresswoman Deb Haaland (D-NM), Co-Chair of the Congressional Native American Caucus.
"The move to withdraw from the World Health Organization in the midst of a pandemic highlights this administration’s gross mismanagement of this global health emergency and a complete abdication of international responsibility and leadership.
"As past administrations have done successfully before, we should be investing in our response capacity and rallying the entire world to respond in a unified fashion to the crisis before us. To abandon this international effort as our death toll continues to rise past 130,000 is abhorrent.