Susan Rice: U.S. Fighting ‘Growing Terrorist Threat’ in Africa

National Security Advisor Susan Rice said the U.S. is working with its partners to fight a “growing terrorist threat” in Africa.

“With our partners, we’re facing down a growing terrorist threat. In Somalia, we continue to provide training, equipment, and funding to support the African Union’s Mission to root out al-Shabaab and strengthen Somalia’s security institutions. In the fight against Boko Haram, we are increasingly providing specialized advisers, training and equipment, and intelligence support to Nigeria and its regional neighbors,” Rice said at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s Annual Legislative Conference.

According to the Washington Post, Kenya has received $100 million in U.S. counterterrorism assistance this year.

Rice also said the U.S. is working to combat wildlife trafficking in Africa to preserve Africa’s ecology and to shut down the “illicit” transfer of funds to terrorist networks.

“Critically, we’re working with governments and community leaders to counter violent extremism before radicalization to violence can occur.  In Nigeria, Niger and Chad, we’re increasing civilian security and building communities targeted by Boko Haram,” Rice said.

“We’re supporting efforts in Northern Mali to promote reconciliation and mitigate conflict, particularly in isolated communities and we’re working with governments to responsibly address legitimate grievances that terrorists might exploit, as in Ethiopia, where American legal advisers are training police and lawyers to better uphold the rule of law,” she added.

While Africans are building their own capacity to feed and care for their people, Rice said the U.S. government has stepped up its commitments to Africa across the board.

“Trade between Africa and the United States is far below where it should be. In 2013, total trade between the U.S. and all 49 countries of sub-Saharan Africa was only a little larger than our trade with the Netherlands,” she said. “So we’re taking steps to increase trade and investment with Africa, which supports jobs and growth in all our countries.”

Rice said the first U.S.-Africa Business Forum generated $33 billion in new commitments so President Obama announced a second forum for next year.

“Through our ‘Doing Business in Africa’ campaign, we’re working across the government to make it easier for American companies to strengthen their commercial ties to Africa,” she said.