Assistant Secretary Johnnie Carson, the bureau advises the Secretary of State and Under Secretary for Political Affairs on issues affecting sub-Saharan Africa and supervises American embassies in African countries. The bureau works in connection with other government agencies to implement projects and Presidential initiatives which consolidate democratic institutions, foster sustainable economic development and growth and stem the spread of HIV and AIDS in the region.
Development Objectives and Goals: Five pillars serve as the foundation of U.S. policy toward Africa: 1. Strengthening democratic institutions and the rule of law; 2. Encouraging long-term development and growth, including food security, 3. Enhancing access to quality health care and education, 4. Assisting in the prevention, mitigation, and resolution of conflicts; and 5. Working with Africans to address transnational challenges, including terrorism, maritime security, climate change, narcotics trafficking, and trafficking in persons. Furthermore, particular attention is given to three target groups in the region population, namely young people, women, and entrepreneurs.
• Feed the Future: The program seeks to unleash the proven potential of small-scale agricultural producers to improve production on a large scale.
• Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) Fora: The African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) was signed in 2000, by President Bill Clinton, to offer developing African nations an opportunity to export their products to the United States duty-free. Specifically, AGOA provides trade preferences to countries that are making progress in economic, legal, and human rights reforms. Under AGOA, eligible countries can export products to the United States duty-free – nearly 6,500 products from apparel to automobiles, and footwear to fruit. AGOA also provides a framework for technical assistance to help countries take full advantage of the trade preferences.
• Women's Justice and Empowerment Initiative The Women Justice and Empowerment Initiative (WJEI) is a three-year, $55 million dollar program to bolster women's justice and empowerment in four African countries: Benin, Kenya, South Africa, and Zambia.
In Benin, WJEI is implemented by USAID, the U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) and the Bureau of African Affairs and has three components:
1. Raising awareness about violence against women,
2. Strengthening the capacity of national and local structures to meet the needs of victims of violence, and
3. Strengthening the capacity of legal systems and law enforcement to protect women
• President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) The President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR/Emergency Plan) was a commitment of $15 billion over five years (2003–2008) to fight the global HIV/AIDS pandemic. The PEPFAR has been renewed, revised and expanded, including malaria and waterborne diseases in 2008 as the "Tom Lantos and Henry J. Hyde United States Global Leadership Against HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria Reauthorization Act of 2008". The expansion more than triples the initiative's funds, to $48 billion through 2013. On June 23, 2009, Ambasssador Eric Goosby was sworn in as the United States Global AIDS Coordinator. The Bureau of African Affairs is supports the plan implementation in Sub-Saharan countries.
• Global Climate Change The United States is taking a leading role in addressing climate change by advancing an ever-expanding suite of measures. The program is based on a number of polices and partnerships that span a wide range of initiatives from reducing domestic emissions at home to developing transformational low-carbon technologies to improving observations systems that will help better understand and address the possible impacts of climate change.