Phillips Leads Resolution to Honor and Support the United States African Development Foundation

June 24, 2021
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Rep. Dean Phillips (D-MN) introduced a bipartisan resolution supporting the United States African Development Foundation’s 40 years of tireless and effective community development work. The initiative is co-led by Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ), Ranking Member of the Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, and Global Human Rights, and Subcommittee Chairwoman Karen Bass (D-CA) is an original co-sponsor. A similar resolution passed the Senate unanimously earlier this year.

Created in 1981, the USADF is an independent federal agency dedicated to sustainable development, uplifting underserved communities, and strengthening connections with local leaders on the African continent. With its commitment to community-led, grassroots projects – and it’s 100% African staff – the USADF has made a unique impact in conflict-affected areas, and the Center for Global Development has ranked the agency as one of the most efficient providers of foreign aid in American government.

“The U.S. African Development Foundation is a one-of-a-kind agency and a model for how our foreign assistance programs should function,” said Rep. Phillips. “This important resolution will underscore our continued commitment to the work of USADF as it inspires economic prosperity, offers sustainable development solutions, and furthers the United States’ foreign policy interests in Africa. Here’s to another 40 years of partnership!”

“By focusing on grassroots projects and meeting real needs of people at the community level, the U.S. African Development Foundation has pioneered a successful model for development, garnering broad bipartisan support,” said Ranking Member Smith.  “Keeping overhead low and ensuring that grant beneficiaries are also partners invested in the success of the projects it funds, USADF is a great guardian of taxpayer dollars while positively impacting a countless number of lives throughout Africa.”   

“I am proud to join my colleagues in recognizing 40 years of the United States African Development Foundation and affirming Congress’s commitment to its mission,” said Chairwoman Bass. “Throughout the past four decades, USADF has created pathways to prosperity through community-led initiatives across the African continent. I urge for swift passage of this resolution.”

“The U.S. African Development Foundation greatly appreciates Congress’ recognition of USADF’s 40 years of work in Africa and Representatives Phillips and Smith for their leadership on this resolution,” said Elisabeth Feleke, USADF Acting President and CEO. “The strong, bipartisan support USADF receives from Congress allows USADF to fulfill its Congressionally mandated mission of creating pathways to prosperity for marginalized populations and underserved communities in sub-Saharan Africa. USADF looks forward to continuing this important work while advancing Congressional priorities around food security, access to energy, and employment for youth and women.”

As a member of the Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, and Global Human Rights and the Caucus for Effective Foreign Assistance, Phillips has made sustainable development and peacebuilding a priority since coming to Congress in 2018. Rep. Phillips has consistently advocated for robust funding for USADF in the appropriations process, and he is an original co-sponsor of the Youth, Peace, and Security Act, legislation that would reorient U.S. foreign policy around community engagement with young people around the world – particularly in Africa, where the median age is under 20.

Rep. Phillips’s resolution is co-sponsored by Reps. Chris Smith (R-NJ), Karen Bass (D-CA), Ronny Jackson (R-TX), Ami Bera (D-CA), Young Kim (R-CA), David Cicilline (D-RI), Tom Malinowski (D-NJ), Joaquin Castro (D-TX), Sara Jacobs (D-CA), Susan Wild (D-PA), Ilhan Omar (D-MN), Dina Titus (D-NV), and Steve Cohen (D-TN)