Cotonou, July 6, 2022 – The United States Embassy in Benin celebrated the country’s 24th Independence Day in a Star Spangled Banner. The ceremony was held in the presence of members of the Benin government, the diplomatic corps and embassy partners.
After two years of suspension due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the celebration of United States Independence Day has a special focus on 60 years of cooperation between the United States and Benin.
Two hundred and forty-six years ago, delegates from the thirteen American colonies came together to declare their independence from Great Britain based on the idea that every human being is created equal and with an equal right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,” said U.S. Ambassador to Benin Brian Shawkan during the ceremony. . These democratic values, shared by the United States and Benin, form the basis of decades of friendship and partnership between our two countries. »
The ambassador reviewed the many achievements in the framework of cooperation between the United States and Benin such as the response to the COVID-19 pandemic through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) energy agreement. ), cooperation between the Benin and US armed forces with the aim of enhancing security in the region and programs such as the Mandela Washington Fellowship under the African Youth Leaders Initiative (YALI) that allows Beninese young professionals to be sent each year to enhance their capabilities. leadership capabilities in the United States and who return to share them with their peers and put them in the service of society.
Ambassador Shawkan noted that in the face of challenges in the United States and around the world, President Biden has made democracy support a domestic and foreign policy priority. “In Benin, we look forward to holding competitive and inclusive legislative elections in 2023, which will contribute to making Benin a leader in democracy and human rights in the region,” added Mr. Shawkan.
The Secretary-General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Eric Jean-Marie Zinsou, also indicated to the audience that Benin is on the list of West African coastal countries that will benefit from an annual and multifaceted support estimated at 20-30 million US dollars. dollars over the next five years as part of the US strategy to prevent conflict and promote stability. “The Government of Benin expresses its appreciation for the commitment of the US authorities to accompany it on the path of economic development and affirms its determination to work for the smooth running of the projects being implemented between the two countries in order to consolidate and diversify cooperation,” added Ambassador Zinsou.
Find photos of the event on our FlickR account here https://cop.kr/s/aHBqjzXeHf
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