West African Affairs Office Director Eunice Reddick Visits Senegal
From September 13 – 16, former U.S. Ambassador to Gabon and Sao Tome and Principe and current West African Affairs Office Director Eunice Reddick visited Senegal. Crossing into the country by land border from Mauritania, Director Reddick visited three U.S. government projects in the north of the country.
Near Rosso, in the village of Thiaga, Director Reddick, accompanied by the U.S. Embassy’s Public Affairs Officer, visited a USAID-supported rice production facility known as “Coumba Nor Thiam” or CNT. CNT is one of the largest rice production facilities in the Senegal River Valley region, and Director Reddick got to see the rice shucking machine, the bags of rice ready for distribution, and the set-up for a biogas generation station, which when operational, will provide energy for the power mill. This same USAID Economic Growth Project is training over 12,000 farmers this year alone in rice harvesting, and Director Reddick later stopped near Ross-Bethio to visit a group of female farmers just after their morning work. The farmers greeted her with song and dance to welcome her.
Later in Richard-Toll, Director Reddick visited two Peace Corps Volunteers: one who works in agriculture and keeps up a large garden outside the local hospital to provide patients with dietary supplements, and another just arrived to work with the Ross Bethio hospital on health issues. The hospital director gave Director Reddick an overview of its patients and challenges and spoke of the contributions the garden has made to the patients as well as the cross-cultural exchange benefits the community gets from hosting Peace Corps Volunteers. The volunteers were busy preparing for a girls’ leadership camp to hold the next week in St. Louis and briefed Director Reddick on their plans.
Finally, Director Reddick wrapped up a busy day in northern Senegal by paying a visit to the American Corner in Louga, housed inside the Regional Cultural Center of Louga. Director Reddick and the PAO delivered a laptop and “netbook” to the American Corner and spoke to a small group of students eager to practice their English language skills and to learn more about the United States and U.S. policy. Director Reddick lit up when speaking to the energetic students and enthusiastically explained our various outreach programs in Senegal, many of them also available at http://exchanges.state.gov/
In Dakar before departing for the next stop on her West African tour (Sierra Leone), Director Reddick met with Embassy officials, participated in a lunch with members of the diplomatic corps, spoke to the media and paid a courtesy call to Foreign Minister Alioune Badara Cissé.