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This presentation was made at the USAID/East Africa partners meeting on July 1st 2009. The theme of the meeting was “Building Regional Alliances: Strengthening African Leadership” The presentation focus on the role partnerships play towards the achievement of program objectives, highlighting some of the issues and challenges of partnership. Starting with a key characteristic of partnership as a union of equals, the presentation traces partnership as a strategy that USAID has applied in its work with Africa since the agency was established. The presentation indicates that there is a perception gap in which US partners view their relationship with African partners with a high degree of satisfaction, while African partners are more reserved, identifying several concerns with their relationship with US partners. However, over time, the presentation indicated that, there have been major changes in the relationships between US and African partners. For example there is a significant shift in the degree of influence and responsibility that are now afforded African partners; as a well as recognition of the resource contributions by African organizations, such as knowledge of the environment, relationship with communities, and other stakeholders.