We celebrated the event a few days early here in Bamako, with a few hundred of our Malian friends. Ambassador Hankins used the opportunity to thank our many partners in the Malian government, international organizations, cultural institutions, and throughout all sectors of civil society for excellent cooperation over the past year. The Ambassador’s remarks noted the U.S. Constitution begins with the words “Nous, Peuple des Etats-Unis, en vue de former une Union plus parfait,” to emphasize that the United States still has much work to do to fulfill our vision, just all democracies must constantly strive to make their governments serve their people better, just as Mali is trying to do now with its return to elected civilian rule. July 4, 2022, marks the 246th anniversary of the independence of the United States of America.Both Ambassador Hankins and Minister Ag Ilyen spoke of the great results we achieve when the United States and Mali work together. From vaccination programs to joint scientific research on malaria, from primary school literacy programs to advanced university research programs, from food security to economic growth, from fighting terrorism to promoting good governance, the Ambassador and the Minister highlighted the many ways an independent United States and an independent Mali continue to cooperate even amidst our differences.