President and Mrs. Bush Discuss
Africa Policy, Trip to Africa
President Bush on Thursday said, "We're going to Benin, Tanzania, Rwanda, Ghana and Liberia. Each of these countries is blessed with natural beauty, vibrant culture, and an unmistakable spirit of energy and optimism. Africa in the 21st century is a continent of potential. That's how we view it. I hope that's how our fellow citizens view Africa. It's a place where democracy is advancing, where economies are growing, and leaders are meeting challenges with purpose and determination."
U.S. Africa Policy: An Unparalleled Partnership Strengthening Democracy, Overcoming Poverty,
and Saving Lives
President And Mrs. Bush's Africa Trip Underscores The New Approach To Africa Policy Under This Administration, And Builds On A Dramatic Increase In The United States' Commitment To African Development
On February 14, 2008, President Bush discussed his upcoming trip to Africa and the Administration's strong commitment to growth and development on the African continent. The President and Mrs. Bush are scheduled to leave tomorrow on a five-nation trip to Africa, with stops in Benin, Tanzania, Rwanda, Ghana, and Liberia. They will review firsthand the significant progress since the President's last visit in 2003 in efforts to accelerate economic development and fight global HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other treatable diseases, as a result of the United States' robust programs. The President will meet with the leaders of these five nations to discuss how the United States can continue to partner with African countries to support sustained democratic reform, respect for human rights, free trade, open investment regimes, and economic opportunity across the continent.
- Prior to speaking today, the President previewed a movie trailer for a 15 minute documentary on the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), produced in partnership between Warner Bros. and PEPFAR. The trailer, which will appear in movie theaters later this year, will direct viewers to visit www.PEPFAR.gov to view the full documentary aimed to increase awareness and highlight the accomplishments of PEPFAR. President Bush launched PEPFAR in 2003, and today this Initiative is supporting life-saving anti-retroviral treatment for about 1.4 million people living with HIV/AIDS in Sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, and the Caribbean.
Since 2001, the United States has dramatically increased its commitment to development in Africa and has transformed the way this development is carried out. Too many nations continue to follow either the paternalistic notion that treats African countries as charity cases, or a model of exploitation that seeks to buy up their resources. America rejects both approaches. The United States is treating the leaders of Africa as equal partners, asking them to set clear goals, and expecting them to produce measurable results. Together, Africa's leaders and the United States are working to pioneer a new era in development on the African continent.
- The U.S. is on track to increase total assistance to Africa to $8.7 billion by 2010, double the level of assistance in 2004. In addition, the President's Malaria Initiative (PMI), launched in 2005, is adding to PEPFAR's efforts to combat disease in Africa and is estimated to have already reached 25 million people in Sub-Saharan Africa to help in the fight against malaria.
Today, the President announced some new steps to help continue this progress, including:
Adding five investment funds supported by the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC). These funds will mobilize $875 million in capital for the continent. This is in addition to $750 million in investment capital that will be mobilized by OPIC Funds announced by the Administration last November, bringing the total to more than $1.6 billion.
On his trip next week, signing the largest project in the Millennium Challenge Corporation's history a $698 million dollar compact with Tanzania. This Compact will benefit 4.8 million Tanzanians.
Next week, signing a bilateral investment treaty with Rwanda our first such treaty in Sub-Saharan Africa in a decade. This treaty will promote investment by providing legal protections for U.S. and Rwandan investors that underscore the two countries' shared commitment to open investment and trade policies.
As an ambassador for the President, Mrs. Bush has made three independent trips to Africa, visiting South Africa, Tanzania, Rwanda, Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria, Senegal, Mozambique, Zambia, and Mali. On all three trips, Mrs. Bush highlighted the partnership between the U.S. and Africa to expand education, empower women, and fight against diseases such as HIV/AIDS and malaria. During her trip last summer, for example, Mrs. Bush visited three programs supported by the President's Africa Education Initiative, as well as programs receiving assistance from PEPFAR and PMI. She announced the distribution of hundreds of thousands of new textbooks to children in Senegal, announced the first grant through PMI to the Inter-Religious Campaign against malaria in Mozambique, and launched the first U.S. Government-funded PlayPump in Zambia, which uses the energy of children at play to help provide access to clean water. Mrs. Bush has also participated in roundtable discussions on women's empowerment in several African countries to highlight the Administration's steadfast commitment to justice for women.
The United States Is Partnering With African Leaders To Empower Africans To Overcome Poverty By Growing Their Economies
Under the leadership of President Bush, the U.S. has delivered historic aid increases to Africa.
- In President Bush's first term, the United States more than doubled development assistance to Africa part of the largest expansion of American development assistance since the Marshall Plan.
- President Bush has pledged to increase total assistance (both bilateral and multilateral) to $8.7 billion by 2010, double the size of 2004 levels. The President's FY 2009 budget request, combined with previous budgets and program implementation, will ensure that the United States meets this important commitment.
President Bush secured international agreement on the Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative. This Initiative provides 100 percent debt relief from the major International Financial Institutions to the world's poorest, most heavily indebted countries. It has reduced a total of $42 billion in debt to date $34 billion of which was for 19 African countries. Over time, a total of 33 African countries could receive full debt relief. The U.S. also secured reforms with the International Financial Institutions aimed at preventing the re-accumulation of unsustainable debt.
President Bush launched the Millennium Challenge Account as a new model to support governments that commit to rule justly, invest in people, and encourage economic freedom. To date, the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) has signed seven compacts with African countries totaling $2.4 billion to fight poverty through economic growth.
The President worked with Congress to extend the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). Thanks in part to AGOA, over 98 percent of African exports to the U.S. entered the U.S. duty-free last year. In 2007, AGOA exports to the U.S. totaled over $50 billion more than six times the level in 2001, the first full year of AGOA. During the same period, U.S. exports to sub-Saharan Africa have doubled, totaling over $14 billion.
In May 2007, President Bush announced the Africa Financial Sector Initiative. Along with today's announcement, the Initiative will create seven new investment funds that will mobilize more than $1.6 billion through support of OPIC. This will strengthen financial markets, mobilize domestic and foreign investment, and help spur job creation and economic growth. To date, OPIC had supported several investment funds that are mobilizing roughly $1.3 billion in private investment for the continent.
In 2006, President Bush launched the African Global Competitiveness Initiative (AGCI), which will provide $200 million over five years to support increased trade and investment in Africa. Four regional Global Competitiveness Hubs are the primary implementers of AGCI and are located in Ghana and Senegal for West Africa, Botswana for Southern Africa and Kenya for East and Central Africa.
Over the last seven years, the U.S. has committed $1.6 billion to trade capacity building assistance to Sub-Saharan Africa, including $505 million in FY 2007 alone. This assistance is helping African governments to reduce barriers to trade and African businesses, workers, and farmers to benefit more fully from global trade.
The United States Is Partnering With African Leaders To Empower Africans To Alleviate Hunger, Expand Education, And Fight Disease
The United States is proud to be the world's largest donor of food assistance. The United States' humanitarian food aid totaled more than $1.7 billion in FY 2007, and our emergency food aid reached about 23 million people in 30 countries.
- In 2006, the United States provided $195 million the first year of a five-year effort to support the African Union's Comprehensive African Agricultural Development Program. This program promotes the critical role of agricultural development as a means to eliminate hunger, reduce poverty and food insecurity, increase trade, and promote wealth in Africa.
- To help African countries feed their own people, the President calls on Congress to support his proposal to use a portion of U.S. food aid funding to begin purchasing crops directly from farmers in Africa, instead of shipping in food assistance from the developed world. This initiative would build up local agriculture markets and help break the cycle of famine.
In 2002, President Bush launched the Africa Education Initiative (AEI) and committed to provide $600 million over eight years to increase access to quality basic education. By 2010, AEI will have distributed over 15 million textbooks, trained nearly one million teachers, and provided 550,000 scholarships for girls.
- In May 2007, President Bush also announced the President's Expanded Education for the World's Poorest Children and committed an additional $525 million over five years for education improvement. This initiative aims to provide over four million children with access to quality basic education in six target countries, four of which are African: Ethiopia, Ghana, Liberia, and Mali, and will support after-school skills development programs.
In 2003, President Bush launched the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), committing $15 billion over five years to combat global HIV/AIDS. PEFPAR is the largest international health initiative in history to fight a single disease. Through this program, the U.S. is partnering with local African communities and organizations, including faith- and community-based organizations, to support HIV/AIDS treatment, care, and prevention activities.
- Today, PEPFAR is supporting life-saving anti-retroviral treatment for over 1.3 million people in Sub-Saharan Africa alone, up from 50,000 when the President last visited Africa in 2003.
- On May 30, 2007, President Bush announced his proposal to double America's initial commitment and provide an additional $30 billion over the next five years. The President has called on Congress to pass reauthorizing legislation that maintains PEPFAR's successful founding principles.
In 2005, President Bush launched the President's Malaria Initiative (PMI), committing $1.2 billion over five years to reduce malaria deaths by 50 percent in 15 target African countries. The President has challenged the private sector to join the fight against malaria, and it is estimated that the PMI has already reached 25 million people in Sub-Saharan Africa.
The U.S. is the largest contributor to the Global Fund for HIV/AIDS, Malaria, and Tuberculosis, pledging more than $3.5 billion and providing over $2.5 billion since 2001.
America's charitable organizations serve on the front lines with African faith-based and community groups to advance health, education and development goals. PEPFAR, PMI, and other U.S.-funded efforts represent massive-scale implementation of the President's vision for his Faith-Based and Community Initiative by empowering these organizations in their determined attack on need.
The United States Is Partnering With African Leaders To Empower Africans To End Conflicts, Strengthen Democracy, And Promote Peace
President Bush's partnership with allies, regional leaders, and sub-regional organizations has led to the ending of wars in Liberia, Sierra Leone, Sudan (north-south), Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Angola, and Burundi.
America continues to work closely with local partners to address remaining security challenges in Africa.
- Darfur: In the case of Darfur, the United States will continue to deliver humanitarian assistance, enforce sanctions against Sudanese government officials, rebel leaders, and others responsible for violence, and call this killing what it is genocide.
- Eastern Congo: In Eastern Congo, we brokered recent agreements with leaders on the ground to demobilize all remaining armed groups. We stand ready to help all sides implement them.
- Kenya: In Kenya, there must be an immediate halt to the violence, justice for the victims of abuse, and a full return of democracy. The President has asked Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to travel to Kenya to support the work of the former Secretary General Kofi Annan.
America will also stand with all in Africa who live under tyranny. The President urges neighbors in the region including South Africa to work for an end to the suffering in Zimbabwe, where a discredited dictator presides over food shortages, staggering inflation, and harsh repression.
Since 2005, the United States has trained over 39,000 African peacekeepers in 20 countries. The U.S. has trained over 80 percent of African peacekeepers who are currently deployed in African Union and United Nations missions both inside and outside of Africa. The U.S. is partnering with the AU and member states to support the establishment of an African Standby Force.
The United States is dedicated to promoting democracy and human rights and assisting refugees in Africa. In the past four years alone, there have been more than 50 democratic elections in Africa, and more than two-thirds of Sub-Saharan African nations live in freedom. President Bush continues to support democratic transitions in many African countries such as Liberia and Mauritania, strengthening democratic institutions in post-conflict countries, such as the DRC and Burundi, and assisting civil society organizations across Africa in combating gender-based violence, trafficking in persons, and other human rights violations. In FY 2007, the U.S. provided close to $175 million for programs to promote just and democratic governance in African nations.
The U.S. is the largest donor to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), with more than 40 percent of that funding going to Africa in 2007.
Background On The Countries The President And Mrs. Bush Will Visit
Benin is just beginning its first year as a focus country under PMI. In October 2007, with support from PMI, the Government of Benin launched one of the largest anti-malaria campaigns designed to reach all children under the age of five. Throughout the campaign, more than 1.6 million bed nets were distributed.
In February 2006, the MCC signed a five-year, $307 million compact with the Government of Benin. The compact is expected to affect an estimated five million beneficiaries and directly lift 250,000 Beninese out of poverty by the year 2015.
The Africa Education Initiative has supported training for approximately 30,000 teachers and administrators in Benin. Through AEI, more than one million textbooks and learning materials have been provided. The Ambassador's Girls' Scholarship Program has supported 3,400 girls in Benin.
Tanzania is one of 15 PEPFAR focus countries. With approximately 6.5 percent of the adult population HIV positive, PEPFAR is helping to deliver anti-retroviral treatments to over 96,000 Tanzanians. Roughly 1.1 million pregnant women have received mother-to-child HIV transmission prevention services to date. Last year, Tanzania launched a National HIV/AIDS Testing Campaign. President Kikwete and the first lady of Tanzania were the first to be tested.
As a PMI focus country, Tanzania has seen the number of malaria cases among children on the island of Zanzibar drop by 95 percent between 2005 and 2007. To date, PMI has provided spraying operations that have protected nearly 170,000 residents, procured and disbursed nearly 700,000 treatments of artemisinin-based combination therapies, and provided roughly 1.8 million bed net vouchers targeting infants and pregnant women.
Tanzania has been an active partner in working to bring peace to Darfur. President Kikwete has been outspoken in his support of a UN peacekeeping mission in Sudan. The U.S. is helping to train several battalions of peacekeepers that are expected to be ready to deploy to Darfur by the summer of 2008.
Rwanda was the first country to deploy peacekeepers to Darfur and provide the backbone of the African Union Mission (AMIS) in August 2004. The United States has trained nearly 7,000 Rwandan troops and spent more than $17 million to equip and transport Rwandan troops for service in Sudan. Rwanda continues to be a strong regional voice for greater and stronger international involvement in ending the genocide in Darfur.
Rwanda is a focus country under PEPFAR, which is delivering anti-retroviral treatments to over 44,000 people. Roughly 650,000 pregnant women have received mother-to-child HIV transmission prevention services, which have helped to avert infant infections. U.S. funding for HIV/AIDS in Rwanda has grown from $39 million in FY04 to $103 million in FY07.
PMI began operations in Rwanda in early 2007 and has helped provide indoor residual spraying for nearly 160,000 households. PMI programs are projected to distribute 450,000 long-lasting insecticide treated bed nets, spray roughly 85 percent of Rwandan homes, and distribute over 900,000 artemisinin-based combination therapies.
2008 marks Ghana's first year as a focus country under PMI. In December 2007, the U.S. supported Ghana's Health Services National Malaria Control program, and helped launch a bed net re-treatment campaign that aims to re-treat 275,000 bed nets by the end of 2008.
Ghana is a target country of the President's Expanded Education Initiative. Through the earlier African Education Initiative more than 98,000 teachers have received training, and 6,300 girls have received scholarships and mentoring in Ghana.
MCC signed a five year, $547 million Compact with Ghana in August of 2006. The program is expected to directly alleviate the poverty of over 230,000 Ghanaians and enhance the welfare of one million Ghanaians in total.
Liberia is emerging as a growing democracy in West Africa. The Liberian government has taken significant steps to correct past human rights deficiencies including working to reform the justice sector, combating corruption and promoting good governance, and establishing a Truth and Reconciliation Commission to investigate and document human rights violations and war crimes committed during Liberia's civil war.
The U.S. is helping strengthen Liberia's democratic institutions following the country's historic 2005 elections. As a major contributor to Liberia's Governance and Economic Management Assistance Program (GEMAP), USAID is working in partnership with the administration of President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf to improve management of its public finances and combat corruption. In collaboration with GEMAP, the U.S. provided over $22.2 million in 2007 for programs to promote just and democratic governance in Liberia.
Liberia is a target country of the President's Expanded Education Initiative. Through the earlier Africa Education Initiative more than 800,000 textbooks have been provided to support learning for war-affected youth. The Ambassador's Girls' Scholarship program has supported 2,700 girls with scholarships in Liberia.
The U.S. is committed to helping Liberia rebuild its Security Sector, committing $156 million since 2003. These funds support the recruitment, training, and equipping of the Armed Forces of Liberia. The U.S. is also working to reform the national police, including the creation of a 500-person Emergency Response Unit.
Liberia is just beginning its first year as a PMI focus country with a goal of distributing approximately 630,000 insecticide treated bed nets in 2008.
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