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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
October 29, 2001

Fact Sheet on U.S.-Sub-Saharan Africa Trade Forum
U.S.-Sub-Saharan Africa Trade and Economic Cooperation Forum

"The (African Growth and Opportunity) Act opens American markets to (African) countries that have embarked on the difficult, but beneficial path of political and economic reform ... African democracies with strong economies and healthy populations will contribute to a world that is more peaceful and prosperous for all."

President George W. Bush

May 16, 2001

With those words, President Bush established the Forum, in accordance with the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) that was passed with strong bipartisan support in May 2000.  The Forum had been scheduled for October 4-5, but it was postponed in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks of September 11.  The Secretaries of State, Treasury, and Commerce, and the U.S. Trade Representative have reissued invitations to their ministerial counterparts from 35 eligible Sub-Saharan African countries to attend the Forum on October 29-30, 2001.  The focus of the Forum will be to discuss further measures that the U.S. and Sub-Saharan African nations can jointly take to stimulate economic growth and trade, enhance democracy and good governance, and combat HIV/AIDS -? all key ingredients in a strong poverty alleviation program for Africa.

-    Secretaries Powell, O'Neill, and Evans, USTR Zoellick, and USAID Administrator Natsios will, along with their African Ministerial counterparts, host plenary panel discussions during the Forum.  Secretary Veneman, also with an African counterpart, will be the featured speaker at the luncheon, and National Security Advisor Rice will address the Ministers on the global campaign against terrorism.

-    President Bush will address an expanded plenary.

The business and NGO communities had planned to hold meetings with their African counterparts in conjunction with the AGOA Forum, in accordance with the AGOA.  These sessions will be postponed until a later date.

Members of Congress and Congressional staff, who played a key role in the passage of the AGOA, will be represented in the plenary sessions and will host African Ministers for a meeting on Capitol Hill.  This meeting will focus on AGOA II legislation and related issues.

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