For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
October 30, 2007
President Bush Meets with President Museveni of Uganda
10:37 A.M. EDT
PRESIDENT BUSH: Mr. President, thanks for coming. Second time we have met here in the Oval Office, and I told the President that I remember distinctly his description of what life was like in Uganda, particularly when it comes to his raising cows; he's a cattleman, and it gave us something to talk about.
But we talked about other issues as well. I am very proud that the United States taxpayer has supported this President in his efforts to deal with HIV/AIDS. And Uganda is the epitome of how one can implement a comprehensive ABC strategy to achieve concrete and specific results for the sake of humanity. And so, Mr. President, I assure you we'll continue to support you on HIV/AIDS and, equally important, we'll support you on fighting malaria. And I thank you for your determined efforts.
We also talked about the benefit of trade between the United States and the continent of Africa, and the President reminded me how important AGOA is to promote better lives in our respective countries. And so, Mr. President, thank you for that vision.
We talked about a lot of other subjects. We talked about the security in the region. The President has got good advice and has got good judgment when it comes to issues like Somalia and the Sudan. I assured him that we're committed to peace and stability. Matter of fact, I informed the President today that I spoke to the Secretary General of the United Nations about Sudan, and how I think it is important to continue putting the pressure on respective parties to come up with an agreement that will help end the genocide. And it's important for the United Nations to get moving those troops into the Darfur region as quickly as possible.
And of course we discussed about the peace between -- the agreement between south and north of Sudan, and our desire is to make sure we implement that agreement.
And finally we talked about eligibility for Millennium Challenge. I told the President this is a very important program. I hope that Congress fully funds Millennium Challenge, and that we will work with Uganda on their eligibility.
And so Mr. President, thanks for coming. Really good to see you again. I appreciate you taking time to visit with me here in the Oval Office.
PRESIDENT MUSEVENI: I thank President Bush for welcoming me here. As he told you, we are most pleased with AGOA -- African Growth and Opportunity Act. This is where the United States opens their market for African value-added products, or products of all other types, for 6,500 products.
Now this is a very big opportunity. As you know, the United States market is a big market, $11 trillion market. The whole of the African market today is about half a trillion dollars, if it was integrated. Of course it will grow -- it will grow as the purchasing power of Africa grows, our whole market will also grow.
However in the short-run, exporting to the U.S. market is a very good stimulus for our economies to grow fast. So we are very, very pleased with President Bush for sustaining this AGOA arrangement, which has helped our economies. Uganda is already exporting processed fish from Lake Victoria to the U.S. This is good also for the American consumers because this fish is very good for health. There's very little pollution in our part of the world, so it's very good for the American people also. So I thanked him for that.
I also thanked him for the Millennium Challenge Account. That money will now be used to develop infrastructure in the country of Uganda. So if you have access to big markets in Africa, in the United States, in the European Union -- even China has opened their market partially to us; they have offered us 440 products, tariff-free, quota-free. But you need good infrastructure within a country like Uganda, as well as other African countries, so that you can produce goods at low cost. Because if you have got low transport costs, you have got low energy costs, therefore the cost of doing business are low, are reasonable. Therefore you can be competitive in the expanded markets, and also in the regional markets. So I thanked him again for that Millennium Challenge Account.
I thank him for the malaria and HIV fund. That one is very, very useful. We want to get rid of the mosquito in Uganda. We are doing research to get rid of the mosquito larvae. And again, we have worked with the Center for Disease Control in the United States, whom you sent to us. There's a hope that we can get rid of the mosquito at the larvae stage, because we have got some larvae (inaudible), which can kill it.
Of course we also talked about security issues. But most important, AGOA, Millennium Challenge Account, malaria and HIV, that's what we talked about mainly.
PRESIDENT BUSH: Sir, thank you.
END 10:44 A.M. EDT