For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
June 27, 2002
Fact Sheet: G-8 Africa Action Plan
"We will work in partnership with African nations and leaders for an African continent that lives in liberty and grows in prosperity."
-President George W. Bush, June 20, 2002
President Bush today welcomed the G-8's Africa Action Plan a plan that embraces development policy principles he has articulated over the past year. The Plan is the G-8's response to the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) a dynamic, hopeful program adopted by Africa's leaders to spur the region's economic and political revival. NEPAD's foundation is a commitment to consolidate democracy and sound economic management, promote peace and security, and boost investment in people. It reflects an understanding that Africa's future must be determined by Africans, and Africa's leaders must hold themselves and each other accountable for their actions.
Consistent with the President's New Compact for Development, the Africa Action Plan commits each of the G-8 countries to establishing enhanced partnerships with African countries that have demonstrated, by their actions, a commitment to development. G-8 Leaders noted that, assuming strong African policy commitments and given recent assistance trends, they believe half or more of the new assistance resources they recently have announced could, in the aggregate, flow to African nations that are governing justly, investing in the health and education of their people, and promoting economic freedom. Highlights of the Plan include:
The U.S. Commitment to Africa
President Bush will visit Africa early next year. This trip further underscores the U.S. commitment to the region; President Bush has already had 16 meetings with 12 African heads of state. And four members of President Bush's Cabinet Secretary Powell, Secretary O'Neill, Secretary Thompson, and Ambassador Zoellick have traveled to Africa in their official capacities.
Stimulating Economic Growth and Opportunity Through Trade and Investment
The African Action Plan recognizes President Bush's emphasis on expanded trade and investment as the primary engines of economic growth for African countries. To this end, G-8 Leaders have committed to:
Reducing trade barriers in Africa will yield valuable new opportunities for African businesses and entrepreneurs. Thanks to AGOA, more than 92% of U.S. imports from beneficiary countries are now entering the U.S. duty free.
In 2001, U.S. imports of non-fuel goods covered by AGOA rose 33.5%.
The United States has made the following additional important commitments to further reducing trade barriers and spurring growth in Africa:
New Compact for Development
The Africa Action Plan builds on President Bush's new compact for development, which is embodied in his Millennium Challenge Account (MCA) initiative. Under the MCA, the United States will increase its core assistance to developing countries by 50% over the next three years, resulting in a $5 billion annual increase over current levels by the 2006 fiscal year. The funds in the Millennium Challenge Account will be distributed to developing countries that demonstrate a strong commitment to governing justly, investing in people, and advancing economic freedom. The MCA will be a vital tool for U.S. activities in support of the G-8's Africa Action Plan.
The Africa Action Plan carries forward initiatives of President Bush in combatting the scourge of HIV/AIDS. Of the world's 25 most HIV/AIDS afflicted countries, 24 are in Africa. And in seven of these countries, more than one in five people are infected with HIV/AIDS. Last year alone, there were 3.4 million new cases of HIV/AIDS reported in Africa.
To combat these problems, G-8 Leaders have made a number of commitments in the Africa Action Plan that reinforce President Bush's policies to counter HIV/AIDS in Africa and throughout the world.
Improving Educational Opportunity in Africa
With increased levels of education, African countries can become more productive, leading to higher rates of growth that in turn foster higher living standards. The Africa Action Plan builds on a number of education initiatives championed by President Bush. Specific commitments include:
President Bush is doubling the funding of the Africa Education Initiative to $200 million. These new funds will provide:
Total U.S. spending on basic education programs in Africa will be over $630 million over the next five years.
World Bank Grants and Debt Reduction
G-8 partners supported President Bush's vigorous effort to stop the buildup of debt for the poorest countries. They supported a U.S.-led initiative to provide a substantial increase in World Bank grants for the poorest countries. The G-8 launched the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) initiative to help countries in Africa and elsewhere in the world achieve both sustainable economic policies and sustainable debt levels. The United States and its G-8 partners have now committed to do our share to fully finance the projected shortfall in the HIPC initiative, recognizing that this shortfall will be up to $1 billion.
The HIPC initiative will ultimately reduce by nearly $33 billion the debt of 22 African countries who are following sound economic policies and good governance. The G-8 will also add more debt relief ("topping up") for those HIPCs with economies hard hit by extraordinary external shocks. The United States already goes well beyond the international agreement on bilateral debt relief for HIPCs, forgiving 100% of their official bilateral debt both developmental and commercial.
Achieving Peace and Security
The G-8 Africa Action Plan includes a commitment to "make conflict prev= ention and resolution a top priority." To this end, G-8 leaders have agreed to a number of significant measures:
President Bush recognizes the importance of peace and security for Africa's future growth and prosperity. He is pursuing a strategy to end these wars and combat terror in Africa. We will help African nations and organizations develop their ability to respond to crises and will work closely with responsible African leaders and our allies in Europe to support regional peace initiatives. The Administration's strategy consists of: