For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
July 12, 2003
Remarks by the President at the Leon HR Sullivan Summit
1:35 P.M. EDT
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you all. Thank you very much. Thanks a
lot. Please be seated. Please. J.C., thank you for that warm
introduction. I thought you might have lost your touch -- (laughter)
-- as a retired member of Congress, but you didn't. I'm proud to be
introduced by my friend. And I want to thank you all very much for
such a warm welcome.
This the last day of our journey through Africa. And each of us is
drawn to this summit by the vision of the late Leon Sullivan. And I'm
so honored to be in the presence of Mrs. Grace Sullivan. It's great to
see you again, Mrs. Sullivan. (Applause.)
We believe that the relationship between America and Africa will
benefit both our people. Work of the summit to promote commerce and
understanding across the Atlantic is important work. And I'm
determined that the American government will do its part. We will help
nations on this continent to achieve greater health and education and
trade with the world. Working together, we can help make this a decade
of rising prosperity and expanding peace across Africa. (Applause.)
We've had a great visit here, thanks to the hospitality of the
President, my friend. Mr. President, thank you for your friendship,
thank you for your leadership. (Applause.) I appreciate the
President's leadership on crucial issues. I particularly appreciate
the fact that he's willing to confront the HIV/AIDS epidemic head on,
with an honest approach. (Applause.)
Madam First Lady, thank you very much for your hospitality, as
well. Laura and I have enjoyed getting to be with you. (Applause.)
I thank the Vice President and all the members of the government
who are here. I'm particularly pleased to be traveling with such good
company in Colin Powell and Condi Rice and Andy Card and other members
of my administration. I want to thank Congressman William Jefferson
from the state of Louisiana for being here. (Applause.) I understand
that Rodney Slater is here, as well. Rodney, thank you for coming.
(Applause.) Rodney, good to see you.
I appreciate so much the Sullivan Summit leadership of Hope
Sullivan and Carl Masters and, of course, one the great public servants
in America, America's history, Andy Young. (Applause.) Thank you,
Dave O'Reilly understands the definition of corporate
responsibility, and I appreciate the leadership of Dave and Chevron.
Their job is not only to make a return for their shareholders, their
job is to show compassion, as well. And I appreciate your leadership,
I'm especially thankful to all the citizens of Nigeria for such a
warm welcome, such gracious hospitality. (Applause.) Nigeria is nation
of great diversity and great promise. (Applause.) My country deeply
appreciates the friendship of Nigeria.
This has been a wonderful week for Laura and me. We have seen the
rich culture and resources of Africa, as well as the continuing
challenges of Africa. We have met really fine people. I have
confidence in Africa's future because I believe in the goodness and the
compassion and the enterprise of the men and women on this continent.
(Applause.) With greater opportunity, the peoples of Africa will build
their own future of hope. And the United States will help this vast
continent of possibilities to reach its full potential. (Applause.)
I began my trip in Senegal, where I met with President Wade and
seven other leaders of West Africa. These leaders are committed to the
spread of democratic institution and democratic values throughout
Africa. Yet those institutions and values are threatened in some parts
of Africa by terrorism and chaos and civil war. To extend liberty on
this continent we must build security and peace on this continent.
Several African governments face particular dangers from
terrorists, and the United States is working closely with those nations
to fight terror, and we will do more. I proposed a new $100 million
initiative to help those governments in East Africa protect their
people and to fight terrorist networks. The United States is also
supporting the efforts of good friends all across this continent,
friends such as Mauritania. We will not allow terrorists to threaten
African peoples, or to use Africa as a base to threaten the world.
America is also committed to helping end Africa's regional wars,
including those in Sudan and Congo, the Ivory Coast and Liberia.
(Applause.) In Liberia, the United States strongly supports the
cease-fire that was signed last month. President Taylor needs to leave
Liberia so that his country can be spared further grief and bloodshed.
In Dakar this week, I met with President Kufour of Ghana. He also
leads ECOWAS. I assured him the United States will work closely and in
concert with the United Nations and ECOWAS to maintain the cease-fire
and to allow a peaceful transfer of power. (Applause.)
This week, I've also seen the dedicated efforts of Africans who are
fighting hunger and famine, illiteracy and a deadly preventable
disease. At the TASO Clinic in Entebbe, and here at the National
Hospital, I saw the heroic efforts of African doctors and nurses and
volunteers who are devoted to saving and extending lives. I also heard
from men and women who are living with AIDS and continue to lead
productive and hopeful lives. The progress we are already seeing in
parts of Africa is proof that AIDS can be defeated in Africa.
The people of Africa are fighting HIV/AIDS with courage. And I'm
here to say, you will not be alone in your fight. (Applause.) In May,
I signed a bill that authorizes $15 billion for the global fight on
AIDS. (Applause.) This week, a committee of the House of
Representatives took and important step to fund the first year of the
authorization bill. And the Senate is beginning to take up debate.
The House of Representatives and the United States Senate must fully
fund this initiative, for the good of the people on this continent of
On this journey I've also seen the economic potential of Africa.
Botswana is a model of economic reform and has one of the highest
sustained economic growth rates in the world. (Applause.) Yet, far
too many Africans still live in poverty. And providing effective and
promoting -- providing effective aid, promoting free markets and the
rule of law, and encouraging greater trade, we will help millions of
Africans find more opportunity and a chance for a better life.
To be effective, development aid requires pro-growth policies and
strong reforms in the nations that receive the aid. The Millennium
Challenge Account I have proposed would direct resources to countries
with governments that rule justly, root out corruption, encourage
entrepreneurship, and invest in the health and education of their
Countries making these changes will gain more help from America.
They will gain more foreign investment, more trade and more jobs. And
I call upon the United States Congress to finalize the MCA legislation
and to fully fund the first year of this initiative. (Applause.)
One specific obstacle to development in many countries is the lack
of access to capital. Many Africans find it impossible to get a loan
for a business or a home. And this makes it far difficult for people
to build equity or to borrow money to start a business. The United
States has some of the most effective mortgage markets in the world.
We understand the flow of capital, and we want to share this knowledge
with the nations of Africa.
So I've asked Secretary of the Treasury John Snow to work with
experts in America and Africa, and with financial institutions like
Fannie Mae and the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, to help
strengthen and broaden capital markets on this continent. With the
ability to borrow money to buy homes and start businesses, more
Africans will have the tools to achieve their dreams. (Applause.)
My travels this week underscore the critical importance of trade to
the economic future of Africa. Open trade has proven its ability to
increase the standards of living and to create new jobs, and to
encourage the habits of freedom and enterprise.
In Botswana, I visited one of our new hubs for global
competitiveness that is helping African businesses sell their products
into the United States and on global markets. I have seen, and I know
you have seen, how the African Growth and Opportunity Act, AGOA, is
bringing jobs and investment and opportunity to sub-Sahara Africa. And
to help give businesses the confidence to make long-term investments in
Africa, Congress must extend AGOA beyond 2008. (Applause.)
Our nation will work to complete a free trade agreement with the
nations of the Southern African Customs Union to create new
opportunities for farmers and workers and entrepreneurs all across
Africa. To achieve our goals of a more peaceful, hopeful and
prosperous Africa, we need a partnership of our governments. We also
need partnerships among our people, our businessmen and doctors and
bankers and teachers and clergy. These are the kinds of bridges that
Leon Sullivan dedicated his life to building. And you're continuing
that good work, and I thank you for that. (Applause.).
Eight years ago at the Sullivan Summit, delegates launched the
MedHelp Foundation, which is training and equipping physicians in
Senegal. This foundation has also assembled a team of American medical
professionals in Senegal that has conducted more than 150 operations,
including 88 open-heart surgeries.
Another group established by Reverend Sullivan is the International
Foundation For Education and Self-Help. Over the past 10 years, the
foundation has helped build more than 182 rural schools in Africa --
(applause) -- placed 820 American teachers in African schools.
(Applause.) Today, I'm pleased to announce that the United States
Agency for International Development will give a new $5-million grant
to the foundation. (Applause.) Resources that will help send 90
American teachers to Africa to train more than 14,000 African
educators. (Applause.) In these and many other ways, you are doing
more than fulfilling the dreams of one man, you're helping to unlock
the potential of an entire continent.
At Goree Island earlier this week, I spoke of how the struggles of
African Americans against the injustices of slavery and segregation
helped to redeem the promise of America's founding. Today you are
carrying the same passion for liberty and justice from America to
Africa. (Applause.) Americans believe that people in every culture and
in every land have the right to live in freedom and deserve the chance
to improve their lives. And we know that the people of Africa, when
given their rights and given their chance, will achieve great things on
this continent of possibilities.
May God bless Africa, and may God continue to bless America.
END 1:53 P.M. (Local)