SOLIDIFYING OUR PARTNERSHIP WITH AFRICA
"As Africa's nations join the global march toward freedom
and open markets, our nation has a deep interest in helping to ensure that these
efforts pay off. An Africa that is gaining vitality while technology, trade,
communications and travel are bringing millions into the global economy is a
continent of greater stability, growing markets, stronger partners."
June 17, 1997
President Clinton's sustained commitment to economic engagement with Africa
has opened economies on both sides of the Atlantic to private sector trade and
investment, offering opportunities to Americans and increasing Africa's potential
to alleviate poverty and to increase prosperity. The United States has systematically
developed closer economic relations with Africa through the passage of the Trade
and Development Act of 2000, and by negotiating bilateral trade agreements,
offering trade incentives for reform, tackling Africa's debt burden, and also
forging agreements with our allies to forgive or reduce additional debts. With
his August 2000 trip to Nigeria and Tanzania, President Clinton became the first
president to visit Africa more than once during his term.
A RECORD OF ACCOMPLISHMENT
- Implemented a new, comprehensive trade policy aimed at developing a partnership
with Africa that will foster economic growth and development and facilitate
Africa's integration into the global economy. The legislative cornerstone
of this policy is the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act, which was signed
into law on May 18, 2000. The Act expands the generalized system of preferences
program to provide duty-free treatment to virtually all products exported
to the United States from sub-Saharan Africa. The President announced the
eligibility of 34 Sub-Saharan countries in October 2000.
- Forgave bilateral debt of $500 million for African countries, freeing governments
to invest those resources in health, education and other development priorities.
The United States also forged an agreement among G-8 industrialized countries
to provide additional debt relief by expanding the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries
- Launched the LIFE initiative (Leadership and Investment in Fighting an
Epidemic), an enhanced global AIDS effort, in 1999. Of the $244 million in
the FY 2000 budget for global AIDS prevention and care, two thirds will go
to Africa. In FY 2001, with strong Administration leadership, Congress appropriated
over $460 million for international AIDS prevention and care programs in 2001,
more than tripling investment over a two-year period
- Committed the United States government to a concerted effort to accelerate
the development and delivery of vaccines for malaria, TB, AIDS and other diseases
disproportionately affecting the developing world (through the Millennium
Initiative announced in President Clinton's State of the Union Address, January
- Issued an executive order on May 10, 2000 to help make HIV/AIDS-related
drugs and medical technologies more accessible and affordable in beneficiary
sub-Saharan African countries, while protecting intellectual property rights.
This built upon earlier statements by the President at the WTO meeting in
Seattle, December 1, 1999. Pledged, in partnership with the European Union
(U.S.- EU Summit in Lisbon, May, 2000) and the G-8 (Okinawa Summit, July 2000)
to step up efforts to combat HIV, malaria, TB and other infectious diseases
that threaten the people and economies of Africa.
- Designated January 2000 -- the month the United States held the rotating
presidency of the UN Security Council -- as "The Month of Africa,"
focusing world attention on the continent. Vice President Gore framed AIDS
squarely as a national security issue in the first session of the Security
Council to address a health issue. In his September 2000 address to the UN
Security Council, President Clinton broadened the definition of national security,
calling for efforts combating AIDS, malaria and TB to break the link between
deprivation, disease and war. As President of the Council, the United States
focused the Council on conflicts in Burundi, the Democratic Republic of the
Congo and Angola, and the plight of refugees and internally displaced persons
- Increased American awareness of change in Africa and promoted a new partnership
between the people of the United States and the people of Africa with President
Clinton's historic trip to Africa in March of 1998.
- Under President Clinton's leadership, unprecedented cabinet-level engagement
with Africa, with most members of the cabinet visiting Africa at least once,
and new initiatives for Africa developed by the Departments of State, Commerce,
Transportation, Agriculture, Defense, Justice, Treasury, the Agency for International
Development (USAID), the Export-Import Bank, the Trade Development Agency,
the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) and the U.S. Trade Representative.
- Demonstrated the importance of a strong U.S.-Africa partnership by hosting,
in March of 1999, the United States hosted the U.S.-Africa Ministerial, the
largest meeting ever held among African Ministers and American Cabinet members,
which resulted in a blueprint for expanded economic engagement in the next
- Appointed Rosa Whitaker as the first-ever Assistant U.S. Trade Representative
(USTR) for Africa, with broad responsibilities for coordinating U.S. trade
policy. USTR has signed bilateral investment treaties and trade and investment
framework agreements with several African countries.
- Deepened U.S. engagement with the fourteen member states of the Southern
African Development Community (SADC) through annual U.S.-SADC Forums, the
second of which was held in Maputo, Mozambique, May 10-11, 2000. The forum
focused on the need to improve the investment climate, and improved political
stability and security in Southern Africa as a prerequisite for economic growth
and prosperity in the region.
- Created the Africa Food Security Initiative, which strengthens, expands
and supports national and regional agricultural technology development. There
are currently ongoing programs in agricultural production, food utilization,
nutrition and income-generation in Ethiopia, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique and
- Initiated programs to enhance and facilitate two-way agribusiness and agri-trade
relations between the United States and Africa.
- Expanded programming in Africa of the Ex-Im Bank, Overseas Private Investment
Corporation and Trade and Development Agency. Open in only 13 countries at
the time of the President's trip to Africa in 1998, the Ex-Im Bank now has
programs in 32 African countries and is supporting $600 million in exports
to sub-Saharan Africa.
- Initiated a program, through the Department of Commerce, to help build
up Africa's commercial infrastructure by promoting increased U.S. trade and
investment in Africa, leading electronic commerce and technology initiatives
to strengthen ties, implementing training programs of technical assistance
and education, and spearheading sustainable development initiatives to protect
Africa's resources and environment.
- Launched the Safe Skies Initiative to promote sustainable improvements
in aviation safety and security across Africa, leading to increased air linkages
between Africa and the United States.
- Energized the Administration through the visit of the late Commerce Secretary
Ron Brown to South Africa in 1993 to take bold steps regarding a new relationship
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