Today: March 24

Today, President Clinton spends the day in Uganda. During the day, President Clintonannounces a series of initiatives designed to underscore the new US-African partnerships,particularly the desire of African nations to invest in a better and healthier future forits children. Included in today’s announcement are three new initiatives intended to improveeducational standards and access to technology, ensure adequate food andagricultural production fight deadlyinfectious diseases that claim the lives of too many African children. Majorevents of the President’s day include:

Bilateral Meeting with President Museveni
Remarks to the People of Uganda on Investing in the Future
Visit to the FINCA Women’s Project


Bilateral Meeting with President Museveni

President Clinton’s bilateral meeting with President Museveni takes place in theNile Hotel and Conference Center complex. Center’s 1700-seat main hall is the largestcovered meeting place in Uganda.


Remarks to the People of Uganda on Investing in the Future

President Clinton visits the Kisowera Primary School, located in the village of Mukonoabout 25 minutes outside of Kampala, to speak about the importance of investing in abetter, healthier future for children.

The government of Uganda has made expansion of primary education one of its highestnational priorities. It recently established Universal Primary Education (UPE),guaranteeing free primary education for up to four children per family. The result in 1997was a doubling of the school population to 5.3 million students, most in first and secondgrade.

Located on a rise of land in a rural area, the Kisowera Primary School provides anexample of Uganda’s currently crowded primary education facilities, with over 100students in some classes. The school has 760 students and 17 teachers. While nationalschool completion rates for girls are less than half those for boys, Kisowera graduates asmany girls as boys.

The U.S. government provides approximately $10 million per year to support thegovernment of Uganda in its efforts to improve literacy as well as the quality of primaryeducation. The success of USAID-led reforms in basic education has drawn additionalsupport from international donors.

In his speech at the school, President Clinton announces a series of initiativesdesigned to underscore the new US-African partnerships, particularly the desire of Africannations to invest in a better and healthier future for its children. These include:


Promoting Better Education


The Education for Development and Democracy Initiative seeks to boost Africanintegration into the global community by improving the quality of, and technology for,education in Africa. The President’s announcement calls for approximately $120million in FY’98 and ‘99 funding and is centered around three principalstrategies: community resource centers, public-private partnerships, and educating andempowering girls. Key components include:


Primary and Secondary Education


Higher Education


Professional Training and Civil Education



Ensuring Better Nutrition

A key part of the President’s announcement today is ensuring that while we improvethe educational standards of Africa’s children we also ensure adequate and propernourishment and provide assistance to enhance agricultural production.

Current food security trends project that by the year 2020, 25 percent of Africa’schildren will suffer from malnutrition, already the cause of over a third of deaths ofchildren under the age of five in Africa.

The Africa Food Security Initiative (AFSI) is designed to assist African nations tostrengthen and protect agriculture and food security in a number of key areas, including:

The pilot budget for the first two years of the initiative will be $61 million, whichcompliments USAID’s current investments in these efforts. Funds will be channeled tothe appropriate government and private sector organizations.


Promoting Stronger Health Care

The third element of the President’s program of investing in the future ofAfrica’s children is combating the infectious diseases that claim so many younglives.

To help combat malaria, which accounts for 1.5 - 2.5 million deaths per year, the President announces an additional $1 million grant to the National Institutes of Health in order to provide further assistance to the Multilateral Initiative on malaria (MIM). The grant will focus on continuing educational seminars and will support the Regional Malaria Lab in Mali to reinforce its position as a regional center of excellence in Africa. This effort will complement an ongoing FY’98 $16 million Infectious Disease Initiative for Africa that focuses on surveillance, response, prevention, and building local resistance capacity for infectious diseases throughout the continent.

Visit to the FINCA Women’s Project

President Clinton visits the FINCA Women’s project in the village of Wanyange,near Jinja. The project reflects the efforts of the Foundation for International CommunityAssistance (FINCA), which over the last four years has established 340 village banks inUganda through a $1.7 million USAID grant.

Ugandan women have traditionally borne the major share of the nation’s burden --quite literally on their heads and backs. New programs, such as the FINCA Women’sProject, seek to make women’s work less burdensome and more rewarding.

Near the dirt square in the village’s market area, four businesses operated bywomen are located in brick or mud-wattle structures. The businesses, including a bakery,tailor shop, small store, and rabbit-production scheme, received loans averaging $120 aspart of a microcredit program that boasts a 97% repayment rate. The incomes made possiblethrough these loans have allowed the owners to move their businesses from structures withwalls of woven mats or mud to more permanent buildings.

Through their newly strengthened economic position, the market women of Wanyange aregaining self-respect and confidence, improved status, and the ability to pay education andhealth costs for their families. They express their appreciation of these opportunities intraditional dances.


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