Strategic and International Studies.
I want to thank Walter and the Center for Strategic and International Studies for the opportunity to be with you this morning and to address this group of concerned individuals. I want to express my appreciation to all of the distinguished panelists for their hard work and for the thoughtful contributions they have made.
I have read the report that has been produced with great interest, and I am so pleased to see that many of the insights contained in the report reflect priorities that President Bush and his Administration are actively pursuing. It is good to know that we are all working on the same issues with the same perspective and that we're moving in the same direction.
When Walter told me that a distinguished panel of specialists was taking on this project, I was, of course, delighted. And I was even more delighted when I learned that Walter would be chairing the panel. Walter was a superb Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs. And I'll never forget, he talked about love of Africa, passion for Africa.
I had found my Assistant Secretary for African Affairs. And over the next several years, he did absolutely splendid work and it was my privilege to come to know him as a valued colleague as well as a very, very dear friend.
My gratitude also goes to Congressman Wolf for being the prime mover behind the legislation that created the panel. Frank cares deeply about the people of Africa, which is certainly an understatement. Passion pours out of him. Commitment pours out of him. Energy pours out of him, usually directed at me. And on a regular basis, Frank lets me know what he thinks is important with respect to Africa and what we ought to be doing for the people of Africa. I value his counsel and I am privileged to call him collaborator on so many initiatives that we have worked on together.
I also want to extend special thanks to Senator Feingold and Chairman Royce, and I know that Mr. Payne is also here, for their active interest and bipartisan approach toward shaping an Africa policy of which the American people can be proud.
Senator Feingold in particular has been a leader in fighting corruption and defending human rights in Africa, and in advocating public outreach to Africa's Muslim communities, and Chairman Royce has played such an instrumental role in the recent extension of the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act, an Opportunity Act, really, that gives such important impetus to our policies and priorities throughout Africa.
So many of the nations who have benefited from AGOA were wondering whether it would be extended and they were deeply troubled as to whether America remained committed to Africa. And thanks to the work of so many, but especially Chairman Royce, we have demonstrated that we do care by an extension of this Act. Because by breaking down barriers to U.S. markets, AGOA is having a major impact on the lives of millions of Africans while benefiting American consumers at the same time.
Over the past three and a half years, the Bush Administration has worked hard to build mutually productive partnerships with the countries of Africa. These partnerships have arisen from a shared commitment on the part of the United States and of African nations to freedom, and freedom means free peoples and free markets.
Together with African nations, we are building political partnerships, partnerships that promote democracy, that promote good governance and promote the health and wellbeing of Africa's greatest assets, not only its mineral assets, its natural resources, but the greatest of all of its assets: its people. We are forming economic partnerships that create attractive conditions for trade and development that will spur the kind of development needed for sustained growth in the nations of Africa.
We are also forging security partnerships, security partnerships that contribute to the global war against terrorism. We are working in partnership to end the destabilizing conflicts of the continent which have caused such devastation and misery, conflicts of the kind that we saw in the Sudan, in Liberia, the Congo, elsewhere. And now we are, once again, seized with a problem of a conflict in Western Sudan that threatens the country and threatens to undermine what we have been able to do in recent months with respect to the North-South conflict resolution process in the Sudan.
As you all know, I was in Sudan last week, just about the time that Congressman Wolf was there as well as Senator Brownback, and Secretary General Kofi Annan was there. Secretary General Annan and I were able to meet up and exchange notes and make sure that we gave a consistent message to the Sudanese Government.
During my visit, as during Congressman Wolf's visit and Senator Brownback's visit and Kofi Annan's visit, all of us saw the suffering that the people of Darfur are incurring right now. All of us saw these individuals who have been driven from their homes by the terrible violence that is taking place in Darfur.
Humanitarian workers from our own Agency for International Development, from nongovernmental organizations that I met with, told me how they are struggling to bring food, shelter and medicines to those who are so desperately in need: a population of well over a million. We're not sure how many over a million, but certainly at least 1.2 million, if not higher.
The African Union Ceasefire Commission that's now starting to set itself up and get to work, hopefully, will be able, in the near future, to be in a better position to monitor what is actually happening there. The general who is in charge of that mission, a Nigerian general by the name of Okonkwo, is somebody that we know well. He's the same Nigerian general who went into Liberia last year and helped stabilize the situation in there.
In my meetings with the Government of Sudan, we presented them with the stark facts of what we knew about what is happening in Darfur from the destruction of villages, to the raping and the killing, to the obstacles that existed to relief. Secretary General Annan and I obtained from the Government of Sudan what they said would be firm commitments to take steps, and to take steps immediately, in short order, that would remove these obstacles, help bring the violence to an end, and do it in a way that we could monitor performance.
Now over the last several days since my visit and Frank and Sam's visit and Kofi Annan's visit, the Government of Sudan has made some announcements, made some announcements with respect to getting the jingaweit under control, made some announcements with respect to allowing humanitarian aid to flow more freely and to ending the problem of getting visas and to stop supporting those who are intent on violence in Darfur. We will continue to press them. We will continue to monitor them. We will continue to make sure that we are not just left with promises, but we are left with actual action and performance on the ground. Because it is absolutely clear that as we enter the rainy season, the situation on the ground must change, and it must change quickly. There are too many tens upon tens of thousands of human beings who are at risk. Some of them have already been consigned to death because of the circumstances they are living in now. They will not make it through the end of the year, through the fall.
So we need immediate improvement in the situation, and if we don't see that, then the United States and the international community will have to consider further measures. The United States has drafted a Security Council resolution that is now being discussed with selected members of the Council, a resolution which calls upon the Government of Sudan to immediately fulfill all of the commitments it has made to end the violence and to give access to aid workers and international monitors.
The resolution urges the warring parties to conclude a political agreement without delay and it commits all states to target sanctions against the Jingaweit militias and those who aid and abet them as well as others who may have responsibility for this tragic situation.
Too many lives have already been lost. We cannot lose any more time. We in the international community must intensify our efforts to help those imperiled by violence, starvation and disease in Darfur. But the Government of Sudan bears the greatest responsibility to face up to this catastrophe, rein in those who are committing this ethnic cleansing and save the lives of its own citizens.
As I told President Bashir, Vice President Taha, Foreign Minister Ismail, the Minister of Interior and others, the United States wants to see a united, prosperous, democratic Sudan, and we are ready to work with the Government of Sudan. We have made progress at Lake Naivasha. We have signed protocols that have the promise of bringing that terrible 20-year-old conflict to an end. Security arrangements are being discussed. We hope to see a comprehensive agreement. We want to normalize our relations with the Sudan.
But normalization cannot take place, we cannot move in a more positive direction, unless this conflict that exists, this terrible situation that exists in Darfur, is resolved. We must see peace on all fronts, not just North- South but East-West as well.
President Bashir has repeatedly pledged to work for peace, and he did so again when we met. President Bush, the United States Congress, Secretary General Annan and the international community want more than promises; we want to see dramatic improvements on the ground right now.
And despite the promises that have been made, we have yet to see these dramatic improvements. Only actions, not words, can win the race against death in Darfur. And we will not rest. We will continue to apply pressure.
We will also work with the international community to make sure that all of those nations who have made pledges of financial assistance meet those pledges. The United States has been in the forefront of providing assistance to the suffering people of Darfur and will remain in the forefront. But it's time for the entire international community to meet the pledges that they have made. We have provided $132 million in this year alone, with another $160 million identified for the next year coming up. Conflict and chaos of this kind that we see in the Sudan rob Africans of the future they want, the future they deserve. The goal of an Africa at peace is not an impossible one. It is one that is achievable if we work at it.
The United States will continue to work with our African friends and with the world community to help end these conflicts and to bring relief to those who are in such desperate need. We will continue to do all we can to facilitate ceasefires, such as many in this room have done in places like Sudan and the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Cote d'Ivoire, Liberia, so many other places.
We take encouragement from these agreements, but follow-through by Africans themselves will be key to seeing that these agreements stick. We will continue to work with Africans through ECOWAS and within the larger international community, work to heal war-torn societies so that violence does not return, work as we are doing in Liberia to settle things down.
We played a key role in relieving the Liberian people of the burden of an inept, corrupt and murderous government. We pressed hard for United Nations Security Council Resolution 1532. The resolution required states to freeze the funds, other financial assets and economic resources of Charles Taylor and his family and associates.
In February, the Liberia Reconstruction Conference brought forth many good faith promises from the international community. For our part, the United States has already allocated $114 million of its $200 million pledge, and I want to thank the members of Congress present, and through them, all of Congress for helping us step up to the plate in Liberia.
The remaining $86 million in assistance will be notified to Congress shortly and we urge our fellow donors, just as we did a moment ago in the Sudan, to make good on their pledges and to make good on those pledges quickly. Most important of all, we are working in partnership with Africans to address the underlying causes of conflict.
How do we get there? We get to these conflicts because people are dissatisfied, people do not see a better life in store for themselves. Countries where its citizens have responsive, non-corrupt governments, economic opportunity, and when there is hope for the future, are countries where conflict and chaos do not rage and tyrants and terrorists cannot rule.
Through a combination of continuing programs and bold new initiatives, President Bush and his Administration is working in partnership with Africans to help them move toward greater democracy, toward greater opportunity, and greater security and greater hope for a peaceful future for their children. Indeed, we have maintained or increased our assistance to Africa in virtually every category of aid.
The United States has helped to forge a new international consensus on promoting development through growth-oriented assistance. Experience has shown that development aid works best when that aid is targeted toward governments and countries that do govern justly, that adopt sound economic policies, and who invest in the welfare of their people and in the infrastructure of their country, in the infrastructure of their societies, to make that infrastructure more ready for the 21st century and that infrastructure more ready to help the young people of those countries get ready for the 21st century.
This new approach has influenced our Africa aid programs and at the same time, Africans themselves have embraced strategies for stability and prosperity along similar lines, such as the New Partnership for Africa's Development, or NEPAD, that you're all so familiar with.
Our direct bilateral aid to Africa continues to be a critical tool and in FY '04, we are providing more than $2 billion in assistance to Africa. This is in addition to the funds Africa is expected to receive under the Millennium Challenge Account initiative and all of our HIV/AIDS funding. In FY '05, we will strengthen ongoing programs and deepen our engagement.
Under the President's very innovative Millennium Challenge Account initiative, we hope to ramp up to $5 billion annually by 2006. When you look at that program in its totality, $1 billion this first year, $2.5 billion, we hope, from a generous Congress the second year, and then by the third year, $5 billion a year.
This is the most significant development assistance program the world has seen since the Marshall Plan. I am very pleased that I see in the audience with us today the guy who is running it for us, Paul Applegarth. Paul, if you'd stand up so everybody can see who you are. He's the man with the money. (Laughter and applause.)
And this program was announced by the President in the State of the Union Address in January of 2003, and in 18 months time, which by Washington standards is rather incredible, we set up a freestanding corporation. I am the Chairman of the Board of this corporation. The Board is up and functioning and operating. We got a $1 billion appropriation from the Congress, we got a good response in the Congress overall on the program, and we have already started to make deals, make compacts, with the countries that will be receiving this money.
Of the 16 countries that we identified recently as eligible for funding, we are delighted that 8 of those 16 countries are from Africa: Benin, Cape Verde, Ghana, Lesotho, Madagascar, Mali, Mozambique and Senegal. And later this month, in about ten days time, Paul informed me this morning, the Board will be meeting again to start to make a judgment as to what criteria will we use for the next tranche. This is not a one-time shot. When we enter into a compact with each of these countries for this first billion dollars, it will be a multiyear program and there's more money out there for more countries to receive the same kind of assistance in the years ahead.
What has impressed me is not only the gratitude we've received from these first 16 countries, but so many other foreign ministers from other countries are coming up to me saying, "What we do we have to do? How do we get in on this? What's our responsibility?" And I say, "It's pretty simple. Show me good governance. Show me the rule of law. Show me the end of corruption. Show me a commitment to human rights. Show me a commitment to an open economic system. Show me you're moving in the right direction. I might even give you a little threshold money to help move you in that direction. But this is the wave of the future, and the way you've been doing it in the past is in the past. And if you want to benefit from this, if you want to prepare your nation for the 21st century and prepare your young people for what's waiting for them out there, then you have to move in this direction."
Now, we're also doing this not at the expense of those countries who are not yet on this path, because our development assistance and our USAID and other accounts has also gone up significantly over the last several years. So the President is doing everything he said he would do with respect to supporting our programs in the undeveloped world, the developing world, and especially in Africa.
Global efforts toward fighting the HIV/AIDS pandemic is also part of our agenda for the world, our agenda especially for Africa. Our Global AIDS Coordinator, Randy Tobias, has already committed $865 million to prevention, care and treatment in 15 of the world's hardest-hit countries, and 12 of them are in Africa. Eight thousand people a day die. The greatest weapon of mass destruction on earth today: HIV/AIDS. You saw the reports coming from Kofi Annan over the last two or three days. Three million a year dead. Five million a year projected to die. This is unacceptable and we have to fight it with all the resources at our command.
We are doing a great deal, the United States is--the United States Congress and the Administration. The rest of the world has also got to step up. This is a disease that can be dealt with. And in as many aspects, so many aspects of this disease, whether it's the education of young people, prevention, abstinence, anti-retroviral drugs and getting the costs down, and looking ultimately for a cure, not stigmatizing people who are suffering from this disease, all of these are part of a comprehensive approach to it. And we have to work hard to build partnerships with governments, businesses, faith-based organizations, NGOs and local communities to save lives and ease the suffering across the continent.
My Under Secretary for Global Affairs Paula Dobriansky and Ambassador John Lange from the Global AIDS Coordinator's Office will tell you more this morning about what we are doing this morning and I hope you will listen to them with great interest.
The ultimate goal of all of these efforts is not to find new ways of assistance, but in using the assistance that we give to empower ordinary Africans to start helping themselves to shape a better future for themselves. We want to help African nations reach the point that their citizens are not just able to scrape by at subsistence levels but are able to succeed. We're looking not just for aid, but for trade to create conditions in these countries so that people will want to go and invest in these countries, not just to give them handouts. Handouts will only take you so far. Ultimately, you want functioning societies that attract trade and make dignity come into the home, dignity come into the country, because it can stand on its own two feet and it is not just taking handouts.
The Africa Growth and Opportunity Act does that by bringing in new investment, creating real jobs, and helping to form mutually profitable commercial linkages. Total AGOA-related exports increased by 55 percent in 2003 to $14 billion, well over half of Sub-Saharan Africa's overall exports to the United States.
We're doing other things beyond development aid and beyond what we're doing with HIV/AIDS. One that I'm enormously proud of is the U.S.-led Congo Basin Forest Partnership, another way that we are building creative partnerships with African governments, non-governmental organization groups and the private sector. The Forest Partnership will help to safeguard Africa's precious natural heritage while at the same time promoting development, allow that heritage to be used in a sensible way that preserves it, but at the same time gets some economic benefit out of it in order to alleviate poverty and to enhance good government.
Under the Forest Partnership, we are supporting a network of parks and protected areas, well-managed forestry concessions and the creation of economic opportunities for communities that depend on the forests and the wildlife of the region.
When Walter and I were on one of our trips to Africa, we went to Gabon and we visited one of these parks that had been set aside by President Bongo. We set aside 10 percent of his whole country into these preserves.
Walter arranged for me to go out into the bush and see some of the animals and to admire the fauna and flora and whatnot, and everything was going great until my security people went out in the jungle in front of me. And by the time I got there because of all of the armed individuals running around and the helicopters circling there wasn't an animal within 500 miles. (Laughter.) So I saw some trees, but I didn't even see a mosquito. I have very, very good security. (Laughter.)
We are so proud of this initiative, President Bush is so proud that the United States has been in the forefront and we put $55 million up for the first year and we're going to do more because it is that important.
"We will help nations on this continent," President Bush said recently, "to achieve greater health and education and trade with the world. Working together," he continued, "we can help make this a decade a decade of rising prosperity and expanding peace in Africa." That is his goal and it's a simple mission that he has given to me to help accomplish this goal.
And just recently during the June G-8 summit at Sea Island, Georgia, President Bush reaffirmed this commitment when he met with leaders from Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Algeria, Ghana and Uganda.
With bipartisan help from the Congress and the support of all those who have leant their expertise to this distinguished panel, the United States will continue to work in partnership with our African friends.
We will work in partnership to build an Africa where respect for human rights, good governance and economic opportunity are the norm.
Together, we will support the efforts of African countries to reform their economies so that they can compete successfully in global markets that stretch from Pretoria to Paris, Nairobi to New York, Timbuktu to Tokyo.
We want to see an Africa where "big men" do not define foreign investment as depositing stolen billions in foreign banks.
Together, we want to help Africans across the continent have access to decent schools and medical facilities, to safe drinking water, to good roads and railways, to electricity, and above all, access to the internet. We want to see Africa's great natural wealth in oil and diamonds and lumber invested in its citizens, not used to fuel endless conflict.
Together, we are all working for the day when Africa will be a continent of nations at peace within their borders and with their neighbors.
In short, we are working in partnership with Africans and their friends throughout the international community to hasten the day when all Africans can have hope in their hearts, food on their tables, and a better future for their children.
I want to thank you for this opportunity to highlight President Bush's policy of partnership with Africa. I wish to express once again my appreciation to all of you for your hard work on this very, very important report that you've completed and for your deep commitment to ensuring strong and effective American engagement with the nations of Africa.
Thank you very much.
Colin L. Powell
U.S. Secretary of State
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|Title Annotation:||LEGISLATION AND POLICY|
|Date:||Dec 22, 2004|
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