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Fact Sheet: G-8 Africa Action Plan

June 27, 2002

"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

Presidential Action

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:

  • Creating more opportunities for African nations to expand trade
  • Helping African countries to combat HIV/AIDS, especially as it affects mothers and children, and to build sustainable health systems
  • Supporting African countries in their efforts to expand educational opportunity
  • Supporting greater World Bank use of grants for the poorest countries and committing to fund the G-8's share of the financial shortfall in the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries initiative
  • Providing additional support to African nations as they strive to end armed conflict throughout the continent

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.

  • The United States is exploring free trade agreements with Morocco and the Southern African Customs Union (SACU) and is working to tear down trade barriers and promote Africa's integration into the global economy.
  • The United States recently announced a $500 million initiative to prevent mother to child transmission of HIV. And we continue to be the largest contributor to the global HIV/AIDS Fund.
  • The United States is doubling its financial commitment to the African Education Initiative it launched last July, bringing our total basic education spending in Africa to $630 million over the next five years.
  • The United States is pursuing policies to foster lasting peace and security throughout Africa.

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:

  • Supporting African initiatives aimed at improving the climate for trade and foreign investment
  • Providing greater market opportunities for African products by negotiating further trade liberalization, particularly in agriculture, through the WTO negotiations
  • Supporting African efforts to advance regional economic integration and intra-African trade

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:

  • Exploring a bilateral free trade agreement with Morocco and a regional free trade agreement with the Southern African Customs Union.
  • Creation of three regional trade hubs in Africa to promote African trade, the first of which opened last week in Botswana.
  • Refinements to the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), which will expand opportunities for trade between the United States and African countries.
  • Steadfast pursuit of the global trade negotiations launched last year at Doha. These negotiations will benefit African nations, especially by opening agriculture markets and reducing trade-distorting farm subsidies.

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.

Combatting HIV/AIDS

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.

  • The President recently announced a new $500 million initiative to reduce the incidence of transmission of HIV/AIDS from mothers to children. This is the largest initiative targeted at preventing mother-to-child transmission of HIV by any government in history. Under the initiative, up to one million women will receive treatment annually. In the targeted countries, we can reduce the incidence of mother to child transmission of HIV/AIDS by 40% within five years or less.
  • President Bush has also proposed $1.1 billion in global HIV/AIDS assistance in his fiscal 2003 budget double the level of funding when he took office.
  • President Bush announced last year the first major contribution tothe Global HIV/AIDS Fund. The United States remains the largest contributor to the Fund. The total U.S. contribution of $500 million represents one quarter of the Fund's total resources.

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:

  • >Significantly increasing the support provided by bilateral aid agencies to basic education to those countries maintaining a strong policy and financial commitment to education
  • Advancing transparency in education budgeting down to the local level
  • Supporting teacher training initiatives and creating accountabilit= y mechanisms
  • Increasing assistance to Africa's research and higher education capacity
  • Helping Africa create digital opportunities
  • Providing girls with scholarships to increase access to education

President Bush is doubling the funding of the Africa Education Initiative to $200 million. These new funds will provide:

  • Training for 420,000 teachers
  • 4.5 million new textbooks
  • 250,000 scholarships for African girls

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:

  • Supporting African efforts to resolve principal armed conflicts in the region
  • Providing more effective peace-building support to societies emerging from or seeking to prevent armed conflicts.
  • Continuing to work with African governments to develop a joint plan for the development of African capability to undertake peace support operations.

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:

  • Asking the Congress to provide an additional $55 million this year to help African nations on the front lines of the war on terror.
  • Appointing an envoy for peace in Sudan, former Senator Danforth, whose work over the past year has led to progress toward a cease-fire and improveddelivery of humanitarian aid to places such as the Nuba Mountains region.
  • Building the capacity of regional peacekeepers to secure peace in places like Sierra Leone.
  • Supporting demobilization of soldiers in Angola to consolidate peace.
  • Launching a $5 million awards program to track down individuals re= sponsible for genocide and terror acts in Central Africa.

George W. Bush, Fact Sheet: G-8 Africa Action Plan Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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