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Fact Sheet: United States and G8 Renew Strong Commitment to Africa

July 08, 2005

"We believe Africa is a continent full of promise and talent and opportunity, and the United States will do our part to help the people of Africa realize the brighter future they deserve."

President George W. Bush, June 13, 2005

Presidential Action

President Bush today with his G-8 partners launched an historic commitment to assist Africa in bolstering its economic development through the strengthening of African leaders and African people. The United States will help ensure that reforms in Africa continue to gain momentum. The President also welcomed G-8 support for new initiatives that tangibly address real needs with real solutions.

Africa is a continent of promise, and the United States will work to see that the children of Africa have the opportunity to grow up healthy and realize their dreams. As freedom is on the march around the world, it is vital that democracy and prosperity continue to find a permanent home on the continent of Africa - a healthy, prosperous Africa will make this world a better and safer place.

The United States welcomes G-8 support for initiatives that advance U.S. priorities:

  • Agreeing to debt relief
  • Scaling up the fight against malaria
  • Addressing urgent humanitarian needs
  • Improving education, particularly for girls
  • Increasing development assistance
  • Greater Trade and Investment
  • Greater support for Peace and Stability

Debt Relief - A Clean Slate for Financially Over-Burdened Countries

  • With leadership from President Bush and Prime Minister Blair, the G-8 countries agreed to cancel 100% of the bilateral and multilateral debt for qualifying Heavily Indebted Poor Countries. It is also important that the agreement preserves the financial integrity of the international financial institutions.
  • In June of 2001, President Bush called on the World Bank and other development banks to "stop the debt" by providing up to 50 percent of their assistance to the poorest countries in the form of grants. At the time, more than 99% of all multilateral development bank assistance was provided as loans. The World Bank has made steady progress on this ambitious goal. The latest International Development Association (IDA, the concessional arm of the World Bank) and African Development Fund replenishments stipulate that approximately 45% of assistance to the poorest countries will be provided on grant terms, with approximately 40 countries receiving 100% grants.

Fighting Malaria - Cutting Mortality by 50%

  • Responding to the President's challenge on June 30 to dramatically reduce malaria as a major killer of children in sub-Saharan Africa, the G-8 agreed to work with African countries to increase funding for fighting malaria to reach 85% of the vulnerable populations with the key interventions. This will save children's lives and reduce the drag on African economies.
  • The President pledged to increase U.S. funding of malaria prevention and treatment by more than $1.2 billion over five years. The goal is to reduce malaria deaths by 50 percent in targeted African countries.
  • The additional funding provided by the United States will eventually benefit more than 175 million people in 15 or more African countries. This commitment to expand malaria prevention and treatment programs in Africa is in addition to the $200 million the U.S. already spends on malaria prevention, treatment, and research worldwide.
  • The President calls on other donors, foundations, and private, public, and voluntary organizations to complement the United States commitments by providing additional funding.

Addressing Humanitarian Needs - Saving Millions of Lives

  • Responding to the call of President Bush and Prime Minister Blair, the G-8 agreed to help sufficiently fund the urgent needs of millions of Africans affected by humanitarian emergencies on the continent. They further agreed to work with other partners to improve the timeliness, predictability and effectiveness of humanitarian aid and to ensure the root causes of these crises continue to receive adequate attention.
  • On June 7, 2005, President Bush announced approximately $674 million of additional resources to respond to humanitarian emergencies in Africa. The President took decisive action to avert famine in the Horn of Africa, where approximately $414 million of the additional resources are being provided.
  • The United States has already provided nearly $1.4 billion this fiscal year for humanitarian needs in Africa, some through the United Nations and some directly to non-governmental organizations providing relief in emergency settings. The $674 million announced June 7 will bring total funding for FY05 to more than $2 billion.
  • The G-8, through its "Ending the Cycle of Famine" initiative, is engaged with the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) and others to address the root causes of famine, including through more sustainable land and water management, market-oriented agricultural policies, improved infrastructure, access to finance, more developed regional markets, and science and technology.

Education - Hope for the Future

  • The G-8 agreed to invest more in greater educational access, increased teacher training, and the establishment of new schools. It will also support the Education for All agenda in Africa.
  • The President announced on June 30 $400 million to continue and to increase the funding of the African Education Initiative (AEI) from 2007 to 2010 to train teachers and administrators, award scholarships, build schools, buy textbooks, and expand opportunities inside and outside the classroom.
  • The goal of the AEI is to provide:
    • Training for 500,000 teachers and administrators;
    • 300,000 scholarships under the Ambassador's Girls Scholarship Program with an emphasis on educational opportunities for girls;
    • Development and distribution of 10-million textbooks and related learning and teaching materials;
    • Improved access for marginalized students and teachers to learning, education materials, and training;
    • Improved access to education and training for out-of-school youth, orphans, and other vulnerable children; and
    • Improved access to productivity-increasing job skills training and development.

Increasing Development Assistance - Reinforcing Africa's Commitment to Reform

  • President Bush announced that the United States will again double assistance to Africa between 2004 and 2010. Consistent with the President's policy, the G-8 agreed that development requires not just aid, but better governance, stability and peace in order for the private sector to grow and create jobs.
  • The U.S. provided around $4.3 billion in bilateral and multilateral official development assistance to sub-Saharan Africa in 2004. This assistance helps relieve poverty, provide essential health and medical services and spur economic growth.
  • In 2004, the Congress established the Millennium Challenge Account (MCA) proposed by President Bush to provide aid to poorer nations based on the common sense idea that aid works best in countries that are proving their commitment to govern justly, respect the rule of law, invest in their citizens, and open up their economies.
    • Of the seventeen MCA eligible countries, eight are Sub-Saharan African countries. The first Millennium Challenge Compact was with Madagascar, for nearly $110 million, and a second Millennium Challenge Compact with Cape Verde, for approximately $110 million, was signed July 4, 2005. Seven of thirteen countries eligible to apply for the MCA threshold assistance program are in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Greater Trade and Investment - The Engine of Economic Growth

  • The G-8 reaffirmed the belief that private enterprise is a prime engine of growth and development. Consistent with the President's policy, the G-8 agreed that an ambitious and balanced conclusion to the Doha Round is the best way to make trade work for Africa and increase African countries' integration into the global economy.
  • In 2001, President Bush extended the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). Because of AGOA, which offers preferential trade benefits to eligible sub-Saharan African countries (currently 37), two-way trade between the United States and sub-Saharan Africa topped $44 billion in 2004.
    • From 2000-2004, U.S. imports from Sub-Saharan Africa increased by more than 50% and U.S. exports to Sub-Saharan Africa increased 44%, thanks in part to the more business-friendly environment AGOA has promoted.
    • AGOA has helped African countries to diversify exports. Non-oil AGOA imports - including apparel, automobiles, and processed agricultural goods - have more than doubled since 2001 (the first full year of AGOA), reaching $3.5 billion in 2004.
    • Over 98% of imports from AGOA countries entered the United States duty-free in 2004.
  • The U.S. accounts for more than 24 percent of exports from Sub-Saharan Africa; the largest single-country share of all of Africa's major trading partners. The U.S. share of the exports from Sub-Saharan Africa rose by 21 percent between 1998 and 2003.
  • As the world's largest single-country contributor of trade capacity building assistance, the U.S. committed more than $400 million in 2002-2004 to technical assistance programs aimed at helping sub-Saharan African countries to further develop their capacity to trade.

Peace and Stability - The Foundation for Development

  • The G-8 affirmed that peace is the first condition of successful development and recommitted to support Africa's efforts to build a peaceful and stable Africa. The President urged the continued support to African initiatives to prevent, mediate and resolve conflict, particularly backing the continued capacity development of the African Union.
  • The G-8 agreed to support within their own governments' mechanisms for more effective and flexible crisis response and to promote more comprehensive and coordinated support to the United Nations, African Union and other key regional organizations.
  • Over half of the African peacekeeping units deployed worldwide have received U.S. training and equipment.
  • Through the President's Global Peace Operations Initiative (GPOI), the goals of which were endorsed at Sea Island in 2004, the U.S. will spend approximately $100 million in FY2005, most of which will go towards Africa, and an expected total of $660 million over 5 years to increase global capacity for peace support operations in Africa and elsewhere.
  • The African Contingency Operations Training and Assistance program will permit training of more than 40,000 peacekeepers over 5 years. The U.S. will also support conflict prevention and management efforts of regional and sub-regional organizations, such as the AU and Economic Community of West African States.
  • The U.S. played a key role in negotiating the peaceful resolution of the 20-year conflict between the Government of Sudan and the Sudan Peoples Liberation Movement that led to the signing on January 9, 2005 of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) and the formation of the Government of National Unity to be sworn in on July 9, 2005. This process provides a framework for resolving other conflicts in Sudan, including Darfur.
  • The Administration has led the international community's successful efforts to remove Charles Taylor from power peacefully and to help Liberia recover from decades of civil war and a near-total absence of government services and of respect for the rule of law. In FY2004-2005, the Administration has allocated over $700 million for international peacekeeping efforts, security sector reform, good governance, elections, as well as humanitarian relief, resettlement, education, and community revitalization programs for those affected by the fighting. Peace has returned to Liberia, and elections are scheduled.
  • The U.S. facilitated the drafting and signing of the Tripartite Agreement between DRC, Rwanda and Uganda that has resulted in the reduction of violence in Eastern Congo and major steps towards the normalizations of relations and the government of Rwanda agreement to accept the return of the FDLR rebels into Rwandan society. The U.S. formed the Great Lakes Contact Group with European allies to coordinate international efforts to support the peace process and political transition in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
  • The U.S. supported international efforts that helped end the civil war in Sierra Leone in 2002 and has been the largest contributor to the Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL), which is helping to secure long-term peace and stability by prosecuting war criminals. The U.S. has taken a lead in addressing the threat to stability posed by unregulated alluvial diamond mining, illicit trading, and exploitation of young miners.

George W. Bush, Fact Sheet: United States and G8 Renew Strong Commitment to Africa Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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