03 Jul 2003 Project 21 Press Release: Black Network Praises President for Proactive Role in Africa; Bush Trip to Africa Highlights President’s Concern for Region
President George W. Bush begins a five-day visit to the African continent on July 7. Members of the African-American leadership network Project 21 are proud of the President’s hands-on approach to fighting terrorism and famine and preserving human dignity in Africa.
“[America] is fully engaged in the broad, concerted effort to help Africans find peace, to fight disease, to build prosperity and to improve lives,” Bush stated during his address to the Corporate Council on Africa’s recent U.S.-Africa Business Summit.
Since 2001, the Bush Administration has been working to demolish trade barriers between America and Africa. “By itself, aid cannot transform societies,” stated President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda. “Only trade can foster the sustained growth necessary for such a transformation.” There has been a ten percent increase in exports from Africa to the United States over the last three years, and President Bush is still fighting bans on genetically modified foods to allow Africans to compete in the marketplace as well as fight starvation and disease.
President Bush has also appropriated $100 million to be spent in Africa over the next 15 months in the fight against terrorism. The President has actively pursued peace in Congo, Sudan and now Liberia, a nation ravaged by internal strife. Bush has called for the resignation of Liberian President Charles Taylor, who has been convicted of crimes against humanity by a United Nations-backed war crimes court.
“President Bush is truly concerned about the people on the African continent,” stated Project 21 member Geoff Moore. “His diplomatic acts, coupled with the $15 billion to fight AIDS in Africa, show that we now have a President who is a man of action and not just words.”
Bush recently signed a bill that authorizes $15 billion to be spent over the next five years to fight HIV-AIDS overseas. These funds will be focused where the crisis is most severe, which is predominantly in Africa and the Caribbean.
During his African visit, President Bush plans to visit Senegal, South Africa, Botswana, Uganda and Nigeria.
Project 21 has been a leading voice of the African-American community since 1992. For more information, contact David Almasi at (202) 507-6398 x106 or [email protected], or visit Project 21’s website at http://www.project21.org/P21Index.html.