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7/17/03 - PRESIDENT BUSH IN AFRICA - 2003-07-17

The United States is committed to helping the peoples of Africa find peace and a better life. President George W. Bush spoke of this commitment on his visit earlier this month to the region:

“America supports democratic and economic reforms in Africa because we know the power of freedom will lift whole nations and bring new opportunities to millions. And in a time of growing commerce across the globe, we are working to ensure that the nations of Africa are full partners in the trade and prosperity of the world.”

“Progress in Africa,” said President Bush, “depends on peace and stability”:

“So America is standing with friends and allies to help end regional wars. And against the murderous ambitions of terrorists, the United States and African countries are working in a common purpose.”

The U.S. is also committed to helping the peoples of Africa to overcome one of the greatest menaces they have ever faced: the human-immune deficiency virus -- H-I-V -- that causes AIDS. Across the African continent, nearly thirty-million people are infected with H-I-V/AIDS, including three-million children under the age of fifteen. President Bush said that people in Uganda and other African countries “are waging a courageous fight against this disease”.

“In another nation on my trip, Uganda, urban and rural clinics are providing vital medical care, counseling, sound and honest information on AIDS prevention. Thanks to caring people and wise government policies, Uganda has dramatically reduced its infection rate. More Ugandan children are growing up with mothers and fathers, and Uganda is reclaiming its future.”

Over the next five years, the U.S. has pledged to spend fifteen-billion dollars to help fight AIDS around the world, with a special focus on fourteen nations in Africa and the Caribbean. As President Bush said, “All of our actions in Africa -- from fighting AIDS to promoting security and prosperity across the continent -- represent the ideals that have always guided America in the world.”