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Remarks by President Bush and President Kikwete of Tanzania
February 17, 2008
State House
Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
10:29 A.M. (L)

PRESIDENT KIKWETE: Mr. President, welcome. I stand before you with a deep sense of gratitude and satisfaction to once again welcome you, Mr. President, and your entire delegation, to our dear country, Tanzania. (Applause.) The outpouring of warmth and affection from the people of Tanzania that you have witnessed since your arrival is a genuine reflection of what we feel towards you and towards the American people.

Welcome, Your Excellency, and your great wife, Madame Laura Bush, as enduring partners for our empowerment as we struggle to pull ourselves to prosperity and back from backwardness and development, infested by poverty, disease and depravation of basic social and economic services. We welcome you, Mr. President, as a supportive and outstanding partner, as we take the necessary measures to promote democracy, human rights and good governance. You are a dependable partner, indeed, in the pursuit of ensuring national as well as regional peace and stability in the African continent.

Mr. President, you have shown great compassion for Africa and its people. You have personally reached out using different initiatives, instruments and moral leadership to support Africa's efforts to improve governance, to fight poverty, to seek shared prosperity, to resolve conflict, to improve security, and jointly to fight the scourge of terrorism. Tanzania has been, and is committed and poised to continue being an important partner and beneficiary of your empathy and support towards the African peoples. (Applause.)

Mr. President, we thank you for your deep understanding and empathy for the challenges we face on the African continent, and we truly appreciate what you have done to support us where we needed support, for the sake of welfare and dignity of our people.

Ten days ago in Washington D.C., at the 56th National Prayer Breakfast, the keynote speaker and a close friend of Africa, Ward Brehm, Chairman of African Development Foundation, spoke eloquently of the fourfold increase in various forms of support to Africa in your administration. There was immediately an extended applause and standing ovation from the 4,000 people in the audience from the 155 countries. Today I want you to know that we in Tanzania who have benefitted and are continuing to benefit from your commitment to Africa, join in that thunderous applause and standing ovation. (Applause.)

PRESIDENT BUSH: Thank you, sir.

PRESIDENT KIKWETE: Mr. President, today there are thousands of women and children who would have died from malaria that are alive in Tanzania and all over the country, thanks to your malaria support program. I can give the example of Zanzibar. In 2004, in the outpatient clinic, 500,000 malaria patients were treated; in 2007, only 10,000. (Applause.) In 2004 in Zanzibar, 40 percent of the patients tested positive for malaria; in 2007, only 5 percent. (Applause.) When the blood slide is taken, 35 percent tested positive for malaria in 2004; in 2007, only 1 percent. (Applause.)

I can go on and on and say and mention examples, but this is only a very brief press briefing. Today there are thousands of children who have managed to avoid joining the already long list of orphans, and who continue to enjoy the love, guidance and support of their parents who are alive because of the AIDS care and treatment they get with the support of PEPFAR initiative. Mr. President, thank you. (Applause.)

Today, as a result of PEPFAR, parents with AIDS are able to take care of their children. And here today we have signed the Millennium Challenge Compact, the largest ever. This funding will go a long way towards addressing some of our critical infrastructure challenges, which have for a long time been an obstacle to our growth and development. We very much thank you, Mr. President. We thank U.S. government for agreeing with us to give the infrastructure sector the priority it deserves. (Applause.)

Your decision that this Compact should be signed here in Dar es Salaam today speaks volumes about how deep you have Tanzania in your heart. (Applause.) We are also grateful to the United States Congress for accepting your administration's request to fund the Tanzanian Compact package. We also thank the MCC board and the very able leadership of Secretary Rice. We appreciate the tremendous efforts of Ambassador Danilovich and his staff in making this day possible.

Let me end by saying that different people may have different views about you and your administration and your legacy -- but we in Tanzania, if we are to speak for ourselves and for Africa, we know for sure that you, Mr. President, and your administration, have been good friends of our country and have been good friends of Africa. (Applause.)

I know you leave office in about 12 months time. Rest assured that you will be remembered for many generations to come for the good things you have done for Tanzania and the good things you have done for Africa. Your legacy will be that of saving hundreds of thousands of mothers' and children's lives from malaria, preventing new HIV infections and giving hope to those infected through care and treatment, and helping millions of young men and women get education. Last but not least, the legacy of assisting African nations and peoples build capacity for their own growth and development.

And today, with the signing of the MCA compact, you are making it possible for the people of Tanzania to chart a brighter future, underpinned by growth, opportunity and democracy. We owe it to you, and owe it to the American people, that this compact meet its objectives and becomes a source of pride and satisfaction for our two governments and peoples.

We owe it to you, Mr. President, and indeed to our people, that in governing this dear country of ours, we act in a manner that will justify this tremendous trust and confidence you have shown in us. This is my promise. I thank you, and welcome. (Applause.)

PRESIDENT BUSH: Thank you sir. Thanks for your very generous comments. Vipi mambo.

PRESIDENT KIKWETE: Poa. (Laughter and applause.)

PRESIDENT BUSH: For the uneducated, that's Swahili for, "Howdy, you all." (Laughter.) Mr. President, I thank you for your invitation. It's a real pleasure to set foot in your beautiful country. Laura and I are honored that you invited us, and we're so grateful for the warm welcome we received last night. It was very moving, for those of us racing through the streets of Dar es Salaam, to see thousands of people there greeting us. I really do want to extend my thanks. (Applause.)

Mr. President, I stand next to you advocating to our people strong initiatives on behalf of the people of Tanzania because you're a strong leader. (Applause.) I'll just put it bluntly -- America doesn't want to spend money on people who steal the money from the people. (Laughter.) We like dealing with honest people and compassionate people. We want our money to go to help the human condition and to live human lives. We act not out of guilt, but out of compassion, Mr. President. And that's why we're in your beautiful country. I also appreciate the fact that you've been elected the Chairman of the African Union; it speaks to your leadership. (Applause.)

We are partners in democracy. We believe that governments ought to respond to the people. We're also partners in fighting disease, extending opportunity and working for peace. Mr. President, I mentioned I was proud to sign, along with the President, the largest Millennium Challenge Account in the history of the United States here in Tanzania. (Applause.) It will provide nearly $700 million over five years to improve Tanzania's transportation network, secure reliable supplies of energy, and expand access to clean and safe water.

My hope is that such an initiative will be part of an effort to transform parts of this country to become more hopeful places, Mr. President. We join you in this because of your government and your personal commitment to fight corruption, to invest in the education and health of your people, and to accept and expand marketplace economics. Those are the conditions of the Millennium Challenge Account. Oh, in the past, countries would give aid and hope for the best; America believes that people can achieve high standards, and therefore our support for you is based upon our belief and your performance when it comes to achieving high standards.

The United States and Tanzania are working together to fight disease. As the President mentioned, that our efforts are really focused on HIV/AIDS and malaria. Since I've been the President, the number of antiretrovirals extended to people on the continent of Africa have grown from 50,000 to over 1.2 million people. And I tell people in America, that's great, that's good; we've measured it, and it's successful. But it's only a start, Mr. President.

And therefore, I've gone to our Congress to get them to double the amount of HIV/AIDS money for the continent of Africa. The plan we put in place, the strategy we put in place is working. And Congress needs to make sure that this HIV/AIDS plan, PEPFAR, gets reauthorized for a five-year period of time. We don't want people guessing on the continent of Africa whether or not the generosity of the American people will continue. (Applause.)

I appreciate very much your focus on malaria, as well. It breaks my heart to know that little children are dying needlessly because of a mosquito bite. I also fully understand, like you do, Mr. President, that this is a soluble problem. It takes some money, but it also takes organization. It takes the willingness to distribute nets and insecticides and education to the people, and that's what you're doing.

I appreciate the fact that you brought up the example of Zanzibar. It is an example for all on the continent of Africa of what can happen. This is a place that had been sorely affected by malaria. Today, as Mr. President pointed out, the number of infections have declined dramatically. That ought to make the people of Tanzania feel good. It also ought to make the American people feel good, to know that their taxpayers dollars are going to save human lives. And it's in our interests, it's in our moral interest that we continue to do so.

And so, Mr. President, we're so proud of the efforts that you and your government and the people at the grassroots level have made to distribute nets and insecticides, all in the aim of answering a universal call to protect the most vulnerable amongst us. And we're proud to be your partner.

We also talked about international affairs. I appreciate the President's strong advice. One reason he was elected to be the head of the AU is he knows what he's talking about. Therefore it's important for me to listen to him, which I have done. (Laughter.) We talked about Zimbabwe. There's no doubt the people of Zimbabwe deserve a government that serves their interest, and recognizes their basic human rights, and holds free and fair elections. That's in the interest of the people of Zimbabwe. It happens to be in the interest of the world, as well.

We discussed the genocide in Darfur, and America provides a lot of food aid to the people in Darfur. We're trying to help them. The truth of the matter is, they're obstacles to peace, as well. We discussed the genocide in Darfur, and America provides a lot of food aid to the people in Darfur. We're trying to help them, but the truth of the matter is there are obstacles to peace in Darfur. And that is one of the reasons we've imposed tough sanctions -- real, meaningful sanctions against those who are stopping progress toward alleviating the human suffering in Darfur.

I do want to appreciate the fact -- to express my appreciation, Mr. President, that you've committed a battalion of Tanzanian troops to go to Darfur, and we're proud to have worked with you to help them train up for the mission.

So we've had a great visit so far -- but, like, this is just the beginning of the visit. And I'm looking forward to having dinner with you tonight; looking forward to traveling to parts of your country to see firsthand the great compassionate works that are taking place. And again, I want to thank you for your hospitality. You're a good man, Mr. President and I'm proud to call you friend. (Laughter and applause.)

PRESIDENT KIKWETE: -- his Excellency, thank you, thank you very much for those excellent statements. And now with your permission, we will invite questions from the media. As we said, it will be two questions from both sides, and I will start with the Tanzanian side.......





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