by President Bush and the First Lady on
At the Smithsonian
National Museum of African Art
MRS. BUSH: Thank you very much, Mark.
I get to speak first and introduce the
President. Thank you, Mark, for your
efforts to lead our country's efforts to
defeat HIV/AIDS. Thank you very, very
much for everything you do around the world.
This is such important work -- and it's work
that's saving lives across Africa.
Thanks to everyone who helped produce this
video, and thanks to everyone here for
Tomorrow, President Bush and I leave for
what will be my fifth trip to Africa since
2001, and his second trip to Africa since
2001. I've seen the determination of
the people across Africa -- and the
compassion of the people of the United
States of America.
This compassion is at work through U.S.
initiatives that improve education, reduce
poverty, and fight pandemic disease.
In Ghana, at the Accra Teacher Training
Institute, students receive textbooks
supplied through our country's Africa
Education Initiative. In Mozambique,
mosquito nets are provided to children by
the President's Malaria Initiative. In
Mali, President Touré is using a Millennium
Challenge Compact to build his country's
infrastructure, and to bring prosperity to
Mali's people. In South Africa,
HIV-positive pregnant mothers keep their
babies HIV free with support from the
President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief.
In Zambia, I visited the Mututa Memorial
Center, which is supported by PEPFAR.
At this center, caregivers fan out on
bicycle and foot to all the neighborhoods
around, and they go door to door with care
kits and with antiretroviral drugs.
They tend to the people who are sick and
they encourage their clients to be tested
for HIV. And they literally just
cold-call door to door, and often find
people who are so sick in bed they can't get
up to get help for themselves.
My daughter Jenna was on that trip with me,
and we had a roundtable with some caregivers
and some patients. And two young
HIV-positive women, Sarah and Mwelwa, cried
as they told us during this roundtable about
their stories of -- they told us their
stories of abuse and rape and how they
became HIV positive.
Mwelwa is an AIDS orphan, and Sarah was the
oldest child living without her mother
because her mother had to live in another
place to find work. So both girls were
vulnerable to what happened to them.
As Jenna and I went up to them afterwards,
after the roundtable, and I told them in
private that Jenna had written a book about
a girl in Central America who had a similar
experience to them, Jenna and I were moved
when these girls said to Jenna, "I wish you
would write my story."
Of all these visits to Africa, on all of
them, I've heard stories like Sarah's and
Mwelwa's. These are stories of courage
and hope, and they're also stories being
written with the help of the American
people. Both in Africa and here at
home, Americans share their time and their
money with those in need.
American business leaders are working to
provide safe drinking water for children in
Zambia. American schoolteachers are
holding book drives to rebuild libraries in
Liberia. Last summer, I met an
American man named Steve Bolinger who is
helping to feed AIDS patients in Senegal.
During his time in the Peace Corps --
(applause) -- Steve learned how important
good nutrition is to people who are living
with HIV. So Steve is now using his
experience growing up on a farm in Kansas,
and his experience as a Peace Corps
volunteer, to run his own NGO, Development
in Gardening -- or, appropriately, DIG.
Across Africa, American citizens like Steve
are giving the very personal gifts of their
talent and their energy -- and they're
saving lives. They represent one of
America's most distinguishing
characteristics, and that is our sincere
desire to see other people succeed.
Now I get to introduce a man of deep
compassion, whose work has saved many lives.
And I'm very proud to introduce my husband,
President George W. Bush. (Applause.)
THE PRESIDENT: I've been looking
forward to coming to the museum, and there's
an added benefit, and that is, I get to be
introduced by my wife on Valentine's Day.
(Laughter.) Happy Valentine's.
This morning Laura and I join all Americans
in honoring the life of Congressman Tom
Lantos. In his remarkable 80 years,
Tom Lantos survived the Nazi camps of
Hungary to reach the halls of Congress.
As a representative from California, he was
a fearless defender of democracy, a powerful
advocate of human rights, and a strong
supporter of the fight against HIV/AIDS.
Our prayers are with Annette and the Lantos
family. We thank God for his service.
Five years ago, Laura and I made our first
visit to Africa. Since then, as she
mentioned, she's taken three more trips.
And every time, she came back with
fascinating stories, some of which she just
shared with you. And tomorrow, as she
mentioned, we're going back, and I'm really
looking forward to it.
We're going to Benin, Tanzania, Rwanda,
Ghana and Liberia. Each of these
countries is blessed with natural beauty,
vibrant culture, and an unmistakable spirit
of energy and optimism. Africa in the
21st century is a continent of potential.
That's how we view it. I hope that's
how our fellow citizens view Africa.
It's a place where democracy is advancing,
where economies are growing, and leaders are
meeting challenges with purpose and
Our visit will give me a chance to meet with
people who are making the transformation on
the continent possible. I'm going to
witness the generosity of the American
people firsthand. It will give me a
chance to remind our fellow citizens about
what a compassionate people we are.
And I will assure our partners in Africa
that the United States is committed to them
today, tomorrow, and long into their
continent's bright future.
And so I thank you for giving us a chance to
come and visit with you. You could
call this the send-off speech.
I really want to thank Mark Dybul. I
love to support people who are making
history. I can't think of any more
noble history than to be leading the
compassionate effort of the American people
to help save lives. And Ambassador,
you're doing a fabulous job.
I also want to welcome Admiral Tim Ziemer.
Admiral, good to see you. He's in
charge of making sure that we meet our goals
in reducing the scourge of malaria.
Thanks for coming. You and Dybul are
results-oriented people. Let me say,
I'm a results-oriented President, and so
when I meet with you, I ask you, what are
the results? (Laughter.) And
you'll hear in a minute they're very
I appreciate very much Dr. Samper and his
wife Adriana for welcoming us. Thank
you for leading this important institute.
I also want to thank Sharon Patton, the
Director of the Smithsonian National Museum
of African Art. Thanks for welcoming
us. It's not so easy, like, to welcome
the President. (Laughter.) It turns
out the entourages are probably bigger than
the visitors to your museum -- (laughter) --
but thank you for coming. This is an
important part of the Washington scene.
I'd urge our fellow citizens to come to this
I want to thank the board members of the
Smithsonian National Museum of Africa Art
who have joined us today.
I welcome Jendayi Frazer, Assistant
Secretary of State for African Affairs.
Are you going on the trip? Yes.
Better get home and pack. (Laughter.)
Thanks for coming. I'm proud to work
Henrietta Fore, Administrator of USAID, is
with us. Henrietta, thanks for coming.
I better be careful about how I say this for
fear of having a huge burst of applause, but
I'd like to introduce the Director of the
Peace Corps -- (applause) -- Ron Tschetter.
Ron, thanks for coming; it's good to see
you, sir. And I appreciate you
bringing the five-person cheering section
with you. (Laughter.) There
seems to be a groundswell here.
I welcome the members of the Diplomatic
Corps. Thanks for coming.
And finally I do also want to do what Mark
did and thank Chuck Dages of Warner Brothers
for this trailer. It's good. I
appreciate your support.
The museum is a testament to America's long
connection to Africa. At least that's
how I view it. Africa is the
birthplace of humanity, the home of great
civilizations, and the source of enduring
achievements in culture and art.
Africa has also witnessed some of mankind's
most shameful chapters -- from the evils of
the slave trade to the condescension of
colonialism. Even the joy of
independence -- which arrived with such
promise -- was undermined by corruption,
conflict, and disease. Just a decade
ago, much of Africa seemed to be on the
brink of collapse, and much of the world
seemed content to let it collapse.
Today, that's changing. A new
generation of African leaders is stepping
forward, and turning their continent around.
International organizations, and faith-based
groups, and the private sector are more
engaged than ever. And in one of the
major priorities of my Presidency, the
United States has fundamentally altered our
policy toward Africa.
America's approach to Africa stems from both
our ideals and our interests. We
believe that every human life is precious.
We believe that our brothers and sisters in
Africa have dignity and value, because they
bear the mark of our Creator. We
believe our spirit is renewed when we help
African children and families live and
Africa is also increasingly vital to our
strategic interests. We have seen that
conditions on the other side of the world
can have a direct impact on our own
security. We know that if Africa were
to continue on the old path of decline, it
would be more likely to produce failed
states, foster ideologies of radicalism, and
spread violence across borders. We
also know that if Africa grows in freedom,
and prosperity, and justice, its people will
choose a better course. People who
live in societies based on freedom and
justice are more likely to reject the false
promise of the extremist ideology.
Citizens who see a future of opportunity are
more likely to build hopeful economies that
benefit all the people. Nations that
replace disease and despair with healing and
hope will help Africa do more than just
survive -- it will help Africa succeed.
For all these reasons, America has
dramatically increased our commitment to
development in Africa. We have also
revolutionized the way we approach
development. Too many nations continue
to follow either the paternalistic notion
that treats African countries as charity
cases, or a model of exploitation that seeks
only to buy up their resources.
America rejects both approaches.
Instead, we are treating African leaders as
equal partners, asking them to set clear
goals, and expecting them to produce
measurable results. For their part,
more African leaders are willing to be held
to high standards. And together, we're
pioneering a new era in development.
The new era is rooted in a powerful truth:
Africa's most valuable resource is not its
oil, it's not its diamonds, it is the talent
and creativity of its people. So we
are partnering with African leaders to
empower their people to lift up their
nations and write a new chapter in their
First, we are working to empower Africans to
overcome poverty by helping them grow their
economies. After a long period of
stagnation, many of Africa's economies are
springing to life. As a whole,
sub-Saharan Africa is projected to grow
nearly 7 percent this year. The
economies of Ethiopia, Mozambique, and
Tanzania are among the fastest-growing in
the world. And across Africa, poverty
is beginning to decline. Don't get me
wrong, it's still a poor place, but poverty
is beginning to decline.
This resurgence shows the strength of the
entrepreneurial spirit in Africa.
America is working to help unleash that
spirit across the continent. Along
with our fellow G8 nations, we have relieved
some $34 billion in debt from African
nations in the past 18 months.
(Applause.) That is roughly the same
level of debt that was cancelled in the
previous 11 years combined. We have
also made historic increases in foreign aid.
In my first term, we more than doubled
development assistance to Africa -- part of
the largest expansion of American
development assistance since the Marshall
Plan. (Applause.) At the
beginning of my second term, I promised to
double our assistance again by 2010.
And the budget I sent Congress last week
will ensure that we meet this commitment.
And just as important, we're changing the
way we deliver assistance. We created
what's called the Millennium Challenge
Account, which offers financial support to
the world's most promising developing
nations -- nations that fight corruption,
nations that govern justly, nations that
open up their economies, and nations that
invest in the health and education of their
America is serving as an investor, not a
donor. We believe that countries can
adopt the habits necessary to provide help
for their people. That's what we
believe. And we're willing to invest
in leaders that are doing just that.
So far, more than two-thirds of the MCA's
$5.5 billion is being invested in Africa.
And on my trip next week, I will sign the
largest project in the program's history --
nearly $700 million compact with Tanzania.
Other nations are seeing the benefits of
these agreements. They are moving ahead with
the tough economic, political, and social
reforms necessary to compete for a compact
of their own. In fact, there is now
more competition for funds than there are
funds available, which ought to say two
things: One, that this is evidence
that the American taxpayers are getting good
value for their dollars. In other
words, if nations are willing to fight
corruption, work on rule of law, support
their people and not theirselves, then it
makes sense to invest with them. And
secondly, it is evidence that Congress needs
to fully fund this important initiative.
The best way to generate economic growth in
Africa is to expand trade and investment.
When businesses in Africa can sell their
products and services around the globe, they
create a culture of self-reliance and
opportunity. One of the most powerful
incentives for trade is the African Growth
and Opportunity Act. And I appreciate
the fact that Congress has extended this
good law. Since 2001, exports from
sub-Saharan Africa to the United States have
tripled. It's also important for our
citizens to know that U.S. exports to
sub-Saharan Africa have more than doubled.
On my visit to Ghana, I will meet
entrepreneurs who are benefiting from new
access to U.S. markets. My message to
them will be clear, just like it is to the
Congress: For the benefit of Africans
and for the benefit of Americans alike, we
must maintain our commitment to free and
Attracting foreign capital is another key to
growth. In recent years, African
nations have taken impressive steps to
improve their investment climates.
According to a World Bank report, 16
countries in sub-Saharan Africa recently
adopted reforms to make it easier to start a
business and to register property.
That may sound simple to Americans, but
these are important steps to be able to
attract capital for investment purposes.
When investors look for a promising market,
they are increasingly turning to Africa.
And in a hopeful sign, private capital flows
to sub-Saharan Africa now exceed development
We've taken several steps to build on this
progress. Last year, we launched the
Africa Financial Sector Initiative. As
part of this effort, our Overseas Private
Investment Corporation mobilized $750
million in investment capital for African
businesses. Today, I'm announce that
OPIC will support five new investment funds
that will mobilize an additional $875
million, for a total of more than $1.6
billion in new capital.
And next week, I'm going to sign a bilateral
investment treaty with Rwanda. This
will be America's first such treaty in
sub-Saharan Africa in nearly a decade.
It reflects our shared commitment to systems
of fair and open investment. It will
bring more capital to Rwanda's dynamic and
growing economy. Look, the idea of
somehow being able to help people through
just giving them money isn't working.
That's why I appreciate the efforts of Rob
Mosbacher and OPIC, recognizing that when
you invest in capital -- invest capital, you
create jobs. Paternalism has got to be
a thing of the past. Joint venturing
with good, capable people is what the future
is all about. (Applause.)
But in the long run, the best way to lift
lives in Africa is to tear down barriers to
investment and trade around the world.
And we have an opportunity to do that
through the Doha Round of trade talks.
Look, Doha is important to enhance trade,
but if you're truly interested in
eliminating poverty, we ought to be reducing
tariffs and barriers all across the globe.
The United States stands ready to cut farm
subsidies, and agricultural tariffs, and
other trade barriers that disadvantage
developing countries. On the other
hand, we expect the rest of the world --
especially the most advanced developing
countries --to do the same. And if we
both make good-faith efforts, we can reach a
successful Doha agreement this year.
Secondly, we're working to empower Africans
to alleviate hunger, expand education, and
fight disease. America is proud to be
the world's largest provider of food
assistance, including emergency food stocks
that have saved lives in places like
Ethiopia, or Sudan, and other African
nations. It's a noble effort on our
people's part. I don't know if -- most
Americans don't understand that we're the
world's largest provider of food to feed the
hungry, but we are. (Applause.)
Yet our ultimate objective is to do more
than respond to the hungry -- it is to help
African countries feed their own people.
So I have proposed that America purchase
crops directly from farmers in Africa,
instead of just shipping food assistance
from the developed world. (Applause.)
This initiative would build up local
agriculture markets. It would help
break the cycle of famine. And it
deserves the full support of the United
We're also focusing on education. I'm
looking forward to seeing the President of
Tanzania, he's a good guy. Here's what
he said; he said "It's an indisputable fact
that education is key to development."
Across Africa, students are eager to learn,
and often they lack quality teachers and
just basic supplies. Things we take
for granted in America are just lacking in
parts of Africa. So in 2002, I
launched the Africa Education Initiative,
the goal of which is to distribute more than
15 million textbooks, train nearly a million
teachers, and provide scholarships for
550,000 girls by 2010. And we're
headed to achieving that goal. In
other words, these just weren't empty words,
these were concrete, solid goals, being
funded as a result of the generosity of the
Congress and the American people.