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STATEMENT BY THE PRESS SECRETARY

May 18, 2004

President Bush Invites Leaders of Six African Countries to Meet with G8 Leaders in Sea Island

President Bush has invited the leaders of Algeria, Ghana, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa and Uganda to meet with G8 leaders on June 10, 2004, in Sea Island, Georgia.

He looks forward to wide-ranging discussion on topics that include, among others, famine/food security, peacekeeping, development, HIV/AIDS and corruption. The invited countries are leaders on key American and G8 initiatives focused on achieving results in the following areas:

New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD). South Africa, Nigeria, Senegal and Algeria are members of the NEPAD Steering Committee, which in recent years has worked closely with the G8 to improve governance, reduce trade barriers, and stimulate investment in Africa's social and physical infrastructure.

HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, Malaria and Polio. The United States and the G8 will continue working in partnership with Africa to combat Africa's deadliest diseases. Uganda, South Africa and Nigeria are focus countries of President Bush's $15 billion Emergency Plan on HIV/AIDS. The United States has been the largest contributor to eradication of polio, which affects several countries in the region.

Peace and Security. Senegal, Uganda, Nigeria, and soon South Africa, participate in the United States' peacekeeping training program, ACOTA (African Contingency Operations Training and Assistance). Ghana is Vice President of the African Union, which works with the G8 on peacekeeping issues and is host to the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Center. Algeria is a leading member of our Pan-Sahel initiative.

Private-sector-led growth and poverty alleviation. The five sub-Saharan African leaders are among Africa's strongest free trade advocates and their countries benefit from tariff-free export to the U.S. under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). The commitment of Senegal and Ghana to governing justly, investing in their people, and promoting economic freedom was recognized by their recent selection as beneficiaries of President Bush's groundbreaking new development assistance program, the Millennium Challenge Account. Algeria is engaged in the implementation of a Trade and Investment Framework Agreement with the United States.

President Bush's invitation to the African leaders emphasizes the important relationships which the United States and the rest of the G8 have with Africa, and reflects continued commitment to the G8 Africa Action Plan.

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Click here for the White House Press Release


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