Today, President Clinton spends the day in Uganda. During the day, President Clinton announces a series of initiatives designed to underscore the new US-African partnerships, particularly the desire of African nations to invest in a better and healthier future for its children. Included in todays announcement are three new initiatives intended to improve educational standards and access to technology, ensure adequate food and agricultural production fight deadly infectious diseases that claim the lives of too many African children. Major events of the Presidents day include:
President Clintons bilateral meeting with President Museveni takes place in the Nile Hotel and Conference Center complex. Centers 1700-seat main hall is the largest covered meeting place in Uganda.
Remarks to the People of Uganda on Investing in the Future
President Clinton visits the Kisowera Primary School, located in the village of Mukono about 25 minutes outside of Kampala, to speak about the importance of investing in a better, healthier future for children.
The government of Uganda has made expansion of primary education one of its highest national priorities. It recently established Universal Primary Education (UPE), guaranteeing free primary education for up to four children per family. The result in 1997 was a doubling of the school population to 5.3 million students, most in first and second grade.
Located on a rise of land in a rural area, the Kisowera Primary School provides an example of Ugandas currently crowded primary education facilities, with over 100 students in some classes. The school has 760 students and 17 teachers. While national school completion rates for girls are less than half those for boys, Kisowera graduates as many girls as boys.
The U.S. government provides approximately $10 million per year to support the government of Uganda in its efforts to improve literacy as well as the quality of primary education. The success of USAID-led reforms in basic education has drawn additional support from international donors.
In his speech at the school, President Clinton announces a series of initiatives designed to underscore the new US-African partnerships, particularly the desire of African nations to invest in a better and healthier future for its children. These include:
Promoting Better Education
The Education for Development and Democracy Initiative seeks to boost African integration into the global community by improving the quality of, and technology for, education in Africa. The Presidents announcement calls for approximately $120 million in FY98 and 99 funding and is centered around three principal strategies: community resource centers, public-private partnerships, and educating and empowering girls. Key components include:
Primary and Secondary Education
Professional Training and Civil Education
Ensuring Better Nutrition
A key part of the Presidents announcement today is ensuring that while we improve the educational standards of Africas children we also ensure adequate and proper nourishment and provide assistance to enhance agricultural production.
Current food security trends project that by the year 2020, 25 percent of Africas children will suffer from malnutrition, already the cause of over a third of deaths of children under the age of five in Africa.
The Africa Food Security Initiative (AFSI) is designed to assist African nations to strengthen and protect agriculture and food security in a number of key areas, including:
The pilot budget for the first two years of the initiative will be $61 million, which compliments USAIDs current investments in these efforts. Funds will be channeled to the appropriate government and private sector organizations.
Promoting Stronger Health Care
The third element of the Presidents program of investing in the future of Africas children is combating the infectious diseases that claim so many young lives.
President Clinton visits the FINCA Womens project in the village of Wanyange, near Jinja. The project reflects the efforts of the Foundation for International Community Assistance (FINCA), which over the last four years has established 340 village banks in Uganda through a $1.7 million USAID grant.
Ugandan women have traditionally borne the major share of the nations burden -- quite literally on their heads and backs. New programs, such as the FINCA Womens Project, seek to make womens work less burdensome and more rewarding.
Near the dirt square in the villages market area, four businesses operated by women are located in brick or mud-wattle structures. The businesses, including a bakery, tailor shop, small store, and rabbit-production scheme, received loans averaging $120 as part of a microcredit program that boasts a 97% repayment rate. The incomes made possible through these loans have allowed the owners to move their businesses from structures with walls of woven mats or mud to more permanent buildings.
Through their newly strengthened economic position, the market women of Wanyange are gaining self-respect and confidence, improved status, and the ability to pay education and health costs for their families. They express their appreciation of these opportunities in traditional dances.
Follow the President |
Speeches | Briefings | Countries | Issues | Partnerships | Links