Office of the Press Secretary


THE PRESIDENT: To all our friends in Africa, let me say how very much I'm looking forward to my upcoming trip. I'll travel to Ghana, Uganda, South Africa, Botswana, and Senegal. It will be a real privilege for me to be the first American President to visit those countries.

This journey will be my opportunity, and yours, to help to introduce the people of the United States to a new Africa -- an Africa whose political and economic accomplishments grow more impressive each month. I want to see for myself what America can learn from Africa and how we can work with you as partners to build a better future for all our children.

As I visit your countries and meet your leaders and citizens, I'll have in mind four central goals for us to work toward together. First, we want to support Africa's democracies -- those with long and proud histories, and those that are newly emerging. Together we can create a global community of nations that respect and promote human rights, tolerance, and broad participation in public life.

Second, we want to increase trade and investment with Africa. When it comes to economic development, America and Africa can help each other, opening markets, building businesses, creating jobs on both continents. A prosperous future awaits us if we strengthen the economic ties between our countries and give all our people the education and training they need to succeed in this new global economy.

But democracy and prosperity are threatened where there is violence, so our third goal is to look for ways to work in partnership with the nations of Africa to prevent armed conflict. Ethnic and political violence continues to plague parts of Africa. Together we can, and we must, find solutions.

Fourth, the United States wants to play a role in preserving Africa's majestic natural beauty and wildlife, and ensuring sustainable development of Africa's natural resources. The nations of the world must continue to cooperate and avoid environmental destruction and to leave a rich heritage to our children.

There are many other areas where we can progress as partners -- improving nutrition and health care, eradicating diseases like AIDS and malaria, empowering women, fighting crime and drugs, expanding civic and cultural ties across the ocean. With the 21st century fast approaching, Africa, the cradle of human civilization, is forging a vibrant future for itself with new leaders, new opportunities, and new hope. The core values that are driving Africa's renaissance -- democracy, diversity, free enterprise -- those are the values that the United States shares.

My wife Hillary, my daughter Chelsea, the entire United States delegation and I look forward to being with you and sharing our experience with the American people.

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