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March 24, 1998

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Tuesday, March 24, 1998


Today, 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 today's announcement are three new initiatives to improve educational standards and access to technology, ensure adequate food and agricultural production for proper nutritional balance, and fight deadly infectious diseases that claim the lives of too many African children.

Promoting Better education. The Education for Development and Democracy Initiative seeks to further African integration into the global community by improving the quality of, and technology for, education in Africa. The President's announcement is centered around three principal strategies: community resource centers, public-private partnerships, and educating and empowering girls. Key components include:

Primary and Secondary Education

  • Pilot schools will be selected as community resource centers to provide educational materials and serve as bases to improve local teachers preparation and training for out-of-school youth.
  • School-to-school partnerships between the United States and Africa and among African schools will be promoted through access to computer technology and from exchanges.
  • Improving girls education through leadership identification and scholarships, raising community awareness and support for educating girls, strengthening school nutrition and lunch programs and mentoring by older girls and women.

Higher Education

  • U.S.-African linkages at the university-to-university level will be strengthened through assistance with curriculum development aimed at training in labor-market relations, business, health, science, math, technology and engineering studies.

Professional Training and Civil Education

  • The education initiative will fund partnerships between U.S. and African government institutions and civil society organizations, designed to better promote understanding, cooperation and integration of public-private efforts.
Ensuring Better Nutrition. A key part of the President's announcement today is ensuring that while we improve the educational standards of Africa's children we also ensure adequate and proper nourishment and provide assistance to enhance agricultural production. The Africa Food Security Initiative (AFSI) is designed to assist African nations to strengthen and protect agriculture and food security.

Promoting Stronger Health Care. The third element of the President's program of investing in the future of Africa's children is combating the infectious diseases that claim so many young lives. To help combat malaria, which accounts for 1.5 - 2.5 million deaths per year, the President announces an additional $1 million grant to the National Institutes of Health in order to provide further assistance to the Multilateral Initiative on malaria (MIM). This effort will complement an ongoing Infectious Disease Initiative for Africa that focuses on surveillance, response, prevention, and building local resistance capacity for infectious diseases throughout the continent.

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