Remarks by President Clinton and President Rawlings at Photo Opportunity

Office of the Press Secretary
(Accra, Ghana)

For Immediate ReleaseMarch 23, 1998


President Rawlings: Let me just take this opportunity to welcome each andevery one of you to Ghana, and quite frankly, if I had the choice I wouldhave suggested that you visit a place like Ghana in the month of Augustwhen it?s nice and cool. So while you?re here under this hot, blazingAfrican sun, do everything you can to -- what do you call -- put in as muchfluid as you can in order to fight the dehydrative effect of the tropics.But, as the same time, if you keep away from the shades, the wives and thehusbands would be missing the chance of a nice suntan before you leave thetropics.

Let me say that as short as this visit is, I think what?s mostimportant is the content. And there? no doubt that the agenda that?s beendrawn out would be an issue that takes on the serious subjects that concernAfrica, an issue that?s been initiated by the President and members of hisCabinet. That?s most welcome to this continent.

Let me remind you, ladies and gentlemen, 27 years from now, as I saidto some of our colleagues in the CNN yesterday, that the population of thiscontinent or sub-Saharan Africa will be doubling to about 1.5 billion. Andif we don?t take the appropriate measures both from the economic standpointand the political standpoint, to lay the foundation towards development andpeace, I?m afraid we?ll be running down the hill.

However, I feel very hopeful and very confident that the measureswe?ve taken and a good number of African countries, we?re beginning toregister a healthy economic upturn. The political stability that?sreturning to this continent, no doubt, I believe is what must haveencouraged the President and his colleagues to take on this issue to dowhat they can to assist the efforts that we?re putting in Africa.

And for this, I would like to welcome him, his wife, his -- our dearChelsea -- we?ll talk about her later -- and members of his Cabinet. AndI?m so glad that we have Reverend Minister Jackson also as a member of thedelegation.

And -- what else? Talking about the eight-hour period. Let meexplain that in politics there are times I believe that we spend the leasttime with those who have the least problems. It?s hot naturally so all thetime. I mean, there are times when we can relax and spend a lot of timewith those that we have so much in common. But quite frankly, therelationship between the U.S. and Ghana has been so healthy, so muchfoundation has been laid, that, quite frankly, I believe there?s no turningback in terms of the progress that?s been made. And I can only see aforward movement.

And let me simply end up by saying that please, you?ve come at thewrong time of the season -- not in economic or political terms, but thehot, blazing sun. So please do what you can to -- not to dehydrateyourself. Do what you can to take in as much liquids as you can, and don?tmiss out on the sun.

Thank you very much.

Q Mr. President Clinton, have you spoken with --

PRESIDENT RAWLINGS: Can we make this just the one and only question,because -- let?s put it this way, I don?t want to share the limited timethat I have with the President. I have only, barely -- no, about eighthours from now. And our colleagues are waiting in the Cabinet for ameeting. Beyond that, our people have been waiting from 5:00 am and thereare hundreds of thousands, chiefs, elders, children, et cetera. I don?twant anybody fainting. Neither do I think President Clinton would like tosee that happen.

Q It?s only one, sir.

PRESIDENT CLINTON: I?ll take one question.

Q Thank you, sir. Have you spoken with President Yeltsin? Are youconcerned about his dismissal of his cabinet? Do you think you understandwhat is behind it or what the effect will be, sir?

PRESIDENT CLINTON: Let me say, first of all, I have not spoken withhim. I found out about it this morning when I woke up. And until I knowmore, I don?t think I should say much, except that we don?t interfere inthe internal affairs of any country, and as President, he has to constitutethe government as he sees fit. We hope that the general direction ofpolicy will be unaffected by this, and I have no reason to believe that it-- that anything different will occur in a way that?s at all adverse to thepartnership we?ve been building with Russia. If I know anything else inthe next few hours I?ll be glad to tell you.

Let me also thank President Rawlings for welcoming me here. I havevery much looked forward to coming to Ghana, especially since the firsttime we met in the White House. I admire the direction this nation istaking under his leadership, and I want to make the most of this next eighthours. So we better go to work so we can get out there and see the people,too.

PRESIDENT RAWLINGS: Thank you very much, sir.


Africa Trip Speeches

First Lady Remarks at December 31st Women's Movement Daycare Center

First Lady Remarks at Makerere University

Remarks to the People of Rwanda

FINCA Women's Project

Remarks to the People of Ghana

Opening of the Ron Brown Center

Remarks at TechnoServe Peace Corps Project Site

Interview by the Discovery Channel

Remarks to the Community of Kisowera

Remarks at Reception

Photo Opportunity with the Presidents

Remarks in Photo Opportunity

Remarks with Village Business Owner

African Environmentalists and Officials

Remarks at Regina Mundi Church

Photo Opportunity with President Abdou Diouf

President Clinton and President Mandela

Remarks Upon Departure

Remarks at the Entebbe Summit

Remarks during visit to Victoria

Remarks in Robben Island

Interview of the President by BET

Africa Trade Bill

President to the Parliament of South Africa

Videotaped Remarks to the People of Africa

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