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                     Office of the Press Secretary
                           (Kampala, Uganda)
For Immediate Release                                     March 24, 1998
                         REMARKS BY THE PRESIDENT
                         AT FINCA WOMEN'S VILLAGE
                               Jinja, Uganda

6:07 P.M. (L)

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much. I will try to say this right: Kodeyo. (Applause.) Thank you. I must say it is a great honor for me to be around a group of women who say they are willing to give jobs to men. Thank you very much. (Laughter and applause.)

It is a great honor for me to be here with the President and Mrs. Museveni. My wife and I like these loan programs very much. And Florence, we thank you for the fine job you did being the leader of this program today. I want to thank Milli Mukyala and Robinah Balidawa, thank you very much for being an example to women, not only throughout Uganda and, indeed, Africa, but throughout the world. That United States is proud to support FINCA in these efforts. FINCA now has set up 3,400 banking groups like the two of which you're a part, in Africa, in Latin America, in the former Soviet Union.

The United States, just in the last two years, has increased its support for such programs through our AID program; and now we are making over 2 million loans every year to people just like you -- over 2 million. (Applause.) What that means is that women in villages like this all across the world are going to be able to meet the needs of their children, as Milli so eloquently describes; are going to be able to build the economies of their villages; it will make their nations stronger, and they will make the world a better place.

So the song you sang today is a song for children everywhere. It's a song for women everywhere. It's a song for the future of the world everywhere. We will continue to support these programs as long as I am President. (Applause.)

I want to say a special way of appreciation to my wife, who introduced me to these programs now over 12 years ago. (Applause.) Twelve years ago she came to me and told me about what was happening in a far away county in Asia -- Bangladesh. And she said this could be done everywhere. And you have shown through your media and ours -- today you have shown the whole world -- what can be done in villages everywhere. So you have done a great service, not only to yourselves and your own children but for women just like you all across the globe. And we thank you very, very much. (Applause.)

END 6:10 P.M. (L)