View Header


                     Office of the Press Secretary
                           (Kampala, Uganda)
For Immediate Release                                     March 24, 1998
                       REMARKS BY THE PRESIDENT
                       IN PHOTO OPPORTUNITY WITH
                        VILLAGE BUSINESS OWNER

            Foundation for International Community Assistance
                    Wanyange, Jinja District, Uganda

THE PRESIDENT: You know, one thing I did not say in my remarks I think I should point out here, just because of the press here, in explaining this to people -- all these people who get these loans, they don't have balance sheets, most of them. They don't have an asset and liability sheet for which they could get a normal commercial loan. What they have is proven skills and a good reputation for being responsible.

The repayment rate in this FINCA program and throughout all these programs across the world is 98 percent -- 98 percent of these loans are paid back on time. And that's why I say we do $2 million -- I wish we were doing $100 million. I mean, I can't think of anything else where we have invested money that has a 98 percent success rate. It's a stunning thing, just because of this fine woman and people like her all around the world. It's an amazing thing.

Good for you. (Applause.)

We want to see your baby. (Baby is named after the President.)

MRS. CLINTON: Will you bring your baby down?

MRS. MUSEVENI: How old is he?

MOTHER: Two days

THE PRESIDENT: My boy, Bill. (Laughter.) Oh, he's beautiful. Look at all this hair. I was completely bald until I was two. (Laughter.)

Your 4th child? Thank you for doing this. Why did you name this child after me?

MOTHER: I was expecting two things this month, the baby and the visit of the President. And I got both. - - (Laughter.)

THE PRESIDENT: Look how beautiful he is. He just woke up. The smartest person here. (Laughter.)

Q Mr. Clinton, what else has impressed you today?

THE PRESIDENT: About this stop? Well, the income that -- these are people that start out borrowing $50 in American money. They pay it back, they get another loan; they pay it back, they get another loan. It's like they're making all these market -- or entrepreneurs -- you can turn a country around doing this if you have enough. But it really proves that people should not be written off just because they happen to be born and grow up in a poor area.

It proves that they are people of intelligence and energy and character, everywhere in the world. All they need is a chance. And insofar as we give them a chance, we strengthen nations and we strengthen our future. And in our case, the American people are better off. It's a fabulous thing. And I got a little boy out of it. (Laughter.)

He's beautiful. Thank you so much.