THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
Strengthening the U.S.-Ghana Partnership: The State Visit of President Rawlings
President Clinton and President Jerry Rawlings of Ghana achieved considerable progress in strengthening the partnership between our two nations in their meeting today.
Accelerating Ghana's Economic Growth
The two leaders announced that tomorrow the Overseas Private Investment Corporation will sign a bilateral investment incentive agreement with Ghana. OPIC will also initial the first investment by the Modern Africa Fund in the amount of $7.5 million to facilitate the privatization of Ghana's state-owned pharmaceutical company.
The United States is working with Ghana to accelerate its integration into the global economic system through the signing of a Trade and Investment Framework Agreement. In addition, we are providing $1 million to help Ghana meet world child labor standards.
We will continue to assist Ghana in building on its economic reform efforts and its average growth of 4.5% over the last five years through a $1.5 million grant from USAID to work with Ghana's energy sector to strengthen the country's power supply.
The Administration is also moving ahead with its Partnership with the entire continent. The President noted today that he will open a first-ever U.S.-Africa ministerial in Washington on March 16. Ministers representing more than 40 African nations will join nine members of the Cabinet to discuss strategies for expanding our cooperation in the areas of economic development, trade, investment and governance.
Promoting Peace and Security in Africa
The President is committed to building African peacekeeping capacity through the African Crisis Response Initiative, including computer aided follow-on training for Ghana's first battalion, and $2.9 million in equipment and training for a second battalion as soon as Ghana is prepared to go forward.
The President reaffirmed his commitment to work with regional leaders in finding a long-term peaceful solution to the bloody conflict in Sierra Leone, including diplomatic and financial support for the regional peacekeeping efforts of the Economic Community of West African States' Monitoring Group (ECOMOG). We have provided $3.3 million to ECOMOG in logistical and medical assistance to date, and hope to provide an additional $2.7 million once we have obtained Congressional agreement.
Last year, we provided over $50 million in humanitarian assistance to refugees and victims of violence in Sierra Leone, and in the first five months of this fiscal year, we have already provided an additional $26 million.
In support of Ghana's expanding peacekeeping efforts, we will augment by 80% our International Military Education and Training (IMET) funding for Ghana this year.
Fulfilling the Potential of All Africans
The President announced a $1 million grant to Ghana to develop a country-specific education strategy and to establish resource centers linking Ghanaian schools to the internet. This grant is part of the $120 million Education for Development and Democracy Initiative President Clinton unveiled last year in Uganda. New Peace Corps volunteers will help implement these efforts in Ghana.
Recognizing the importance of good public health to successful economies and societies, USAID will intensify its fight in Ghana against a growing but still manageable HIV problem, and will spend $3.5 million a year promoting AIDS awareness in Ghana.
Ghana has been a leader in environmental conservation. To assist it in preserving its natural resources, the U.S. Department of the Interior will provide a $50,000 grant for the study and preservation of Ghana's elephant population and their environment. It will also provide a matching grant to Cote d'Ivoire to study the herd as it migrates over its border.
The State Department is promoting Ghana's democratic transformation by providing $1 million to support Ghana's elections next year.
In addition, the President has requested over $800 million from Congress this year for developmental assistance to Africa.
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