Good morning. I've spent this week visiting Africa, a continent of great challenge
and promise. Throughout this journey and in meetings with leaders of more
than 10 countries, I have reaffirmed America's strong commitment to a more
peaceful and prosperous future for all the peoples of Africa.
America supports democratic and economic reforms in Africa because we know
the power of freedom to lift whole nations and bring new opportunities to
millions. And in a time of growing commerce across the globe, we are working
to ensure that the nations of Africa are full partners in the trade and prosperity
of the world.
Progress in Africa depends on peace and stability, so America is standing
with friends and allies to help end regional wars. And against the murderous
ambitions of terrorists, the United States and African countries are working
in common purpose. We will not permit terrorists to threaten African peoples,
or to use Africa as a base to threaten the world.
The United States is also committed to helping African peoples overcome
one of the gravest dangers they have ever faced, the spread of HIV/AIDS.
And the need is urgent. Across the continent today, nearly 30 million people
are living with HIV/AIDS, including 3 million children under the age of 15.
In Botswana alone, where I visited on Thursday, nearly 40 percent of the
adult population has HIV.
People in Africa are waging a courageous fight against this disease. In
another nation on my trip, Uganda, urban and rural clinics are providing
vital medical care, counseling, sound and honest information on AIDS prevention.
Thanks to caring people and wise government policies, Uganda has dramatically
reduced its infection rate. More Ugandan children are growing up with mothers
and fathers, and Uganda is reclaiming its future.
The tremendous progress in Uganda is showing that AIDS can be defeated across
Africa. Yet current efforts to oppose the disease are simply not equal to
the need. More than 4 million people require immediate drug treatment, but
just 1 percent of them are receiving the medicine they require. Africa has
the will to fight AIDS, but it needs the resources, as well.
Over the next five years, the United States Congress has authorized $15
billion to fight AIDS around the world, with a special focus on 14 nations
in Africa and the Caribbean. Working with governments and private groups
and faith-based organizations, we will build on the progress in Uganda by
establishing a comprehensive system to prevent, diagnose and treat AIDS.
We will support abstinence-based education for young people and provide
comprehensive services to prevent millions of new infections. We will provide
HIV testing and purchase anti-retroviral medications and other drugs that
are needed to extend lives. We will help establish broad and efficient networks
to deliver drugs. We will help build, renovate and equip clinics and laboratories.
We'll prepare doctors, nurses, and other health care professionals to treat
AIDS more effectively. And the resources America provides will also help
to hire and train child care workers to look after orphans and provide care
at home to many AIDS patients.
This week, a committee of the House of Representatives took an important
step to fund the first year of this effort. I ask the Senate to move quickly,
as well. And I urge the entire Congress to fully fund my request for the
emergency plan for AIDS relief, so that America can help turn the tide against
AIDS in Africa.
All of our actions in Africa -- from fighting AIDS to promoting security
and prosperity across the continent -- represent the ideals that have always
guided America in the world. The United States is committed to the success
of Africa, because the peoples of Africa deserve to live in freedom and dignity,
and to share in the progress of our times.