Statement by Ambassador Gerald Scott, Senior Advisor for Africa, On the New Partnership of Africa’s Development, and the Decade to roll back Malaria in developing countries, A.I. 48 and 62 (a) and (b), in the 30th Plenary Meeting of the United Nations General AssemblyNew York, New York
October 13, 2006
USUN Press Stakeout # 279(2006)
We should like to thank the Secretary General and the members of the Secretariat who have provided us with the report on the progress in implementation and international support of the New Partnership for African Development as well as the progress report on the implementation of the recommendations contained in the report of the Secretary-General on the causes of conflict and the promotion of durable peace and sustainable development in Africa and with the report on the Decade to Roll Back Malaria in Developing Countries, Particularly in Africa.
The United States congratulates the African members of the New Partnership for African Development, NEPAD on five years of accomplishments that are enhancing economic growth and good governance across sub-Saharan Africa. Support for NEPAD is a key pillar of our assistance to our African partners.
During the past five years, the U.S. Government has collaborated with NEPAD on a wide variety of programs in agriculture, power infrastructure, trade development, and other areas.
As the G-8 summit in Gleneagles demonstrated, there is strong support among world leaders to focus more attention on African development needs. The United States has been and will remain a leader in this effort. At a March 2002 UN Conference held in Monterrey, Mexico -- which as you know produced the Monterrey Consensus -- the United States pledged to increase its foreign assistance by over 50 percent by 2006.
We met that pledge three years early. U.S. Official Development Assistance (ODA) for 2003 was $16.3 billion; more than sixty percent higher than it was in 2000. And we have not rested. U.S. ODA for 2005 increased 27% over 2004 levels, a figure that would actually be considerably higher if we included funds for Iraqi reconstruction. Our ODA growth rate averaged 22.4% over this period; nearly double the 11.7% average for other G-7 nations.
We have heard during the course of this debate figures that Africa’s share of world trade and GDP remains disturbingly low – both under 2%. We are trying to do something about this, both through increased ODA and through expanded trade and investment opportunities with the U.S, such as those provided by the African Growth and Opportunity Act, known as AGOA. While U.S. imports from Africa have increased by 40% to $50.3 billion, we would like to see more of that increase come from non-oil products.
Increasingly, our aid is focused on African development. From 2000 to 2005, U.S. ODA to Africa grew by over 250 per cent to $4.1 billion in 2005. A major example is our partnership with Ghana. Ghana has made the important decisions necessary for long-term success. They are a democracy and they are committed to good government, transparency, and to investing in their people’s education and health. Examining her situation, Ghana concluded that a priority should be further efforts to stimulate agriculture, promoting exports and encouraging additional investments in that sector. On the basis of these commitments, the Millennium Challenge Corporation signed a $547 million compact this last August. This will help Ghana to achieve higher rates of economic growth, thus lowering poverty through the most powerful tools of all - prosperity, job creation, and entrepreneurship.
In fact, we see the Millennium Challenge Account program and NEPAD as sharing the same philosophy; support for good governance, better delivery of services, particularly in health care and education, and economic freedom and liberties.
Mr. President, as you know, the United States is the first non-African country to establish a diplomatic mission to the African Union. Our commitment is based in part on our belief that the African Union is building a solid framework for economic policy based on the principles contained in NEPAD. This includes a commitment by African leaders to take responsibility for their own development and to adopt the economic policies required to attract investment and create jobs.
Returning to NEPAD, the United States remains committed to supporting important NEPAD initiatives, particularly the African Peer Review Mechanism. We view the APRM as an important part of African leaders' commitment to providing political, economic, and corporate governance to foster a better climate for transformational development.
Another major NEPAD program that we are committed to supporting is the Comprehensive African Agricultural Development Program (CAADP). We support the CAADP in six countries that are meeting their pledge to increase support and attention to the agricultural sector. In addition, we are collaborating with efforts in hunger hot spots to develop a process and plan to address the policy and technical barriers that make countries prone to famine. Ultimately, we hope to assist those countries in integrating into the CAADP.
In power generation, we are working with ECOWAS and NEPAD on the West Africa Power Pool (WAPP) project. The WAPP will help West African countries achieve power trading and better regional transmission of electricity, lowering business costs and increasing economic growth.
The US welcomes the Report on the Decade to Roll Back Malaria in Developing Countries. Following our President's commitment in June 2005 to reduce the incidence of malaria in the world by fifty percent, we have begun new programs to fight malaria in six highly endemic countries. We will expand to a further four countries in 2007 and five more in 2008. Ultimately, we expect to reach more than 175 million people in fifteen countries.
In sum, Mr. President, the United States supports the members of NEPAD and the people of Africa in achieving peace and stability, freedom from highly endemic disease, and prosperity through trade and economic freedom. Our commitment will not falter and we stand ready to work with our African partners and other assistance donors to meet Africa's challenges and recognize its immense promise.
Thank you Mr. President.
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