Bush Pledges $100M for Anti-Terrorism Efforts in East Africa
26 Jun 2003, 17:27 UTC
President Bush has unveiled a $100 million anti-terrorism package for East Africa.
In a wide-ranging policy speech at a meeting of the Corporate Council on Africa, Mr. Bush said over the next 15 months, Washington will fund anti-terrorism efforts in Kenya, Ethiopia, Djibouti, Uganda, and Tanzania. He said the money will be used to bolster local efforts to tighten port security, gather intelligence, and cut off terrorist funding.
Mr. Bush also urged Liberian President Charles Taylor to step down as called for in a ceasefire signed between the warring parties last week.
He also challenged the former combatants in the Democratic Republic of Congo to speed up their implementation of an interim government. Mr. Bush asked the parties to finish their work, including the formation of an integrated army, by June 30.
Mr. Bush tackled a number of issues affecting Africa in his speech, including the wariness of African nations to accept genetically-modified food aid. He called it "morally wrong" for governments to refuse to allow bio-engineered crops into their countries.
On trade, Mr. Bush asked for an extension of AGOA, the African Growth and Opportunity Act, beyond 2008. The U.S. initiative was signed in 2000 and offers incentives to participating African nations to open their economies and build free markets.
Mr. Bush's speech comes as he prepares for his five-day tour of Africa, beginning July 7. He is scheduled to visit Senegal, South Africa, Botswana, Uganda and Nigeria.
The Corporate Council on Africa is a U.S.-based organization that seeks to boost trade and investment ties between the United States and Africa.
Some information for this report provided by AP and Reuters.
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