Former President Clinton Meets With Nigerian, Liberian, Rwandan Officials To Discuss HIV/AIDS Programs
Former President Clinton on Monday met with leaders in Nigeria, Liberia and Rwanda to discuss funding for programs to fight HIV/AIDS in the countries, the Financial Times reports (Jack, Financial Times, 7/18). In Nigeria, the Clinton Foundation signed an agreement with government officials to provide the country with low-cost antiretroviral drugs, Reuters reports (Reuters, 7/17). As part of the agreement, Nigeria will be included in the foundation's procurement consortium and receive reduced price HIV/AIDS drugs and diagnostic tests (Xinhua/People's Daily, 7/18). In addition, the foundation will assist Nigeria in mobilizing funds from donor governments, international organizations, private groups and individuals to support efforts to control the spread of HIV/AIDS. The agreement also will enable increased access to pediatric HIV/AIDS treatment in Nigeria and provide the country with technical assistance (AFP/Yahoo! News, 7/17). The Nigerian government is expected to update the Clinton Foundation regularly in its priority areas. In addition, the government where possible will provide the foundation exemption from taxes and duties on equipment, materials, services and drugs (Xinhua/People's Daily, 7/18). Clinton was in Nigeria for a four-day investment summit (AFP/Yahoo! News, 7/17). During the visit, he urged African leaders to bolster their governments so they can address hunger and infectious diseases. "We can't stop the spread of AIDS without building the capacity of government," Clinton said (AP/Houston Chronicle, 7/17). Clinton, speaking at the opening of a luncheon of the Leon H. Sullivan Summit VII in Nigeria on Monday, said, "One thing I have learn[ed] in all the places that I have been all over the world is that intelligence, ability and effort are evenly distributed. But investment, opportunity, effective system[s] are not" (This Day/All Africa.com, 7/18).
Liberia, Rwanda Visits
Clinton also visited Liberia, where he and President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf signed a memorandum of understanding that the foundation will help the government combat HIV/AIDS (AFP/Khaleej Times, 7/18). Clinton said, "[W]e urge [Liberia] to come out with [a] plan ... that will involve public education and awareness to address the issue of AIDS," adding, "We will ensure that medicine is administered properly. We will provide all that, all the training, all the infrastructures and all that staff support we will get that done" (Analyst/All Africa.com, 7/18). In addition, Clinton visited Rwanda, where he said he hopes to establish a network of low-cost health clinics likely to cost about $80 million annually, the Times reports. According to Clinton, the goal is to reproduce the success of a pilot clinic managed by Partners in Health in the Rwandan district of Rwinkwavu. Clinton said that he wants within two years to achieve on a national level the success of the pilot clinic (Financial Times, 7/18).