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Progress In Africa Attributable In Part To U.S. Investment

“I recently returned from a conference hosted by the Aspen Institute in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, with a number of scholars and members of Congress,” where “[o]ver a period of several days we did an in-depth exploration of the myriad issues encompassing U.S. relations with the 54 nations of Africa,” Dan Glickman, vice president of the Aspen Institute and senior fellow at the Bipartisan Policy Center, writes in the Huffington Post’s “The Aspen Institute” blog. “One thing became clear: Africa is a land of opportunity and promise for its people and for the people of the United States,” he states, adding, “Some of that success is attributable to U.S. investments in health care from HIV/AIDS prevention, malaria and tuberculosis treatments as well as maternal health.”

“Particularly in HIV/AIDS, the establishment of PEPFAR, a bipartisan congressional accomplishment led and administered by President Bush, has saved literally millions of lives and changed the demography and future of numerous African nations,” Glickman continues, adding, “This story of bipartisanship and the federal government often goes overlooked outside of African development professional circles but the tremendously positive impact U.S. taxpayer dollars had on the lives of HIV-positive or at-risk Africans has been a resounding success.” He discusses “a visit to a Peace Corps site in Amboo, a town of some 80,000 about two hours from Addis Ababa,” and he concludes, “Seeing these volunteers’ commitment to service and to improving the lives of their fellow man was a refreshing reminder that, even though our system of government may be limping along and the mood in Washington is weary and bleak, out in the world the United States can still be a force for tremendous good” (8/27).