The White House
Bush Meets with President Kikwete
of the United Republic
11:50 A.M. EDT
BUSH: It is such an honor to welcome a man I’ve come to admire
a lot to the Oval Office, President Kikwete of Tanzania. He comes
representing a great country. He also comes representing the
African Union. And therefore, we’ve had a wide-ranging discussion
about our bilateral relations, as well as the President has kindly
given me a briefing on how he sees the different situations and
opportunities on the continent of Africa.
President George W. Bush shakes hands with Tanzania
President Jakaya Kikwete in the Oval Office at the White
House during their meeting with reporters.
House Photo / Photo by Chris Greenberg
Laura and I will never forget our trip to your country. First
of all, it’s a beautiful country. The people were so gracious
and so friendly. And I came back to America telling our fellow
citizens how proud they would have been to have seen the outpouring
of affection for the American people, as a result of the American
people’s generosity in such matters as education, or HIV/AIDS,
or the President’s Malaria Initiative.
I am confident in saying to the American people that your
money is being spent wisely and compassionately in Tanzania.
And a lot of it has to do with the leadership of the President.
He stood up and said, we’ve got a problem and I’m going to
take the lead. And his government has been responsive to the
needs of the people.
And, Mr. President, I can’t thank you enough on behalf of
the American people for your compassion and your leadership.
I also am looking forward to continuing our discussions on
issues like Zimbabwe or Darfur. These are issues that the President
is most familiar with. It’s the President — issues in which
he has got good judgment about how to proceed on these matters.
And so, Mr. President, it is with great pleasure that I welcome
you here to the Oval Office.
PRESIDENT KIKWETE: Thank you. Well, thank you, President.
First I thank you for the invitation. It’s an honor for me;
it’s an honor for Tanzania; it’s an honor for Africa. Well,
I came here to say thank you on behalf of the people of Africa,
on behalf of the people of Tanzania. You’ve done so much for
Africa, so much for Tanzania. When you compare, no U.S. President
has done so much for Africa and for Tanzania as you have done.
Our goal has been extended; it extends the horizons of the
possibilities of economic growth in Africa. PEPFAR is helping
us tackle HIV/AIDS scourge. Many lives — many, many children
now who were — who would have been orphaned are no longer
orphaned because of that. PMI has helped us so much in the
fight against malaria. Many innocent lives of children — women
and children — are being saved. And Tanzania is one of those
examples of the great successes of PMI.
Malaria in Zanzibar has almost been — is being eliminated
now. In the past there used to be 50 percent cases being reported
in hospital; now it’s only 1 percent that’s been reported in
hospital, thanks to PMI.
There are a number of — of course, our biggest challenge
now in Zanzibar is how to sustain that success, because only
20 miles on the mainland, in Dar es Salaam, malaria is still
there. So if people go to Zanzibar with malaria, then the problem
is — so our biggest challenge is how to sustain it. And we
are working together with the PMI and CDC on how to respond
to this kind of situations.
Of course, with the MCA again, the support you’ve given us
to infrastructure development in the country, it’s again —
it helps us build the capacity, to tackle poverty and economic
development in the country.
So all that I can say really — I came here to say thank you
so much for the support. But of course, you saw it yourself
when you came home, how the people came in huge numbers —
PRESIDENT BUSH: They were.
PRESIDENT KIKWETE: — huge numbers. I was even amazed when
they poured in the streets. There the issue was really to express
their appreciation to the people of the United States for,
again, the support you have been extending to our country.
Of course, we discussed the issues on the continent. We again,
we thank you for your leadership. We’ll continue to work together.
Zimbabwe is a common problem. Darfur is a common problem. We
are the front line; but of course, those of us who are on the
front line always look toward — look to the rear — (laughter)
— to what you do to support us. And there has been such extraordinary
support for us in the continent.
We continue to work together. I thank you, President.
PRESIDENT BUSH: Thank you, sir.
Thank you all.
END 11:56 A.M. EDT