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Clinton Praises Zambia's Fights Against HIV/AIDS
Thanks to a partnership between the United States and Zambia against HIV/AIDS, the transmission of HIV from mother to child has been "practically eliminated" in the country, says Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. <br /> <br />Speaking with
Thanks to a partnership between the United States and Zambia against HIV/AIDS, the transmission of HIV from mother to child has been "practically eliminated" in the country, says Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Speaking with Zambian President Rupiah Banda in Lusaka, June 10, 2011, Clinton praised the close collaboration between the United States and Zambia on health issues and said the country "has shown it is on the right path to tackle its challenges."

"We are getting close to the virtual elimination of mother-to-child transmission of HIV in Zambia," and people living with the disease there are leading "increasingly productive lives," Clinton said.

The secretary attended the dedication of the University Teaching Hospital Paediatric Centre of Excellence in Lusaka June 11, and said Zambia's participation in the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) "has meant that 344,000 Zambians are receiving anti-retroviral treatment that gives them the chance to lead healthy lives, care for their families and contribute to their country's development."

Clinton announced that the United States is providing an additional $15 million in PEPFAR funding for Zambia that will provide the country with more medicine to treat HIV patients and improve the ability of clinics and other facilities such as the Paediatric Centre to assist pregnant women.

Zambia's Ministry of Health "plans to make the Paediatric Centre of Excellence the centerpiece of its efforts to tackle two deeply interrelated challenges, gender-based violence against women and girls and the transmission of HIV from mothers to their children," Clinton said.

The United Nations has set a goal of eliminating pediatric AIDS by 2015, and Clinton said that through renewed efforts and the participation of governments, civil society, faith-based partners, medical personnel and patients "we can achieve this goal."
In her remarks with President Banda, Clinton praised Zambia for being a model of a multiparty democracy and for its positive role in Africa.

"Thank you for hosting thousands, hundreds of thousands of refugees, including many Angolans who seek refuge and peace inside your country. Thank you for supporting calls to stop state-sponsored violence, including in Zimbabwe. Thank you for supporting a peaceful transition in Madagascar," she said.

Zambia is scheduled to hold national elections later in 2011, and Clinton said the African nation can "set a model for the rest of the world."

In Zambia, "[p]olitical leaders are answerable and accountable to their people, not the other way around. Candidates may express passionate differences in campaigns, but then must accept the people's vote and join together for the sake of the country," she said.

The Obama administration wants to stimulate more business in Zambia and other African countries, and the June 8-10 ministerial conference of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) in Lusaka looked at ways the United States can help African entrepreneurs, Clinton said.

The secretary joined Zambian business leaders and government officials for the launch of the U.S.-Zambia Chamber of Commerce in Lusaka June 11, and urged the public and private sectors to work together to unleash the potential of Africa's people.

"As we look to the future, there is such an amazing set of opportunities, but business can't do it without a supportive government policy framework, and governments can't do it without entrepreneurs and business people who are really going to take advantage of all of these opportunities," she said.

Through lowered trade barriers among African countries, investments in infrastructure, health and education and reduced corruption, Africa has many opportunities for growth and improved standards of living, Clinton said.

Through AGOA, American trade with Africa has quadrupled over the past 10 years, and "we want to quadruple again and then quadruple again and keep on going," she said.

U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk announced June 9 that the United States is investing $120 million over the next four years to improve regional "trade hubs" set up by the U.S. Agency for International Development. The hubs train and assist African entrepreneurs to increase their capacity to export their products around the world.

In his prepared remarks to the AGOA ministerial forum, Kirk said the new African Competitiveness and Trade Expansion Initiative (ACTE) will provide resources to the trade hubs in Ghana, Senegal, Botswana and Kenya to improve Africa's economic competitiveness and address constraints impeding African trade.

"These investments will help to drive economic development in African countries and enhance trade opportunities among Africans and Americans alike," Kirk said.

(This is a product of the Bureau of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State. Web site: http://iipdigital.usembassy.gov/iipdigital-en/index.html)
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