Press Releases

Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill to Visit Four African Nations

(Archived Content)

On Monday, May 20, 2002, Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill will travel to four sub-Saharan nations in Africa. The trip will give Secretary O'Neill an opportunity to highlight efforts to enhance the effectiveness of development assistance, the importance of increasing productivity through investment in human capital, and the role of the private sector as an engine for economic growth. The trip includes visits to Ghana, South Africa, Uganda and Ethiopia.

Recently, President Bush announced his Millenium Challenge Account initiative that will provide increased assistance to countries that exhibit stronger governance, implement policies designed to promote greater productivity and a more attractive investment environment, and strengthen their investments in their people. This trip is well timed as we move forward in developing this important initiative.

Above all, this trip will give the Secretary and Treasury staff an opportunity to see first hand conditions in Africa and to listen to those on the front lines of trying to improve the standard of living for many of the world's poorest people.

Secretary O'Neill is very pleased that Bono from U2 will also be in Africa for much of this itinerary. For more information on Bono's plans, please contact Regine Moylett on or phone +44 (0) 20 8969 2600.

Secretary O'Neill will begin his trip with a visit to Ghana, a country that just last year completed the first fully democratic transfer of presidential power to an opposition party in its history. Ghana also plays host to many successful U.S. direct investments, and is a recent recipient of the first stage of debt relief under the HIPC program.

Moving on to South Africa on May 24, Secretary O'Neill will meet with business leaders and financial sector representatives from Africa's largest economy. He hopes to learn how businesses and individuals are dealing with the HIV/AIDS crisis and addressing other development challenges.

Uganda has experienced rapid economic growth and significant poverty reduction in recent years and was the first country to receive debt reduction under the HIPC program. While in Uganda on May 27 and 28, Secretary O'Neill will focus on the environment necessary to make development assistance effective and will learn more about the government's successful efforts to limit the spread of HIV/AIDS and to promote universal primary education as keys to development.

Secretary O'Neill's trip will conclude in Ethiopia where he will attend the annual meeting of the African Development Bank, the continent's premier development institution. He will meet with representatives of both the private and public sector on strategies to promote effective development. He also hopes to learn from Ethiopians how they are meeting the challenges of strengthening health and education and improving the environment for private sector development.

Secretary O'Neill will return to Washington on Friday, May 31, 2002.

Members of the media interested in traveling with Secretary O'Neill on this trip should contact Tony Fratto at 202-622-2960 or via email at