[Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: William J. Clinton (1998, Book II)]
[November 13, 1998]
[Pages 2031-2032]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office www.gpo.gov]

Statement on Signing the Africa: Seeds of Hope Act of 1998
November 13, 1998

    Today I am pleased to sign into law H.R. 4283, the ``Africa: Seeds 
of Hope Act of 1998.'' This Act, which passed the Congress with broad 
bipartisan support, reaffirms the importance of helping Africans 
generate the food and income necessary to feed themselves. It is an 
important component of my Administration's efforts to expand our 
partnership with Africa and complements our efforts to expand trade and 
investment through the African Growth and Opportunity Act, which I hope 
will be passed by the next Congress.
    During my trip to Africa last March, I pledged our continuing 
support to help reform-minded Africans help themselves. In the area of 
hunger and malnutrition, I announced the 1998 commencement of the Africa 
Food Security Initiative, a 10-year effort implemented through the U.S. 
Agency for International Development to help improve agricultural 
productivity, incomes, and nutrition for the rural poor.
    The Africa: Seeds of Hope Act is another step in fulfilling that 
commitment and it demonstrates that both the Administration and the 
Congress are united in pursuit of a brighter future for the people of 
    Enactment of this bill comes at a critical time for Africa. At the 
1996 World Food Summit, the United States pledged to help meet the goal 
of reducing malnutrition by half by the year 2015. Despite some recent 
progress, the percentage of malnourished people in Africa is the highest 
of any region in the world and U.S. help is greatly needed.
    In signing H.R. 4283, I applaud the efforts that many African 
nations are making to improve the lives of their people. They are 
strengthening democracy and good governance, reforming economic policies 
to promote broad-based growth, and attacking diseases such as HIV/AIDS. 
They are doing a better job of educating their children, especially 
girls, and adopting improved farming practices. We need to do much more, 
however, to ensure that Africa and its rural poor are not left behind as 
we enter the next century. As demonstrated by the passage of the Africa:

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Seeds of Hope Act, the United States remains ready to do its share.

                                                      William J. Clinton

The White House,

November 13, 1998.

Note: H.R. 4283, approved November 13, was assigned Public Law No. 105-