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  Donna Thiessen 

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USTDA DIRECTOR ASKEY CONCLUDES VISIT SUPPORTING

 EXPANDED U.S. RELATIONS WITH SOUTH AFRICA AND BOTSWANA

Grants Totaling $1 Million Awarded to Advance Priority Development Projects

 

Map of Southern Africa featuring South Africa and BotswanaJohannesburg, sOUTH aFRICA (August 15, 2006) – Furthering the expansion of the strong and growing relationship between the United States and Southern Africa was the focus of an official visit to South Africa and Botswana by U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) Director Thelma J. Askey.  During the August 8-11 visit, Director Askey highlighted the role of the agency’s program in advancing regional economic objectives.  The visit also included the award of two grants totaling $1 million, which reflect the U.S. government’s commitment to support priority development projects in both countries utilizing private sector expertise and technology.   

 

“USTDA recognizes the importance of infrastructure and resource management to sustainable development and economic growth,” said Director Askey on the conclusion of last week’s visit.  “In Southern Africa, USTDA is helping to establish the necessary infrastructure and institutions to support development and an expanded relationship with the United States.”

 

Director Askey’s trip included stops in Gaberone, Botswana and Pretoria and Johannesburg, South Africa.  During her visit, she met with Botswanan President Festus G. Mogae, other government representatives in both countries, and representatives of several U.S. firms operating in the region.  In addition, two grant agreements were signed with strong public sector partners in South Africa and Botswana.  Together, the grants reflect the importance of infrastructure and institutional capacity for private sector growth in furthering the region’s development.  The grants provide support for electricity distribution systems integration in South Africa and water well resource management in Botswana.  A separate fact sheet describes the grants in greater detail.

USTDA Director Askey (second from left) met with President Festus G. Mogae of Botswana (third from left).  Also present were USTDA Regional Director for Sub-Saharan Africa Ned Cabot (far left), U.S. Ambassador to Botswana Katherine Canavan (second from right) and USTDA Africa Business Development Manager Doug Shuster (far right).

 

South Africa and Botswana are important partners for the United States in Southern Africa.  In 2005, combined U.S. exports to both countries totaled $3.9 billion.  Since 1981, USTDA has invested almost $15.7 million in South Africa and Botswana to improve the infrastructure that will enable trade to serve as a catalyst for the region’s development.  USTDA has provided funding to both public and private sector entities for projects involving port security, e-government, commercial development, electric power, energy resources, and aviation and rail transportation.

                                                                                                                           

 

                                                                                                                          USTDA Director Askey (second from left) met with President

                                                                                                                                        Festus G. Mogae (third from left) of Botswana.

 

The U.S. Trade and Development Agency advances economic development and U.S. commercial interests in developing and middle-income countries.  The agency funds various forms of technical assistance, early investment analysis, training, orientation visits and business workshops that support the development of a modern infrastructure and a fair and open trading environment.  USTDA’s strategic use of foreign assistance funds to support sound investment policy and decision-making in host countries creates an enabling environment for trade, investment and sustainable economic development.  In carrying out its mission, USTDA gives emphasis to economic sectors that may benefit from U.S. exports of goods and services.

Additional Information:  Fact Sheet on New USTDA Program Activities in South Africa and Botswana

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