Former US president Clinton here tomorrow
Posted Thursday, July 19 2012 at 01:00
Former US president Bill Clinton is expected in the country tomorrow to assess the performance of projects
run by his foundation, his group and the US embassy confirmed on Tuesday.
This newspaper understands that Mr Clinton, who last visited Uganda in March 1998 while still a sitting US
President, will be flying in from Rwanda, which is the other African country on his itinerary beside South
Africa and Mozambique. “[The] former US President Bill Clinton is in Africa to visit Clinton Foundation and
Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) programmes,” said Ms Elise Crane, the US Mission’s acting Public Affairs
The Foundation’s programmes on the continent, according to information on its website, promote sustainable
development for families and communities, strengthening health systems and expanding access to treatments,
addressing climate change, and turning ideas into action by implementing commitments. It emerged yesterday
that while in Uganda, Mr Clinton, husband to US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham, will visit a CGI Building
Tomorrow Academy to confer with students and teachers.
Officials say the former president will tomorrow afternoon travel to a Clinton Health Access Initiative,
better known by the acronym CHAI, at the National Medical Stores and Prescription Distribution Centre in
Entebbe. “There he will tour the facility, participate in a roundtable event, and deliver remarks,” reads a
July 14 message announcing the visit.
An advisory on the foundation’s website shows all of Clinton’s events in Uganda will be open to the media.
The Voice of America reported that Mr Clinton, while in South Africa, where cheaper anti-retroviral drugs
negotiated by his foundation have helped reduce HIV/Aids deaths, said: “South Africa has probably saved more
lives by drastically increasing treatment for AIDS in the last year-and–a-half than any country ever has in
a similar amount of time.”
The Thabo Mbeki-led government was reluctant to accept any link between HIV and Aids, and the lack of
adherence to preventive methods made infection rates soar in South Africa until a policy U-turn by the
success of Jacob Zuma government resulted in progress.
“So everybody knows that for years they had a government that did not believe in doing what needed to be
done; now they are in overdrive, VoA quoted Mr Clinton as having said. “These are the kinds of things that
we need to do. It gives people hope. It gives people a sense of progress.”
In Rwanda, the ex-president was expected to attend the opening of the Butaro Cancer Center of Excellence,
created through a CGI commitment by the Jeff Gordon Children’s Foundation and Partners in Health.
Clinton Foundation says its multi-million dollar projects have helped reduce prices by up to 90 per cent for
key HIV drugs, enabling four million people in Africa gain access to lifesaving antiretroviral drugs.