|Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright
Remarks At Chevron's Takula Oil Drilling Platform
Cabinda, Angola, December 12, 1997
As released by the Office of the Spokesman
U.S. Department of State
[As prepared for delivery]
I'm very glad to have had the chance to come out here to see one place where Africa's economic promise is becoming a reality.
Oil production is fueling 9 percent annual growth here in Angola; oil revenues are critical to the government's ability to move forward on rebuilding infrastructure, demobilizing soldiers and promoting reconciliation after so many years of conflict.
In turn, progress toward peace, stability and respect for the rule of law is necessary to attracting and keeping the investment that will help Angola and other African nations build strong, diversified economies.
The United States has important national interests in helping Africans make progress on all those fronts. For example, Angolan oil already accounts for 7 percent of U.S. imports -- three times as much as our imports from Kuwait in early 1990. We expect that number to grow dramatically in the years ahead.
Our economic interests are only one facet of our engagement in Africa, of course: but economic development is directly connected to the prospects for long-term stability and to the ability of African nations to prevent and cope with humanitarian emergencies.
Through President Clinton's Partnership for Economic Growth and Opportunity, we are committed to helping countries that undertake reforms find capital to develop industries and markets to sell their products.
The Export-Import Bank of the United States is finalizing an innovative loan of nearly $90 million to develop new oil fields here, and it is discussing with SONANGOL and Chevron a further $350 million package to support purchases of American equipment.
And today I am pleased to announce a ground-breaking initiative that will combine the development expertise of the U.S. Agency for International Development and Chevron's funds for corporate responsibility here in Angola, to support reconstruction and economic development.
Of course, reliance on a single natural resource is no substitute for developing domestic entrepreneurial skills and an open economy whose products can compete in the global marketplace. And oil production is not without its drawbacks, some of which have been highlighted by our success in Kyoto at reaching an agreement to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases such as the carbon released when oil burns.
But developed sensibly and used sustainably, resources like Angola's oil are one reason for optimism about Africa's future. As the continent's best new leaders move to end conflicts, build democracy, reform their economies, and promote regional integration, we can expect to see better use of all the human and natural resources their countries possess. And the United States is committed to standing with them.
[End of Document]
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