Cablegate: The Abuja Sullivan Summit Was a Success

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.




E.O. 12958: N/A

1. Summary: The Sixth Leon H. Sullivan Summit,
convened July 12-17 in Abuja was momentous and
successful. The overarching Summit theme was "Africa:
A Continent of Possibilities" and the week lived up to
its name. President Bush, the first Republican
President to visit Africa, made a historic address to
open the Summit. Hosted by Nigerian President
Obasanjo the Summit was attended by approximately 15
African Heads of State, important private sector
figures and representatives from NGOs and academia who
came to the event to strengthen the relationships
between Africans and Americans in the key areas of
business, trade and investment, education, health and
agriculture. The late Rev. Sullivan's legacy of self-
help and bridge-building across the Atlantic was
affirmed by the Summiteers, including President George
Bush in his opening remarks. In addition to Secretary
Powell, National Security Advisor Rice and White House
Chief of Staff Card who were part of the President's
delegation, the Summit was well attended by senior USG
officials, representing the U.S. Agency for
International Development (USAID), the U.S. Trade
Representative (USTR), the Department of
Transportation (DOT), and the Department of Energy
(DOE). Ambassador Jeter hosted a welcome reception
for the Summit delegation. End Summary).


2. The Sixth Sullivan Summit gathered together an
expressive roster of government and private sector
personalities and talent from both sides of the
Atlantic. Thirty-one African countries were
represented by Heads of State or other senior
government officials including President Obasanjo,
Senegal President Wade, Mozambique Chissano (current
African Union Chairman), President Kerekou of Benin,
Namibian Prime Minister Gurirab, Burkinabe President
Compaore, President Kufuor of Ghana, Gambian President
Jammeh, President de Menezes of Sao Tome and Principe,
President Mkapa of Tanzania, President Nguema of
Equatorial Guinea, Togo's Eyadema, and even embattled
President Mugabe of Zimbabwe attended the event
(probably in an attempt to lessen his growing
political isolation).

3. In addition to paying tribute to Rev. Sullivan,
the African leaders energetically discussed the
panoply of development challenges facing their
countries and their continent. American and Nigerian
corporate leaders were represented in significant
numbers, described their interventions in support of
development in Africa, and made commitments to
continue their efforts, including to help prevent the
spread of HIV/AIDS and other preventable diseases,
increase the use of information technology, and
improve food security. A bit of Hollywood luster was
added by the attendance of actors Chris Tucker (Rush
Hour) and Joseph Phillips (The Cosby Show).

4. The more than 600 delegates participated in
plenary sessions and workshops that produced
actionable recommendations building on agreements from
earlier Summits and other global fora.
Recommendations in the thematic areas of agriculture,
health, education, and energy, trade and investment
are intended to expand public-private partnerships to
produce healthier and more educated populations in
Africa, increase cooperation between Africa and the
United States, and enhance Africa's position in the
global economy. The Summit recommendations will be
issued as a Summit Action Resolution and cited on the
Summit website at

--------------------------------------------- -
--------------------------------------------- -

5. In a historic first for the Summit, the sitting
President of the United States opened the affair.
President Bush eulogized Rev. Sullivan and reaffirmed
key components of our Africa policy - the Millennium
Challenge Account (MCA), the PMTCT, the Emergency AIDS
Initiative, and anti-terrorism. He also announced a
grant of $5 million dollars to one of Rev. Sullivan's
organizations, the International Foundation for
Education and Self Help (IFESH) to support teacher
training. President Bush was accompanied by Mrs.
Bush, Secretary of State Colin Powell, National
Security Advisor Condoleeza Rice, and White House
Chief of Staff Andrew Card. Other senior officials of
the Bush Administration were also in attendance,
including Assistant Secretary of State for African
Affairs, Walter Kansteiner, Senior Advisor on Africa
to the President Jendayi Frazer, Assistant
Administrator, Bureau for Africa at USAID Constance
Berry Newman and Assistant Administrator, Bureau for
Global Health at USAID Anne Peterson.

6. Before President Bush's address, President
Obasanjo delivered brief remarks welcoming the
delegates to Abuja and acknowledging the great
contributions Reverend Sullivan had made strengthening
the relationship between Africa and America. Hope
Sullivan, President and CEO of the Sullivan
Foundation, acknowledged the many American and
Nigerian corporate sponsors of the Summit, including
Chevron Texaco, Exxon Mobil, Shell, Archer Daniels
Midland, Chrome Energy Corp., Coca Cola, Sea,
Petroleum and Gas, World Airways, SunTrust Oil, and

7. On July 14, Ambassador Andrew Young, Summit
Chairman and Chairman of the Sullivan Foundation and
Nigerian Vice President Atiku Abubakar addressed the
opening plenary session. Young stated that Africa is
the missing cog in the world economy. He stressed
that realization of Rev. Sullivan's dream of building
a bridge between Africa and America would promote
mutual development that will make use of the
heretofore untapped resources and wealth on the
African continent. After welcoming the delegates to
the "emerging city of Abuja," Vice President Abubakar
stated that democracy will endure in Nigeria and that
the Obasanjo administration will pursue new
investments, infrastructure enhancement, capital
growth, and enabling environment. He further stated
that Nigeria is removing barriers to investment,
banking practices are being liberalized, severe anti-
corruption laws are being implemented and a level
economic playing field is being created.

8. The Summit theme, "Africa: A Continent of
Possibilities" was explored through the lens of four
themes: 1) Agriculture, 2) Health, 3) Education, and
4) Energy, Trade and Investment. Summit organizers
emphasized that each theme is integral to sustainable
development and economic growth and urged delegates to
make forward-looking and pragmatic recommendations
that will have practical application.


9. Discussion of agriculture, held on July 14,
consisted of a plenary and three break-out sessions.
Plenary speakers were Dr. Walter Hill, Tuskegee
University, Nigerian Agriculture Minister Bello, Ms.
Eva Clayton, FAO and South African Agricultural
Minister Didiza. Break-out sessions focussed on
Biotechnology and its Impact on Food Security and
Sustainability in Sub-Saharan Africa; Reducing Hunger
in Africa; and Models of Successful Agribusiness
Development and Trade in Africa.

10. Speakers in the plenary and break-out sessions
made significant points, including: a) poverty,
environmental degradation and malnutrition rob African
nations of vitality and the opportunity to develop
their people and resources; b) science and technology,
(currently constrained by low funding in most African
nations), improved application of best practices can
make a significant difference in tackling Africa's
chronic malnutrition and poverty; c) food security is
a paramount issue for the security of states; d)
agriculture is central to poverty reduction, but faces
the challenges of low increases in yield, low input,
and little value-added processing; e) women play a
critical role in agriculture in Africa; f) and NEPAD
is a concrete demonstration of African collective
political will to promote agriculture and economic
development in general.

11. Agriculture recommendations included: a) science
and technology in agriculture (e.g., through research)
needs to be addressed by encouraging both private-and
public-sector investment; b) women's role in
agricultural production must be enhanced and
safeguarded; c) biotechnology must factor n an overall
strategy to promote agriculture growth and assure food
security; d) a strategy to expand the role of the
private sector and the potential of expanded use of
science and technology needs to be developed; and e)
Africa must create an environment that encourages
private-sector investment in small-scale farming.
More information on the Agriculture presentations and
recommendations will be available on the Summit
website at


12. The Health Plenary, held on July 14, featured Dr.
Anne Peterson, Assistant Administrator, Bureau for
Global Health, USAID, South African Health Minister
Tshabalala-Msimang, Professor Babatounde Osotimehin,

Chairman, National Action Committee on AIDS, Nigeria,
Dr. Eamon Kelly, IFESH Board of Directors, and Jay
Pryor, Chevron Nigeria. Break-out sessions were held
on these topics: Mobilizing the Needed Leadership in
the Fight Against HIV/AIDS; Rolling Back Malaria;
Nutrition and Food Security; and MEDHELP Foundation's
Open Heart Surgery.

13. Plenary and break-out session speakers addressed
the nexus between health and development,
acknowledging the threat to sustainable development
caused by the prevalence of debilitating illnesses and
the general deterioration of national health
infrastructures, despite undoubted advances in some
areas. They pointed to the many key determinants of
health and disease that lie outside the direct control
of the health sector: water and sanitation, education,
agriculture, employment, environment, trade, tourism,
energy, housing, security, as well as technology.
Speakers urged the use of affordable technologies to
assist HIV/AIDS prevention, care and support.
Peterson, in particular, aligned the need for adequate
investments in health with national policies on
poverty reduction. Speakers called for stable and
high-quality assistance and public-private
partnerships to combat poverty, HIV/AIDS, food
insecurity, gender inequalities, other priority
development issues, and to move Africa toward the
millennium development goals (MDGs).

14. Health recommendations were made in each break-
out session and they include: a) African governments
should create enabling environments for stakeholders
to meet key national, regional and international
health goals (e.g. MDGs and the Abuja Declaration on
Fighting HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria); b)
African and US governments, businesses and
international PVOs/NGOs; c) African and US governments
and development partners should ensure that model
multi-sector approaches to address health challenges
are implemented and assessed including what does not
work, in addressing African health problems; the
information should be widely shared using information
technology; e) All African development partners should
provide more support for research and scientifically
tested utilization of African traditional medicine,
keeping in mind the need for local patent protection
of any medicines produced; and g) The Sullivan Summit
should use its web site to highlight innovative
partnerships that effectively address HIV/AIDS and
other African health challenges. More information on
the health presentations and recommendations will be
available on the Summit website at


15. Education sessions were held July 15. Dr.
Frederick Humphries, President and CEO, National
Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education
(NAFEO) chaired the plenary panel of distinguished
speakers: Mr. Julius Harvey, Vice President, Chevron
Texaco's West Africa Products; Mr. Noureini Tidjani-
Serpos, Assistant Director-General, Africa Department,
UNESCO, Paris; Honorable Constance Berry Newman,
Assistant Administrator, Bureau for Africa, USAID; and
Mr. Michael Omolewa, Permanent Representative of
Nigeria, UNESCO, Paris. At the end of the plenary
session, Chevron Texaco committed $5 million to the
Sullivan Foundation for the Books for Africa Program.

16. Break-out session topics were: Institutionalized
Development Collaboration Between Historically Black
Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and African Colleges
and Universities; Prioritizing Universal Primary
Education and Gender Equality; Utilizing Information
Technology and the Training of Trainers in
Strengthening Basic Education; and the Role of the
Private Sector and NGOs in Capacity Building.

17. Plenary and Break-out speakers identified
challenges and trends that warrant further
consideration for educational development in Africa
and examined potential strategic US/Africa
partnerships, with an emphasis on women and children.
Many substantive points were made, including the
following summary items: a) despite improvements
within the past decade, inadequate access and quality,
particularly for girls continue to hinder education in
Africa; b) Africa has the lowest school enrollment
rates in the world, with a corollary of low literacy
rates; c) equal access to education is key in
eradicating gender inequality; d) education is a
precursor to an increasingly skilled workforce, a
strong civil society, and economic growth; e) many
African countries will not achieve Education for All
goals by the 2015 target; f) holistic education in
indigenous learning contexts is important along with
the need to educate communities of people; and, g)
various commitments by donors and the private sector
can assist Africa to achieve qualitative education for
all: the U.S. Presidential initiative, the African
Education Initiative (AEI), UNESCO's efforts to
eradicate gender inequality, and Shell's scholarships
to students.

18. Education recommendations included: 1) African
countries need to commit more resources to education;
2) the NEPAD Secretariat should develop an education
action plan, addressing advocacy, measuring success,
teacher training, support counseling, and production
of resource materials; 3) HBCUs should establish
linkages with African and Caribbean universities,
particularly through a network of international
virtual universities that will employ technology
transfer, teacher training, etc.; 4) address gender
inequalities through aggressive campaigns; and, 5)
Summit and international organizations should post
and adopt best practices in capacity building at the
community level. More information about the Education
presentations and recommendations will be posted on
the Summit website at


19. The Energy, Trade and Investment sessions were
held July 16. George Kirkland, President
ChevronTexaco Overseas Petroleum (USA) served as the
chair and gave the keynote address. Other speakers
included: Vice President Abubakar; Dr. Rilmanu Lukman,
Special Adviser to Nigerian President Obasanjo on
Petroleum; Congressman William Jefferson; Mr. Kofi
Appenteng, Chairman Board of Directors, African-
American Institute (USA); Wiseman Nkuhlu, Steering
Committee Chairperson, NEPAD (South Africa). Break-
out sessions were held on the following topics: Trade
and AGOA; Energy-Potential and Possibilities; and The
Potential of Investment Opportunities.

20. Vice President Abubakar pointed to tremendous
investment opportunities not only in Nigeria's energy
sector but in agriculture, solid minerals, cement,
fertilizer and tourism. He announced that the GON
will privatize industries in the energy sector and has
started this process by unbundling for the mammoth
state-owned electric company, NEPA. Atiku applauded
the United States' AGOA partnership with Africa and
welcomed the extension of the Act by the Bush
Administration; he said Nigeria's textile industry was
well positioned to take advantage of AGOA. He
recommended that United States companies should invest
more in Nigeria's energy sector, especially in the
natural gas sector and that United States
entrepreneurs should invest in and develop non-oil
sectors such as agriculture, petrochemicals, solid
minerals and tourism.

21. The main points and recommendations that emerged
from the Energy, Trade and Investment sessions
included the following:
-- a) Speakers acknowledged that Nigeria will be at
the forefront of deepwater oil and gas extraction over
the next ten years, that Nigeria's local and regional
gas markets have yet to be tapped, and oil development
will remain strong for the foreseeable future;
-- b) Nigerians must take advantage of the transfer of
explorative and extractive technologies;
-- c) Nigeria must develop its local gas market
through investor incentives;
-- d) The Gulf of Guinea will likely supply the United
States with 25% of its crude oil by 2010, therefore,
the region must make the country's bidding process and
regulations more transparent and predictable;
-- e) Nigeria should encourage investment in coal,
uranium and gas sectors.
-- f) Nigeria should stoke investment in non-oil
industries, such as agriculture and mineral resources,
by offering investors tax and import incentive in
order to create more wealth and stability in the
-- g) The GON must pass the required legislation to
become AGOA eligible;
-- h) The GON should provide concession incentives to
gas, petrochemical and fertilizer companies to
encourage development;
-- i) Nigerian businessmen should use OPIC, the
Export-Import Bank and the U.S. Trade and Development
Authority to a greater extent for greater access to
much needed investment insurance, capital and training
-- j) the United States should name Nigeria an area of
vital strategic importance;
-- k) African American and Nigerian businessmen should
forge closer business links through the Black Caucus
Foundation, the Sullivan Foundation or other
organizations that promote African interests; and
-- l) Western donors should contribute to NEPAD and
partner with Africa countries as part of an
overarching program to bring prosperity and peace to
More information about the Energy, Trade and
Investment presentations and recommendations will be
available on the Summit website at


22. The Presidential Plenary was held on July 16.
Led by President Obasanjo of Nigeria, the African
Presidents expressed hope that the Summit would lead
to greater corporate investment in Africa. President
Kerekou of Benin emphasized the cultural ties between
Africa and the U.S., the need for more cooperation
between HBCUs and African Universities, and praised
AGOA as a way of increasing trade and NEPAD as a
framework for effective action. President Wade also
held up the vision of NEPAD as one of good governance
and involvement of the private sector. He stated
that, a plan created by African decision-makers has a
better chance of being implemented than one prepared
by a technical expert. Citing that the private sector
developed the U.S. Europe and Japan, he said it can
also develop Africa. Having hosted the Summit of 1997
in Zimbabwe, President Mugabe paid tribute to Rev.
Sullivan and stressed the need for NEPAD. However,
his message, although in support of a good cause, also
came with a touch of malice. He asked the Summiteers
to support NEPAD in order to "help Africans become
ourselves. Help us not to be puppets."

23. The coup in Sao Tome added unexpected drama to
the Presidential Plenary. Timing the coup with
President de Menezes' absence may have been convenient
for the putschists to achieve their takeover; however,
it was terrible timing as far as the diplomatic public
backlash to their action. Not only did the Summit
produce a convenient venue for the Heads of State to
privately confer about the coup, each Head of State
that ascended the rostrum condemned this arrogation,
sending a clear message that coups were no longer
acceptable practice in Africa. When President de
Menezes rose to speak, the audience erupted in
applause and gave him a standing ovation. He stated
that, although already in Abuja, he decided not to
attend the Summit after the coup was staged. However,
President Obasanjo persuaded him to attend the Summit
to demonstrate that he was not cowed and to make a
strong public appeal against this undemocratic action.

23. Other African leaders spoke at the ceremonial
Final Funeral Rites of Rev. Leon Sullivan held on July
17. The ceremony was steeped in tradition as numerous
traditional funeral dances were performed. It was a
very touching and moving occasion.


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