Former President George W. Bush of the United States on the last lap of his five-nation tour of Africa visited Nigeria in 2003.
During his speech Bush called Nigeria a “nation of great diversity and great promise.”
The former president during his visit to Nigeria, along with the former first lady Laura Bush, visited a state-of-the-art hospital where they toured HIV units, including a U.S. funded program that works to help prevent women from passing HIV to their babies during childbirth.
Nigeria's former president, Olusegun Obasanjo in his remarks at Presidential Villa,Abuja, acknowledged with the role that the United States played in supporting the vision of the New Partnership for African Development (NEPAD).
Before Nigeria, Bush visited Senegal, South Africa, Botswana and Uganda.
Read the full text of Obasanjo's speech below:
It is, indeed, a matter of general honor and pleasure for me to welcome you, Mr. President, to our country, Nigeria. On behalf of all the people of Nigeria, I sincerely extend to you our warmest greetings on this historic visit to our continent of Africa, in general, and to Nigeria, in particular.
President has generally acknowledged that much has changed in the world since the end of the Cold War. There's no doubt there is an emerging new world order, with new realities of nations and people throughout the world -- their international outlooks, seek new friends and confirm old realities in the bid to find fresh places for global peace, harmony and security.
In this imagined new world order, Mr. President, the rest of the world acknowledges that the United States of America will remain a key player, politically, economically, and militarily. Thus we appreciate your visit to our continent as indication that Africa is to be reckoned with in the emerging world order.
We salute your visit to so many African countries -- four of them -- and now Nigeria, in particular, as an expression that Africa should not be sidelined, or even detached from the -- of the emerging world order.
We, in Africa, realize the extent to which we are ultimately responsible for our own development, and that we are the architects of our fortune or misfortune. Nevertheless, this is also generally true that hardly any country has transformed its fortunes without external support from friends and well-wishers.
That is why we acknowledge with deepest appreciation the role that the United States has played and continues to play, particularly within the G8, in supporting the vision of the New Partnership for African Development, NEPAD. As you are well aware, Mr. President, NEPAD is our vision, as well as our blueprint for making our continent great.
Through the NEPAD, African leaders have made a commitment to the African peoples and to the world to work together in developing the continent by consolidating democracy, good governance, and implementing such general social, economic development programs.
Implicit in the NEPAD program are all the universal values, such as democracy, human rights, rule of law, eradication of corruption, conflict resolution, and fight against terrorism. We are hopeful that NEPAD will strengthen Africa's position in the emerging world order.
Here, in Nigeria, we are making bold strides to consolidate democracy and reform our government structures, as well as the national economy. We also have continuing and new regional responsibilities, especially in the area of maintaining security.
These areas require global understanding, cooperation and substantial financial support. You will agree with me that sustainable national reforms are central to regional and global transformation and for development."
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The president landed at the Joint Base Andrews Airport on Sunday, April 29.
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