17 July 2006

Nigeria: Sullivan Summit- Clinton, World Leaders Storm Abuja

Deputy — From United States (US) President Bill Clinton and 20 Heads of States, are among over 6,000 delegates from 35 nations expected today in Abuja for the seventh Leon H. Sullivan Summit.

The three-day summit, with the theme "Africa: A continent of Opportunities -Building Partnership for Success," will focus on the role of private enterprises in Africa's development.

President Olusegun Obasanjo and Clinton will today in Abuja, also sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to boost Nigeria's response to HIV/AIDS.

Chairman, National Action Committee on HIV/AIDS (NACA), Prof Babatunde Osotimehin, disclosed this yesterday, hinted that already, top members of the Bill Clinton Foundation have been in the country a fortnight ago for on the spot assessment on Nigeria's programmes to reduce prevalence and spread of the infection rates currently at 4.4 per cent averagely.

The NACA chairman said the team, as part of its fact-finding mission, visited University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan and Central Medical Store, Oshodi.

"They also met with officials of Federal Ministry of Health in Abuja," Osotimehin stressed adding that "the MoU will boost the national campaign against HIV/AIDS."

Meanwhile the Sulliwon summit is expected, among others, to marshal resources to expand the private sector, build more economic infrastructure and transfer technologies to African nations, leverage the investment power of the Diaspora in support of these goals and promote Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and the Global Sullivan Principles (GSP) among participants.

The Global Sullivan Principles call for the support of economic, social and political justice by companies doing business worldwide.

The late Rev. Leon Sullivan, founder of the Sullivan Summits, authored the Global Sullivan Principles of Social Responsibility in 1977 while serving on the board of directors of General Motors, which at that time was the largest employer of blacks in apartheid-era South Africa.

Speaking on the Summit, Sullivan Foundation President Hope Sullivan Masters said: "Everybody who goes to the continent talks about how many children are dying and the ravages of AIDS and malaria and genocide and corruption. But at our summit we really try to stay very positive and rather than focus on the negatives we talk about solutions we talk about best practices we talk about what works."

U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Alphonso Jackson will lead the U.S. delegation representing President Bush at the Summit. President Bush attended the 6th edition of the Summit, which was also held in Abuja in 2003.

According to the Summit programme, Clinton will address the audience on the first day of the gathering Monday, while World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz is billed to speak on Tuesday.

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