The Common Good
May-June 1999

Hope for Africa

by Marvin Rees | May-June 1999

"To overcome a nearly 400-year legacy of unregulated business and investment that
gave us slavery, colonialism, and widespread human and economic exploitation, today we
introduce HR ...

"To overcome a nearly 400-year legacy of unregulated business and investment that gave us slavery, colonialism, and widespread human and economic exploitation, today we introduce HR 772." That is how Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-Ill.) introduced his Human Rights, Opportunity, Partnership, and Empowerment (HOPE) Act in March.

The HOPE for Africa Act will introduce a comprehensive development package for sub-Sahara Africa that affirms African nation sovereignty and the removal of economic conditions on trade and debt relief. The bill also seeks unconditional and comprehensive debt cancellation for Africa as a prerequisite to development. The bill would ensure that aid to Africa never falls below 1994 levels, and promotes African AIDS education and prevention programs, in recognition of the toll this virus will have on future development. Finally, African goods will be granted broader market access on the foundational principle that trade should benefit all parties involved.

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