Thursday, March 27, 2003
Neel Lattimore, 202-263-3521

Coalition of non-profits and businesses to lobby for President's AIDS relief plan for Africa

WASHINGTON - The Corporate Council on Africa ( today announced the creation of an affiliate to lobby Congress for President Bush's $15 billion emergency AIDS relief plan for Africa. The new organization, called the Coalition for AIDS Relief in Africa (CARA), will be co-chaired by former Representatives J.C. Watts and Eva Clayton. Mary Kanya, Ambassador to the United States from Swaziland and the current dean of the African Ambassadors AIDS Caucus, will serve as vice chairwoman representing the African nations, and Julius Coles, President of Africare, will be vice chair representing the non-profit community. Stephen Hayes, President of the Corporate Council on Africa, will serve as president of CARA.

"Caring and conscientious citizens from all walks of life, including those representing the member companies of the Corporate Council on Africa, have been working tirelessly for years to alleviate the suffering brought on by AIDS," said Stephen Hayes. "I applaud President Bush for responding to the call for greater American global leadership to address this crisis of humanity."

CARA will organize the corporate community, as well as non-profits and representatives of African nations, in a campaign that will seek to secure Congressional support and passage of the President's plan.

"From the cities to the suburbs to the rural areas, this coalition will increase America's awareness of the suffering and catastrophic loss of life and productivity brought on by AIDS in Africa, and the steps needed to end the pain," said Watts. "There are legitimate differences of opinion on how best to achieve this goal, but in the end, we must put people before politics and do what it takes to help our brothers and sisters in Africa."

"We have a social, moral, and economic obligation to seek immediate, emergency relief on the continent," said Clayton. "I applaud the Corporate Council on Africa for taking a leadership role in fighting this devastating disease. It is now up to us to educate members of Congress and the American people regarding what is happening and what must be done to stop it."

The Corporate Council on Africa is the leading American nonprofit, tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to enhancing trade and investment ties between the United States and the 53 nations of Africa. The American companies that make up the Corporate Council on Africa represent nearly 85 percent of all U.S. private sector investment in Africa. The Coalition for AIDS Relief in Africa is an independent 501(c)(4) affiliate of the Corporate Council on Africa.


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