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Mr. ISAKSON. Mr. President, I rise for a moment to express my sympathy and condolences to the people of Ghana and to the family of its President, John Adam Mills.
President Mills died in a military hospital today in Accra, Ghana, of throat cancer. Four hours after his death, the Vice President was sworn in as the new President of Ghana, a testimony to the democratization of that country and its leadership on the continent of Africa.
Ghana has been one of the shining beacons of light in Africa for its transition to business, trade, prosperity, and economic development. John Adam Mills deserves the credit for taking Ghana to the height it has gone to today.
Senator Coons from Delaware and I traveled to Ghana last year to meet with President Mills. We saw firsthand how he has developed a large-scale oil-producing country in Ghana, making that wealth come back to be reinvested in the people of that country. We visited the Millennium Challenge Compact that Ghana made with the United States of America to help her pineapple plantation producers be able to extend the life of their pineapple and export them into Europe for increased trade and agriculture in Ghana. We visited hospitals, where money from the oil and petroleum the country has discovered is now being reinvested in that country and in her people.
Today, with his tragic death, we also saw the light of democracy as the government made its transition, the Vice President ascended to the Presidency, and elections will be held later in the year for the next President of Ghana.
But it is important to pause as a tribute to President Bush and Condoleezza Rice, to President Obama and Hillary Clinton, our Secretary of State, who have worked tirelessly during the past decade and a half to work with the countries of Africa to develop. Americans have invested in PEPFAR, and we have reduced the growth of AIDS. We have invested in malaria prevention, and we have reduced the growth of malaria. Nigeria is the last place on Earth where polio exists, and it is about to be eradicated because of the investment of the American people.
I have said oftentimes as the ranking member of the African Subcommittee that Africa is the continent of the 21st century for our country, and I think it is. I think the investment our taxpayers have made and the investment our last President and our current President and both Secretaries of State have made are paying great dividends.
But it is important for us to pay tribute to those bold, brave African leaders who ran for office to promote democracy, who served and reinvested the profits they made in their country's wealth and their people and shine as beacons of light for hope on what has been known in the past as the Dark Continent.
In this sad moment for the people of Africa, and particularly the people of Ghana, it is time for us also to rejoice on what democracy has made in that country, and what John Adam Mills did to produce that democracy and to make it work.
I yield the floor.
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