Toast at Dinner Hosted by Democratic Republic of the Congo Prime Minister Adolphe Muzito

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo
August 10, 2009

Thank you very much Mr. Prime Minister for that comprehensive and thorough description of the challenges and opportunities that the government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo face. I would like to thank the Prime Minister and other ministers of the government as well as the private sector and the civil society for being here this evening. Of course I want to acknowledge the presence of Robert Zoellick, the President of the World Bank, and his delegation. On behalf of myself and my delegation, I want to thank the Prime Minister and the government of the D.R.C. for the hospitality you have shown us and for hosting this beautiful dinner.

President Obama sends his warmest greetings. As you know, he feels very positive about our relationship with Africa. He considers himself a son of Africa. And we share a deep commitment to working with you and the Congolese people. We know that there is a lot of work to do as the Prime Minister outlined in his remarks.

This country has enormous riches and potential. It has millions of people who get up every day and work very hard. We want to work with you to help the D.R.C. and the Congolese people realize the full potential and promise that this nation represents.

The D.R.C. needs more investment but in order for the investment to come, there must be changes in the business climate, changes in the rules and regulations that involve contracts and the protection of property. There must be an end to widespread financial corruption and abuses of human rights and women’s rights. There must be an improvement in governance and the respect for the rule of law.

So we look forward to working with you to address the challenges and seize the opportunities that lie ahead. So tonight let us imagine a future in the D.R.C. in which this nation’s full talents are unleashed in which this nation’s riches are acquired for the benefit of the people and every Congolese boy and girl can grow up to fulfill his or her God-given potential.

That is why I am here Mr. Prime Minister. It is why the United States is committed to this country’s future. Why we seek a broader and deeper relationship. So on behalf of President Obama, the United States Government, and the American people - I will offer a toast. To friendship and partnership between our two nations, and to the children of this nation and mine. May we fulfill our responsibilities to ensure a more peaceful, prosperous, and positive future for each and every one of them.

PRN: 2009/T11-32