Supporting the Coffee Farmers in the Democratic Republic of the Congoby Senator Lindsey Graham
Posted on 2015-12-03
GRAHAM. I want to thank my friend from Vermont with whom I have
worked for years to help improve the lives of small farmers in Africa
and elsewhere. The situation facing coffee farmers in the Eastern Congo
should concern all Senators, as there is an opportunity, thanks to the
Eastern Congo Initiative, the Buffett Foundation, and Starbucks, to
significantly increase the income of people who have long struggled to
get out of poverty. The Congolese Government should take immediate
steps to eliminate this unofficial tax rate and other specious
financial charges that are jeopardizing the livelihoods of their own
people. The government must be part of the solution--and not the
problem--to Congo's myriad challenges.
Mr. LEAHY. I thank the Senator from South Carolina, the chairman of the Subcommittee on State and Foreign Operations, who chaired a hearing earlier this year when we heard compelling testimony about this subject.
I ask my friend from Delaware, the former chairman of the Subcommittee on Africa, who has traveled to Africa many times, including this year with President Obama, to discuss how this situation in the Eastern Congo relates to the requirements of the African Growth and Opportunity Act.