Bush To Visit Three African Nations in July, White House Officials Report
President Bush is scheduled to visit Senegal, Nigeria and South Africa in early July, according to White House officials, AllAfrica.com reports. While no formal announcements have been made, July 7 to July 15 have been set aside for the trip (Kramer, AllAfrica.com, 6/9). Bush in December canceled a mid-January trip to Africa, which would have been his first, over concerns about the pending war in Iraq. Bush had planned to attend an African summit meeting in Mauritius and tour Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa to discuss improvements to foreign aid and increased funding for AIDS research (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 12/23/2002). According to AllAfrica.com, the upcoming trip is part of an "increased emphasis" on the administration's Africa policy in recent months, including the approval of a five-year, $15 billion global AIDS bill last month and Bush's support for increased aid to the continent at the recent G8 summit in Evian, France (AllAfrica.com, 6/9). In addition, Bush is scheduled today to meet with Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni and Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra in Washington to discuss AIDS, trade and other issues. Bush has cited the Ugandan AIDS program as a model for his global AIDS initiative (Osike/Wasike, New Vision, 6/9). White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer yesterday said that Bush "looks very much forward to this visit [with Museveni] ... [and] believes very deeply in the importance of America's help, America's generosity and America's caring for people who suffer in Africa from AIDS and around the world from AIDS" (White House briefing transcript, 6/9).This is part of the Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.