Global Politics

President goes to Africa

(How is President Bush viewed in your respective countries?) CI: in some parts of Africa he's viewed as too aggressive but generally Africans have a positive view of America. (Would you say Nigerians are pro-Bush?) Not really. They don't agree with some of his policies, but some of them are pro-American. (Does the protest in Tanzania represent the majority there?) YM: No, it doesn't. I think it represents mostly students and civil society organizations. (Some social activists have given Bush fairly high marks for his attention to the continent. I'd like to give you an example of his successes.) YM: one success is the fight against HIV/AIDS. Various programs in the President's plan have worked out, he's increased funds for that. CI: in the area of AIDS there has been help. But the US also helped us with some stability. (So there's been some successes but it's odd that bringing democracy to the region hasn't been a priority when it comes to Africa. Why?) YM: Bush said yesterday that without democracy, terrorists can recruit from those countries. So he's working to make sure democracy in Africa expands, but I don't see it too much. CI: if progress has been made with democracy it's because of the people. (Africa watchers say Bush's attention has been driven by his fight against terrorism and new sources of oil. Do you think that's the case?) CI: yes, they have followed such policies. (In Sudan, Niger, Ethiopia, those are all strong issues but he's not going there.) YM: I don't know why he's not going there. he said that he likes to work with African countries who are doing positive things for their people. CI: I don't think this trip is very significant. He's going to countries where the US has spent money. (Do you think the next US president will have large shoes to fill regarding Africa?) YM: I hope he does a lot more. We hope they'll do a lot more in helping Africa develop economically.

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