President Bush is enjoying a hero's welcome as he tours Africa. This week he will visit Senegal, South Africa, Botswana, Nigeria, and Uganda during a mission to address the continent's economic, health, and security concerns. Programs that will fight AIDS and malaria, as well as aid plans that promote self-reliance instead of unqualified assistance, make President Bush much more popular in Africa than he is in other parts of the world.
The AIDS programs focus on preventing new infections in dozens of African nations, Haiti, and Guyana. The plans will provide medication to 2 million people already living with the disease.
On Monday, in Tanzania, Bush also unveiled a plan that will have a practical impact on people's lives — The US plans to fund millions of bed-nets that will protect every Tanzanian child aged one to five from mosquitoes that spread deadly malaria.
Of course, Bush's ceaseless critics have hesitations about his plans. For more on the critics,
Activists worry that Bush's relief program will require that the medication funding be spent on high-cost patent-protected drugs, rather than on the cheapest possible generic antiviral medication. In addition, the plan requires that substantial funding go to faith-based organizations with the requirement that one-third of AIDS prevention dollars go to abstinence-only programs.
Do you think the critics raise fair concerns? Or, are you just excited to see Bush offering money and attention to Africa's dire needs?