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Five Highlights of President Bush's Continued Commitment to Africa

March 30, 2017 3 minute Read
Ahead of President and Mrs. Bush's trip to Africa next week, the Bush Center team has identified five highlights of President Bush's continued commitment to Africa - both while he was in office and in his post-presidency.

Ahead of President and Mrs. Bush's trip to Africa next week, the Bush Center team has identified five highlights of President Bush's continued commitment to Africa - both while he was in office and in his post-presidency.

  1. President Bush visited 11 African countries while he was in office: Benin, Botswana, Egypt, Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania, and Uganda. Among the most unique artifacts on display in the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum is a lion presented to President Bush by Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete during his 2008 trip to Africa.
  2. When President Bush launched The President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief PEPFAR in 2003, only 50,000 people in Africa were receiving anti-retroviral treatment for HIV/AIDS. By the time he left office, that number had climbed to more than 2 million. Today, because of the generosity of the American people and international community, nearly 12 million lives have been saved from HIV/AIDS in Africa.
  3. About 1 billion people, mostly living in poverty in tropical climates, suffer from Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs). These diseases are spread by insects or contaminated water or soil and can cause severe disability, blindness, and other impairments. During a trip to Africa in February 2008, President Bush introduced an initiative that made $350 million available over five years to fight the seven NTDs that can be controlled – or even eliminated – through mass drug administration: elephantiasis, river blindness, snail fever, trachoma (eye infection), hookworm, roundworm, and whipworm.
  4. Malaria is a treatable and preventable disease. But while President Bush was in office, in Africa it killed one child every 60 seconds. In 2005, President Bush launched a five-year, $1.2 billion Malaria Initiative to reduce the number of malaria-related deaths in Africa. By providing bed nets and medicines, the President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI) helped reduce the number of malaria cases and deaths by at least half in 25 countries.
  5. Next week, President and Mrs. Bush will visit Botswana and Namibia to support the work of the Bush Institute’s global leadership programs, including the Bush Institute-affiliated Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon®, a global partnership to fight women’s cancers that launched in 2011 and was built on the PEPFAR platform. Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon partners have now screened more than 370,000 women for cervical cancer in Africa. Next week’s visit will be President Bush’s seventh visit and Mrs. Bush’s sixth visit to the African continent since their time in the White House.  Their previous travel included visits to other Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon partner countries Zambia, Tanzania, Botswana, and Ethiopia.

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