As George W Bush works his way through a five-country African tour, most of the elements that make up an average Bush foreign junket will be in place. Chorus of schoolchildren singing to him at the airport? Check. Obligatory “traditional costume”, worn with a smirk? Check. Public anger towards one of the world’s most unpopular leaders? Er, not quite.
The US President’s visit to Benin, Liberia, Ghana, Rwanda and Tanzania may, on the surface, be about promoting America’s funding for Aids treatment, shoring up support for a US military base on the continent, and quietly scoping out new oil opportunities. But there is another, perhaps more important, reason for President Bush’s week-long visit to Africa: people actually like him here.
A recent report from the Pew Global Attitudes Project found that “the US image is much stronger in Africa than in other regions of the world”. At least 80 per cent of respondents in Ghana, Kenya and Cote d’Ivoire were favourable to the US. In all other sub-Saharan African countries polled, there were more “favourables” than “non-favourables”. Part of the reason for that support is money. Lots of it.
Read More – The Independent.