President Bush’s six-day trip to Africa

President Bush’s six-day trip to Africa

NEW YORK, (RUSPRNEWS) February 15, 2008 -Air Force One is taking off from Andrews Air Force base tonight en route to Benin, the first stop in President Bush’s six-day trip to Africa. On the trip he will also visit Rwanda, Ghana, Tanzania, and Liberia. For the next six days, he’ll see the lifesaving results of the smart, bipartisan solutions that ONE members like you have been lobbying for.

The progress across Africa is real, and so is our opportunity to make sure that the next president is right there with us in this struggle to end extreme poverty and disease in Africa.

Thank you for already adding your name to the petition urging the next president—no matter who that is—to pledge to go to Africa in his or her first term. We’re getting close to our goal of getting 50,000 signatures on this petition and sending a clear message to the candidates.

You can help us finish strong, by sending a message to a friend asking them to sign the petition and join the millions of Americans who want to see a continued commitment to the U.S.-African relationship from the next President of the United States.

We’re hoping 50,000 ONE members will sign this petition urging the presidential candidates to prioritize the fight to end extreme poverty and global disease in Africa.

We’ll deliver copies of all the signed petitions to each of the presidential candidates, right at the same time that this presidential trip to Africa is in the news, for maximum impact. The petitions will remind the candidates that we expect the next president to visit Africa and keep the poverty-fighting promises we’ve heard on the campaign trail.

Since President Bush last visited Africa in 2003, you’ve worked hard to make sure that there would be real change by the next time he went back. ONE members have demanded more of our leaders and championed the cause of a better future for millions of Africans. It’s been five years of hard work and this presidential trip validates our efforts, reminding us that our work has not gone in vain.

What has changed in Africa since 2003?

In Rwanda, programs funded by American initiatives like the President’s Emergency Plan For AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) have helped to increase the number of people on lifesaving antiretrovirals by eight-fold from only 4,000 in 2003 to 34,000 in 2006. PEPFAR funding is also making possible a revolutionary new program called TRACnet that uses mobile phones and the web to help patients stay on their drug treatment plans and even track regional drug shortages.

In Zanzibar, an island off the coast of Tanzania, an aggressive partnership between the government of Tanzania, the Global Fund, USAID and the Presidential Malaria Initiative lets families sleep at night without worrying about being bit by deadly, malaria-carrying mosquitoes. Today, 90% of the people living in Zanzibar go to bed under insecticide-treated, anti-malaria bed nets in insecticide-sprayed homes. And, since 2003, the number of malaria cases there has dropped by 86%.

The White House and the media will see successes like these and many others and spend a lot of time talking about President Bush’s legacy in Africa. That legacy is a strong one, marked by reaching across the aisle to pass legislation and save lives.

U.S. leadership to end suffering and create opportunity in Africa is much more then a presidential legacy, it’s an American legacy. When a child is able to attend school because debt relief has eliminated tuition fees, and then go home to parents who are healthy because of the anti-retroviral drugs paid for by PEPFAR, that’s a reflection of values that extend from Pennsylvania Avenue to Main Streets all across America.

Now, as America prepares to pick new leaders, we look to the future. This is our chance to ask the candidates to commit to continued support for African nations that are working to end cycles of poverty and disease.

You can help us finish strong, by sending a message to a friend asking them to sign the petition and join the millions of Americans who want to see a continued commitment to the U.S.-African relationship from the next President of the United States.

We’re also going to have the best in-depth analysis of the issues highlighted on this presidential trip to Africa on the ONE Blog. There will be posts from experts, leaders on our issues and even people on the ground in Africa. Check it out, join the discussion and we hope it informs your work to end extreme poverty and global disease in Africa and around the world.

Thank you for your voice,

Josh Peck,

P.S. In Monday’s email, I wrote that George W. Bush and Bill Clinton were the only two presidents to visit Africa while they were in office. ONE members James B. of Ulster, NY and Rev. Kortu B. of Monrovia, Liberia pointed out that Franklin Roosevelt, Dwight Eisenhower and Jimmy Carter all visited the continent while in office. Thanks for your vigilance.

The “Ask The Presidential Candidates To Visit Africa” campaign is brought to you by ONE Action. Only 501(c)(3) activities are funded by The ONE Campaign.



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