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Friday, January 16, 2009

President Bush, A Legacy of Strong Aid to Africa

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President George W. Bush recently gave his farewell speech to the nation. The reaction to his speech on social media, television and radio has been most calling him the "lame duck," the "dumbest President ever," etc. While President Bush absolutely gets an F for invading Iraq and leaving a gaping hole in the pocket books of most Americans, when it comes to Africa, he gets a B+ if not A-. President George W. Bush has been good to Africa and arguably, the growth and exodus of African professionals back to the continent has a lot to do with the kinds of trade policies and partnership President Bush instituted during his reign with Africa. We think great minds can agree to, objectively, give credit where credit is due. As such it is only fitting we point out his track record with respect to Africa and let it do the talking.

BUSH'S AFRICA LEGACY/RECORD

  • First President to meet with twenty five African head of States in the first two years of office.
  • 30% increase in assistance to Sub-Saharan Africa from fiscal year 2001-2003.
  • Under his administration and support, debt canceled for twenty seven African states.
  • The first and largest contributor to donate over $500 million to Global HIV/AIDS Fund.
  • Under his adminstration and support, $34 billion debt cancelled for 27 countries in Africa.
  • Very relevant to what we do here at Ladybrille, implemented the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act, a trade peference program that provides for beneficial tarriff opportunities for imported products from Africa. 90% of products imported from Africa to the USA are duty free. See Ladybrille's interview with the United States Trade Office on AGOA.
  • Directly responsible for the North-South peace deals in Sudan. Also directly involved in helping facilitate the ending of wars in Sierra Leone and the Congo.
  • Initiated the USA Malaria initiative that has halved Malaria in fifteen African countries.

    The list goes on and might we add that even on a domestic level, he remains the President with the most diverse cabinet, yet. He was the first President to have a Black Secretary of State, Colin Powell. He was also the first President to have a Black woman as the Secretary of State, Condoleeza Rice [First Black woman and second African American to hold the position]. His administration was filled with a very diverse staff, from the Chief White House photographer who is a Black man to the current Chef who is a minority woman, among many.

    Again, while we agree that the US had no business in Iraq, it doesn't diminish the positive and strong work this President has done for the less fortunate in a place that really matters, Africa.

    Resources: Center for Global Development
    BBC News, 'Has Bush Been Africa's Best Friend? '[Jan. 16th, 2009]
    The Sullivan Foundation, "Bush Record on Africa, Hard to Follow." [Oct. 2007]
    President Bush, Africa Policy, White House Website
  • 4 comments:

    Anonymous said...

    Yes, he made a lot of mistakes like most of us do, his played out on the world stage while we all have the chance to pretend like we are perfect. I am not a big fan of his but I say God Bless President Bush and his family! Now...scurry on down to Crawford :-)

    Black Style Central said...

    Unfortunately, President Bush has made the sorts of mistakes which have destroyed countless lives just as he has implemented policy to save others. I'm incredibly happy about this administrations commitment to Africa, but I'm still glad he's soon to be gone!

    Anonymous said...

    President Bush gets a B+ or a A- for his policy in Africa? Does the author of this article knows about Africom?
    http://www.thefaceofafrika.com/2009/01/is-usa-destroying-africa-and-supporting.html

    Giving the fact that Bush and his predecessors have been stealing Africa's natural resources for centuries, it is only fair to 'pretend' doing something good for the African continent in return.

    Whoever wrote this article should definitely investigate a little bit more about Bush's policy in Africa before giving him thumbs up!-- for your website credibility sake...

    Ladybrille.com said...

    Anonymous, the Ladybrille audience is quite an enlightened one. As such, it might be helpful if you gave us some substantive solid reasoning rather than a declarative statement that President Bush is "stealing" Africa's resources.

    Beyond the fact that we at LADYBRILLE.com very much really do not care for urls to third party sites in the comment section; and generally delete them, linking to Cynthia McKinney's Green Party campaign with a biased angle does nothing to address the article, its premise or substantive points backed with evidence.

    Also as to "website credibility sake," did you take the time to read the article to the end to note the varied sources cited?

    Finally, what if any responsibility do you accord Africa and its respective leaders?
    Is the USA, President Bush or his predecessors responsible for a long history and legacy of African leaders stealing from their own people, bribery, corruption, wars, deplorable labor conditions, violence against women and children?

    We welcome disagreement on the articles on LADYBRILLE but it is helpful to us and our target audience if you gave substantive sound reasoning rather than a declarative "President Bush is stealing from Africa. . ." statement.

    Until then, yes President Bush gets an F on foreign policy, especially with respect to the Middle East but an A-/B+ with respect to Africa. Which, as you so eloquently put it, equals a "thumbs up!"

    Cheers,

    Uduak

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