Bush Visits Tanzania on Goodwill Tour

Map of Africa Tour i i

President Bush's route for his trip to Africa. hide caption

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Map of Africa Tour

President Bush's route for his trip to Africa.

President Bush is visiting Tanzania, where he has been spotlighting HIV/AIDS and malaria prevention. The president's goodwill tour has been focusing on the success stories of U.S. humanitarian aid in Africa.

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RENEE MONTAGNE, host:

And President Bush is in Tanzania today, where he's focusing on HIV/AIDS and malaria prevention. His good will tour of Africa is focused on the success stories of U.S. humanitarian aid. But the president has also tried to draw attention to his administration's attempts at conflict resolution in the region.

NPR's Gwen Thompkins reports.

GWEN THOMPKINS: Which side of the truth do you tell first? That has been the dilemma of President Bush's tour of Africa. The president is visiting five of the continent's most stable democracies, where U.S. aid has made a material difference in malaria and HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment.

Today, the president and Mrs. Bush will visit a hospital in Arusha, Tanzania that was built with money from the president's emergency plan for AIDS relief. And Ambassador Mike Dybul, the U.S. global AIDS coordinator, says the ripple effect of the administration's disease prevention program in Africa is tremendous.

Ambassador MIKE DYBUL (U.S. Global Aids Coordinator): An X-ray machine to look for tuberculosis for an AIDS patient will be used to look for a broken bone. A chemistry panel that had never existed before to monitor the toxicity of the AIDS drugs can now be used for everything else. These programs are the cutting edge of actually building health systems.

THOMPKINS: But another side of the truth is that Africa has more than 50 countries, and hot spots are over nearly every horizon. Today, Mr. Bush is dispatching Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to Kenya to second mediation efforts by former United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan to resolve a political conflict there that has killed more than 1,000 people.

Mr. Bush is also urging a greater international peacekeeping presence in Darfur, Sudan, where the administration says genocide is taking place. Whether the president's efforts on these fronts will make a material difference is unclear.

So which side of the truth do you tell first? Well, Mr. Bush had an answer to that question as well.

President GEORGE W. BUSH: Now, there's still a lot of conflict here on this continent. I understand that. I was asked yesterday, Well, how come you're not going to the places of conflict? Well, one reason you go to places of success is to show people what's possible.

THOMPKINS: Mr. Bush heads to Rwanda tomorrow. Gwen Thompkins, NPR News, Dar es Salaam.

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