Obama, Bush to be in Africa at same time
June 22nd, 2013
03:27 PM ET
1 year ago

Obama, Bush to be in Africa at same time

(CNN) – When President Barack Obama visits Africa next week, his predecessor, George W. Bush, also will be on the continent.

Obama flies Wednesday across the Atlantic for a trip that takes him to Senegal, South Africa and Tanzania, marking his second visit to sub-Saharan Africa as president (He went to Ghana during his first term).

Meanwhile Bush, who's made multiple visits to Africa since leaving office, leaves next week for Zambia, where he's working with his global health initiative to renovate a clinic that will serve as a cervical cancer screening and treatment center, according to the George W. Bush Presidential Center.

While the 44th and 43rd president are not scheduled to meet up, first lady Michelle Obama will attend an event hosted in part by former first lady Laura Bush. The two will attend the African First Ladies Summit, put on by the George W. Bush Institute, in Tanzania on July 2, the final day of the Obamas' trip.

Aid to Africa was a big part of the Bush administration's foreign policy. The former president started the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, otherwise known as PEPFAR, during his tenure at the White House. Started in 2003, the program grew into a $50 billion program to combat AIDS around the globe through testing, counseling and medical treatment.

The program is widely considered one of Bush's biggest successes. At the April dedication ceremony for the Bush presidential library in Dallas, Obama touched on his predecessor's humanitarian work.

"We remember the compassion that he showed by leading the global fight against HIV/AIDS and malaria, helping to save millions of lives and reminding people in some of the poorest corners of the globe that America cares and that we're here to help," Obama said.

Obama's trip will focus on potential trade and investment opportunities for U.S. businesses; young people and democracy in Africa; and development issues such as food security and health.

- CNN's Kevin Bohn and Ashley Killough contributed to this report.


Filed under: Africa • George W. Bush • President Obama
soundoff (13 Responses)
  1. Gurgyl

    Who is paying Bush trip?? Is it American Tax Payer?? If so, nonsense. Enough mess by THAT guy.

    June 22, 2013 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  2. timvervba

    Yes, the United States taxpayer will be paying for the security of the Bush trip, and probably a lot more, so do not buy an extra round of beer.

    June 22, 2013 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  3. Just a thought

    Bush is doing what? Doesn't he realize he's at risk for arrest for war crimes?

    June 22, 2013 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  4. Tigas

    Millions wasted on yet another pointless trip.

    On January 10, 2013, President Barack Obama signed legislation reinstating lifetime Secret Service protection for himself, George W. Bush, and all subsequent presidents.

    Thanks a lot Obama, we have to pay lifetime protection for you and your family.

    June 22, 2013 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  5. wade

    Obama should be embarrassed as Bush has done three times more for Africa than Obama or any other president for that matter.

    June 22, 2013 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  6. doff

    I'm glad that president Obama is going to my country (Senegal) for the first time. I hope you will inspire the young Senegalese to get involve into our country development and also have a strong partnership with the USA

    June 22, 2013 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |
  7. Mike Texoma

    Gurgyl would rather curse the darkness than light a candle. Africa has enormous potential as a market for American manufactured products; On this trip, President Obama is about the business of America.

    June 22, 2013 10:30 pm at 10:30 pm |
  8. anonymous

    What is Obama going there for? Sight seeing? Safari?? See the relatives??? A total waste of a hundred million dollars at a time where we need to be cutting back.

    June 22, 2013 10:31 pm at 10:31 pm |
  9. kamarasune

    misery loves company...

    June 23, 2013 02:38 am at 2:38 am |
  10. Joseph Chensoh

    Bush was in some way good to the Afrian continent. Many Africans will always remember George Bush for his fantastic fight against AIDS.
    It's really a tragedy that Obama with his African root has done absolutely nothing to Africa. He is sending his wife to meet the wives of those dictators who have ruined the African continent. Shame to you Mr and Mrs Obama. Get rid of those dictators instead of partying with them.

    June 23, 2013 04:39 am at 4:39 am |
  11. Marie MD

    It's funny that the various countries in Africa are more friendly to the shrub than the US.
    @Tigas/anonymous, yes, because the Obamas are the first first family to need SS protection before, during and after the WH days.
    Do you people ever think for yourselves? Do you even try? Those dumb comments sound like sound bites from fat radio boy, coulter with the Adam's apple, or the imbeciles on faux and friends!

    June 23, 2013 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  12. Pete

    I wonder who is protecting Bushs after being indicted by over 150 countrys but ours in violating human rights..The ICC in the Hague Netherlands should be alerted about his African whereabouts and his arrest should be made for him,Cheney and others to stand trial for creating a war with lies along with false imprisonment for most of these so called terrorists combatants at GITMO that wouldnt be terrorists to us if we never went over there in the first place ,right!!Remember it was Bushs fault for 9/11 and if had done his job which he as usual didn't it wouldn't have ever happened,he's as guilty in those over 3000 deaths in NY as the deaths in Iraq,Afghanistan and tell me why if you think he isn't because you can't if you know enough about the imbecile from Texas!!

    June 23, 2013 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  13. don in albuquerque

    @wade-Well glad and tickled pink that W did so much for Africa. All he did for America was leave death and destruction in his wake. Yeah, we should be real proud of him.

    June 23, 2013 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |