Opinion Piece Discusses George W. Bush’s Impact On Africa Through PEPFAR
Financial Times: Why George W. Bush is Africa’s favorite U.S. president
David Pilling, Africa editor of the Financial Times
“…By some margin, the U.S. president most respected in Africa is one George W Bush. The main reason for Mr. Bush’s enduring popularity is a health initiative he personally championed with the unpromising acronym of PEPFAR. The President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, one of the biggest global health initiatives in history … Unlike some development assistance, PEPFAR has the virtue of having demonstrably worked. … Life expectancy around the continent, which dipped severely at the start of the AIDS epidemic, has bounced back strongly. So have economies once threatened with the devastation of losing large swaths of their working population. … [Today, t]he idea of aid is under attack, even in Africa itself. … In a 2016 speech, … [President Bush said,] ‘I believe … that spending less than two-tenths of 1 percent of our federal budget to save millions of lives is [in] the moral, the practical, and the national security interests of the United States.’ Millions of people with HIV who are living full and productive lives would agree” (7/17).