President Obama will visit his third and final country for this week long African odyssey across the continent. Thus far he has visited Senegal, South Africa and now a short stay in Tanzania will conclude his trip.
As it happens, former President George W. Bush has also been in Africa this past week.
He and his wife Laura are in Africa as part of an initiative sponsored by the George W. Bush Institute dubbed Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon. The purpose of the initiative is to promote the fight against cancer worldwide.
One of the projects that they took on during this trip was the refurbishing of a woman’s clinic in Zambia. The Bushes spent a couple of days working to fix up the old buildings as well as taking in several UN funded farms that provide food for locals and use the excess to earn income for the community.
Through the Institute the Bushes will also be hosting the “African First Ladies Summit” in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. The conference will focus on the role African first ladies should be playing to promote “women’s education, health, and economic empowerment.”
In quite a unique circumstance the Bush Institute has asked Mrs. Obama to take part in the summit as well, which means that both former first lady Laura Bush and current first lady Mrs. Obama will both be speaking at the summit.
Similarly, President Obama and President Bush will both be taking part in a wreath laying ceremony at the US Embassy in Dar es Salaam on Tuesday. The ceremony is in remembrance of the 1998 terrorist bombing at the embassy where 11 people were killed.
The White House was quite happy with the turn of events that would allow President Bush, who is very popular in this corner of Africa, to join with President Obama on this trip.
“The presence of the Bushes is something that marks I think the bipartisan support for Africa that exists in the United States, and it’s a very welcome symbol that they can be there at the same time… We think it sends a very positive message that both political parties in the United States share a commitment to this continent.”