20 June 2003

Africa: White House Announces Five-Nation Africa Trip

Washington, DC — The White House Friday formally announced that President George W. Bush will visit Africa between July 7 and 12.

A brief announcement said the five-nation trip underscores the administration's "commitment to working toward a free, prosperous, and peaceful Africa." The planned stops include Senegal, South Africa, Botswana, Uganda, and Nigeria, the statement said.

On June 8, AllAfrica reported that preparations were being completed for a trip that originally was slated to take place in January.

Although the itinerary has not been announced, the president is expected to spend his first night in the Senegalese capital Dakar, before flying to South Africa for three nights, during which time he will visit Botswana next door. On route home, he will make brief stops in Kampala, Uganda and in the Nigerian capital Abuja.

This will be Bush's first trip to Africa as president. In 1992, he represented his father at an independence anniversary celebration in the West African nation of Gambia. Bill Clinton made two trips while in office, the first in 1998 and a second in 2000. The only other American president to make an official voyage to sub-Saharan Africa was Jimmy Carter, who visited Nigeria and Liberia in 1978.

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