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Great Lakes
Last Updated: Tuesday, 8 July, 2003, 11:25 GMT 12:25 UK
African press mulls Bush visit
US President George Bush (left) with Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade
In Senegal, protesters called Bush a "butcher"

As George W Bush begins his five-nation tour of Africa, newspapers across the continent give the US president a mixed reception.

Some are sceptical about his motives and commitment, while others argue that Africa cannot afford to turn down offers of assistance from the world's most powerful country.

The US president will find millions of people looking for something more than speeches: concrete and durable solutions for HIV/Aids, and a firm commitment to throwing US resources and weight behind ending the west Africa and the Great Lakes conflicts.

Star - South Africa

It has not been forgotten that Bush declared Africa largely irrelevant to US foreign policy... Bush must convince us that this trip has not been planned with an eye on the 2004 presidential elections... We welcome Bush, but with a fair measure of cautious scepticism.

People Daily - Kenya

It is true Bush is going to spend a sum of money... surpassing any his predecessors committed to Africa, and yet he will never be liked on this continent... In Kenya especially, America has become a dirty word... Africans respect power, of course. But there is something they respect more. Wisdom. They are not sure what they are seeing in the White House represents anything close to that.

The Nation - Kenya

Mr Bush... is coming to Africa at a time when his popularity... is rapidly waning at home and abroad because of what has been described as his 'Macho rhetoric'... Mr Bush will be hoping to make the whole world believe that America cares about Africa despite ample evidence to the contrary.

The Herald - Zimbabwe

President Bush is advised not to display a one-eyed view of the continent... He must also be prepared to listen carefully to what the African leaders will have to say and move in tandem with them for the resolution of the Zimbabwe crisis.

Standard - Zimbabwe

Bush is obviously coming to Africa in a humble mood. He has been conciliatory in pre-visit interviews and, in the wake of the Iraq war, he obviously needs the support of sophisticated developing leaders like Mbeki... The US needs Africa, its resources and its people, on its side.

Business Day - South Africa

President Bush's visit to South Africa is welcome as a gesture of American goodwill and recognition of Pretoria's leading role in Africa... The presidential visit is a compliment to our fledgling democracy.

Pretoria News - South Africa

Continuing anti-US chatter... is being fanned by emotion, not objective judgment of the simple fact that a country and a continent with enormous need for prosperity cannot afford to slam the door shut when the richest and strongest country in the world asks how and where it can assist.

Rapport - South Africa

The first US President who says what he means, means what he says and then acts on it will bear watching (and listening to, including between the lines) very carefully indeed on his African safari.

The East African Standard - Kenya

President Bush will give Kenya a miss on his African visit for security reasons? This tells you that American claims at 'shock and awe' technology in combating terror are nothing but high-sounding hype.

Nation - Kenya

Why are American presidents so picky when it comes to touring our part of the world? After you have done the crucible of strife and terror that is the Middle East, what on earth is there to fear about Kenya?

The East African Standard - Kenya

The visit [to Nigeria] by President Bush will give the impression of an endorsement of the last general elections in the country... While it has spared no effort to oust President Mugabe of Zimbabwe for electoral malpractices such as the ones perpetrated by Obasanjo, it appears that America, the 'defender of democracy' is set to endorse the questioned legitimacy of Obasanjo with this planned visit... Coming to the country at this time is most inauspicious thing to do.

Daily Trust - Nigeria

BBC Monitoring, based in Caversham in southern England, selects and translates information from radio, television, press, news agencies and the Internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages.

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