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US First Lady Arrives in Senegal

U.S. First Lady Laura Bush and her daughter, Jenna, are in the Senegalese capital, Dakar - the first stop on their four-nation Africa tour to promote the U.S. campaign against AIDS and malaria.

Mrs. Bush was greeted at the airport by Senegalese First Lady Viviane Wade and a group of dignitaries.

Later Tuesday, Mrs. Bush will meet with Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade at the Presidential Palace in Dakar.

Before departing for Mozambique this afternoon, the first lady is scheduled to visit a local hospital and award scholarships to local girls at a school.

The Bush administration recently asked Congress to increase U.S. funding to counter AIDS to 30 billion dollars over the next five years.

In 2003, the United States initiated a $15-billion package - the President's Emergency Program for AIDS Relief - to fight HIV and AIDS, with most of the money slated for African nations. That mandate is up in September 2008.

Mrs. Bush's other stops will include a school in Lusaka, Zambia, where a PlayPump water system has been installed. PlayPumps use power created by children playing on merry-go-rounds to pump clean water.

Before returning to Washington on Friday, Mrs. Bush will travel to Mali, where she will visit the Nelson Mandela School complex in the capital, Bamako.

This is Mrs. Bush's third trip to Africa on her own.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.

 

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