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Africans Expect More of Same from 2nd Bush Term

Many Africans have expressed disappointment in the re-election of President George Bush even as their leaders have congratulated him.

Official reaction in Africa to the re-election of President George Bush has been polite and correct, but with some exceptions, not warm.

South African President Thabo Mbeki said he wished Mr. Bush well while hoping for greater world stability and peace under his leadership. Mr. Mbeki said he also looked forward to an era of international cooperation and a concerted drive to end poverty and under-development.

But the youth wing of Mr. Mbeki's African National Congress expressed a contrary view heard frequently from ordinary Africans. The organization said by re-electing Mr. Bush, Americans had endorsed what it said was his policy of unilateralism, adding that it undermines international cooperation.

The right-wing Citizen newspaper said in choosing Mr. Bush for a second term Americans had snubbed the world.

In Uganda President Yoweri Museveni said he looks forward to a continued close relationship with the United States in support of world peace. Uganda is one of four African countries that are part of the U.S. coalition in Iraq.

In Nairobi, Yusuf Mohamed Ismail, the head of Somalia's Presidential Press Service told VOA President Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed sent his sincere congratulations to Mr. Bush.

"He is very much pleased and honored to send his deepest and [sincere] congratulations to his excellency President Bush, hoping to work very closely together with the American government and all American institutions [to boost] regional cooperation in east Africa on all levels, security, development and human rights, and of course to boost together a social, political and economic close integration among especially the frontline states of our sub-region," said Yusuf Mohamed Ismail.

Despite these conflicting views, most Africans do not expect major changes in U.S. policy towards Africa in the next four years. The Business Day newspaper said in an editorial that Mr. Bush had been good to Africa on trade and on AIDS, but that Africans remained concerned that he is not a statesman and has an aggressive approach to foreign policy.