04 March 2002
It's Friday, Must Be The White House
Fresh from the Grammy Awards, Bono dropped into Washington on Friday to Meet
with U.S. National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice.
Speaking to Reuters News Agency after having lunch with Ms Rice, Bono said
he believed that she "sees the linkage" between fighting poverty and the war
"She spoke very passionately herself about the subjects and knows an
extraordinary amount about them for somebody so busy with the war against
terrorism, and oddly enough, she sees the linkage," he said.
The anti-terror war has raised the profile of the campaign to alleviate
global poverty rather than distracted from it, he said.
"It's got centre stage," he said. "In Africa, there are 10 potential
Afghanistans, so it (the issue) is now strategic. It's not philanthropy,
Bono has been working for several years with aid agencies and campaign
groups in a bid to cancel the unpayable debts of the worlds poorest
Later on Friday Bono met African-American leaders, religious groups and
debt-relief campaigners to rally support for his cause. He said that with
White House encouragement, he was seeking to enlist the "faith-based"
community in the debt relief campaign.
"Our movement is an unusual combination of church and street," he said.
Speaking to a group of advocates for Africa at the headquarters of the
charity, Africare, in Washington, DC., he said, "It's your melody, I'm gonna
try and sing it."
He described the Aids pandemic in Africa and the grinding poverty affecting
so many nations in Africa, "an emergency". Africa has been ignored and "time
is running out," he told the group.
He believes his celebrity status can help open doors and cites interest from
conservative Republicans in the U.S. Congress as well as interest from
"Give us a package for Africa to be announced at the G8 and we'll be in the
photo," he said, explaining that one thing his involvement helps with "is
your crap PR."
More on this story at allafrica.com
More on the campaign to cancel the debts of the poorest countries at