18 May 2006
Africa Moves On
"It's bizarre that Africa got me interested in commerce. I am an activist but I looked at the mosaic of problems facing this magical place and I could see so many of the pieces intersected with commerce, trade and entrepreneurial spirit." Follow Bono's latest African journey through the links below.
Bono headed out to Africa on a six-nation trip earlier this week. Four years after he toured the continent with then US Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill, this trip will look at how recent political decisions on debt-relief and increased aid have begun to help Africans combat poverty and disease.
Amongst the entourage are executives from GAP and Motorola, both partners in Product RED http://www.joinred.com/ in which multinational companies create dedicated products and donate a percentage of profits to fight AIDS on the continent.
First stop was Lesotho, a mountainous country of two million people, which has the fourth-highest rate of HIV in the world and nearly one in three adults is infected with the virus.
At a small clinic Bono met Daniel Fatle, his wife Matumelo and their eight-month-old son Tumelo who are being treated with the antiretroviral therapy that significantly slows the progression of AIDS.
The clinic and its two nurses treat 266 patients with free antiretrovirals funded by the Global Fund for AIDS - the fund to which proceeds from RED products go.
"It is a proud moment to see what is happening here," Bono told the Fatle family through an interpreter. "We want it to happen in every country where there is an AIDS epidemic.
"AIDS used to be a death sentence and now it's not. It is a great moment for me and for everyone back home who took to the streets and marched on your behalf."
The Scotsman newspaper has more on this visit here
At U2.Com we'll keep you updated on Bono's African travels but for the most up to date news there are a couple of people blogging the trip.
Check the Reuters blog here
Check out the ONE.org blog here