WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Bush will propose spending an extra $100 million over five years for education in Africa, a continent he plans to visit next year.
The president plans to announce his travel plans and the new spending initiative Thursday night at a dinner in memory of the Rev. Leon Sullivan, a Philadelphia minister credited with helping end apartheid in South Africa, White House officials said.
The $100 million would double spending on a U.S. initiative for education in Africa. It is the second relatively modest investment in Africa unveiled by Bush this week as he prepares to attend a summit of industrialized nations next week.
White House press secretary Ari Fleischer said the proposed new spending will train more than 420,000 new teachers in Africa, provide more than 250,000 scholarships for girls, and, with help from historically black colleges in America, provide 4 1/2 million more textbooks for children in Africa.
Africa will be a major focus of the Group of Eight meeting that Bush attends next week in Canada.
The $10 billion U.S. foreign aid budget is the lowest among rich nations as a percentage of economic output.
The White House hopes the African initiatives ease criticism about U.S. spending while projecting a compassionate image of Bush to both foreign leaders and American voters.
On Wednesday, the president promised an extra $500 million over three years to help prevent mothers in parts of African and the Caribbean from transmitting the AIDS virus to their children.