U2 star Bono has credited himself and other campaigning rockers with inspiring US President George W Bush's visits to poverty-stricken Africa - and hopes this will persuade the leader to support the Make Poverty History crusade.

The Irish singer boasts Bush and his family were inspired to visit Africa after stars like SIR Bob Geldof and Midge Ure raised awareness of the deprivation suffered by its inhabitants through events like 1985's Live Aid extravaganza and Saturday's (02JUL05) historic Live 8 concerts.

And he hopes the experience will prompt Bush to persuade other G8 leaders to cancel debt in the developing world, double the aid budget and rewrite global trade laws.

He says, "Bush is a Republican Conservative. He had hardly seen the rest of the world when he first became President and knew little of the suffering in Africa.

"But now he's visited Africa and saw first-hand the suffering experienced over there. The First Lady has also gone over there, as well as one of their daughters.

"How did that happen? I think our campaigning had a lot to do with it. People like Bob (Geldof) helped make that happen. We know how to dramatise the key points. Politicians are sh*t at dramatising major issues like that, they need us."

07/07/2005 03:00