U2 frontman Bono has given his backing to proposed US legislation which aims to expand the provision of free basic education to children in the world's poorest countries.

The Rock star and anti-poverty campaigner described the bill, which is being advocated by presidential hopeful Hilary Clinton and other US lawmakers, as "mind-blowing stuff".

Helping American legislators to launch the bill via a conference call, Bono stressed that there were 38 million children in Africa alone who were not currently attending school and welcomed plans to double the amount of money the US provides to fund basic education to $1 billion (£500 million next year, with hopes of reaching a target of $3 billion (£1.5 billion) by 2012.

Speaking from his native Ireland the singer said: "It's a really big idea we're listening to today - it's the idea of putting every child in school who wants to go, with a clear and credible plan."

Bono added that he would campaign to try and persuade European countries to match the proposed US pledge.

Yesterday really was a beautiful day for the U2 vocalist, who also set aside some time to help recognise the efforts of human rights defenders.

The star turned to poetry in presenting an award concerning the defence of women's rights in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), during a ceremony in Dublin hosted by the charity Front Line.

02/05/2007 07:06:50