African News

Senegal: Wade is most travelled worldwide

Senegalese President, Abdoulaye Wade, has been named “the greatest traveller since Alexander the Great.” According to a study by Dakar-based Aid Transparency the West African president beats great leaders of today’s generation even when their travel times are combined together.
The report published on Tuesday, January 5th in a Dakar-based daily – The Kotch – said the time traveled by presidents Carter, Bush – father and son – Clinton, Obama, Sarkozy and Chirac, Helmut Kohl and Angela Merkel, all put together, will not account for half the time that President Wade has spent travelling outside his country, after only nine years as head of state of Senegal. According to the report, on average the Senegalese president embarked on 37 trips per year representing at least three trips per month. This also translates that he travels outside Senegal every 10 days. The study which also pointed to France, the United States of America, Switzerland and Saudi Arabia as among countries frequented by the Senegalese president, made a striking contrast with an almost non-existent internal travels by the president. The authors of the study pointed at the cost involved in such frequency of travelling, citing hiring or maintenance of the aircraft involved, accommodation, catering for the normally larger presidential entourage that is characteristic of African leaders, not to mention the “gifts” that goes with such high profile visits overseas. These, the authors argued, could mean a lot for many lives and families in a poor African country like Senegal. Aid Transparency is an agency that seeks to protect aid recipients from donors. It also publicizes violations of people’s rights to a fair delivery of international development.

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