U2 frontman Bono’s next tour is less than a week away, although it won’t find the internationally famous singer performing in the glimmering sporting arenas of the first world. Instead, Bono will visit the AIDS-ravaged terrain of Sub-Saharan Africa with U.S. Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill beginning May 20.
The 10-day-tour will take the unlikely duo to schools, AIDS clinics, and various World Bank development projects in Ghana, Uganda, South Africa, and Ethiopia, AP reports.
Bono has long used his fame as a platform to speak out about the situation, which has seen more than 22 million Africans claimed by AIDS, including 3 million last year alone, while approximately 36 million are living with the disease.
Bono says that the plight is a part of history that will not quickly be forgotten. “When the history books are written, the Middle East and Northern Ireland will not occupy as many pages as, for instance, the sub-continent of Sub-Saharan Africa and watching it be flushed down the toilet at the start of the 21st century,” he says. “This is the gigantic challenge of the age.”
Secretary O’Neill joked about his upcoming travels with Bono, who has also lobbied President Bush and others in recent months regarding the issue. “It is possible for the two of us to see life through each other’s eyes,” O’Neill said, recently. “I’m going to get a set of blue warparound glasses and I’m going to give him a gray wig.”