“These are incredible people of our time, involved in this effort to make Africa better, to get Africa self-sufficient, and to try to get rid of aids on the continent.”

“Each visit [to Africa] has proven to be a rare opportunity to discover just how magnificent and culturally rich the African people are,” says Muhammad Ali, who has been a messenger for peace for the U.S. government and the United Nations. “It is true, Africa has endured famine, drought, and the AIDS epidemic, but what is more important is that the people have endured … with dignity and hope. It is their hope and mine that this rich and magnificent land will one day be restored to the majesty of its ancestors.”

President George W. Bush’s work for Africa. As the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development—an independent monitor of global spending—reports, the U.S. has quadrupled aid to the continent over the last six years. In his 2003 State of the Union address, Bush pledged $15 billion to fight AIDS primarily in Africa, and two years later pledged a $1.2 billion initiative to fight malaria in the 15 African countries hardest hit by the disease.

Brad Pitt’s activism in New Orleans, Haiti, and Africa has received worldwide attention. His involvement in Africa began in 2004 with visits to Ethiopia and South Africa; in 2005 he helped launch the One Campaign to Make Poverty History. He is also a co-founder of Not on Our Watch, which teamed with the International Rescue Committee to hold premieres of Pitt’s current film, Ocean’s Thirteen, to benefit Darfur. He interviews Archbishop Desmond Tutu.