News / Africa

    Obama Africa Trip is Effort to Re-engage With Continent

    Obama Africa Trip Is Effort to Re-engage With Continenti
    X
    June 19, 2013 9:38 PM
    U.S. President Barack Obama returns to Africa next week, only the second visit of his presidency to the continent. VOA senior White House correspondent Dan Robinson reports that in Senegal, South Africa and Tanzania, he will stress support for democracies and economic progress, and he will speak about the importance of human rights.
    Obama Africa Trip Is Effort to Re-engage With Continent
    U.S. President Barack Obama returns to Africa next week, only the second visit of his presidency to the continent. In Senegal, South Africa and Tanzania, he will stress support for democracies and economic progress, and speak about the importance of human rights.

    Obama has spent less than 24 hours in sub-Saharan Africa, an all-too short visit to Ghana in 2009.

    He spoke to Ghana's parliament about democracy, opportunity and peaceful resolution of conflict, and pointed to what he called a fundamental truth.

    “Development depends on good governance," he stated. "That is the ingredient which has been missing in far too many places, for far too long. That's the change that can unlock Africa's potential."

    In Senegal, Obama's first stop, his host is President Macky Sall, who visited the White House last March with other African leaders.

    Senegal and other stops reflect U.S. support for emerging democracies, food security, global health and fighting AIDS.

    Obama also is likely to speak about joint counter-terrorism efforts with African nations, and threats from Islamist extremists in places like Mali and Nigeria.

    Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes said President Obama is aware of the disappointment that he has visited Africa only once, and is determined to change that.

    "The U.S. would be ceding its leadership position in the world if the president of the United States was not deeply engaged in Africa," Rhodes noted. "And that is what he is going to do."

    Former Bush administration top official for Africa Jendayi Frazer, now with the Council on Foreign Relations, said the African "street" and many leaders feel let down. "That he hasn't been more engaged, that he hasn't had more dialogue with them, and that his administration has not had greater influence, particularly when they compare that to the significant engagement that they are finding coming out of China," Frazer stated.

    Julius Agbor, with the Brookings Institution, credits Obama with strengthening democratic institutions, peace and security initiatives, and food security initiatives.

    He said Obama bolstered U.S. aid levels, but Africans remain disappointed with low levels of direct U.S. investment.

    "Africans in the majority have been very disappointed by the fact that the U.S. is not investing enough in the continent which would have helped to provide jobs for its millions of unemployed young graduates," said Agbor.

    In South Africa, which White House officials call the continent's iconic democracy, Obama will discuss economic and democratic progress. 

    "South Africa is the largest economy in sub-Saharan Africa, it has strong democratic institutions although challenged, certainly there are major challenges in South Africa, but it is of strategic importance to the United States, it has a big influence in the African Union and across the region, particularly in southern Africa," added Frazer.

    Deliberately left off Obama's itinerary was Kenya. Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta and deputy president face trials in the International Criminal Court on charges linked to post-election violence in 2007.

    You May Like

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Before burial at overflowing cemeteries, unidentified dead being swapped for DNA, in case some day relatives come to learn their fate

    Russian Opposition Leader Sues Putin for Conflict of Interest

    Alexei Navalny tells VOA in exclusive interview why transfer of $2 billion from country’s wealth fund to company with ties to President Putin’s son-in-law triggered lawsuit

    Clinton, Sanders Fight for African American Votes

    Some African American lawmakers lining up to support Clinton in face of perceived surge by Sanders in race for Democratic nomination in presidential campaign

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Rob from: FLA USA
    June 20, 2013 11:44 PM
    This is a a vacation for Obama and Family ...plain and simple!

    by: Gadema Quoquoi from: New YYork City
    June 20, 2013 11:18 AM
    I hear some people in the USA complianting about President Obama's African Trip that, may cost $60-100 million of tax payers dollars.

    Afirca has over 320 million Middle Calss, more the India. Africa is the second largest Continent, and the richest in Natural Resources. This means, Africa offers more business opportunities to American businesses than any ohter Continent.

    Which, I believe will translate into more American JOBS.

    As a Liberian and a Global Expert in Infrastructure Development, I believe Africa is the next Economic Miracle. My cncern is will this translate into moore business opportunities Africans, African-Americans, Caribbean-Africans, etc,

    Gadema Quoquoi
    Presidentg & CEO
    COMPULINE INTERNATIONAL, INC.

    by: Nandos
    June 19, 2013 11:36 PM
    Jendayi Frazer "Many African leaders feel let down, that he hasnt been more engaged, that he hasnt had more dialogue with them etc. Well what about mentioning Humanitarian transgressions on a scale that is absolutely unknown in Western Countries and is ongoing? Please Jendayi visit a few of these Southern African countries, and research what has been happening. Nkosi sikele Afrika.

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Filli
    X
    Hamada Elsaram
    February 11, 2016 8:01 PM
    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video To Fight Zika, Scientists Target Mosquitoes

    Mosquitoes strike again. The Zika virus outbreak is just the latest headline-grabbing epidemic carried by these biting pests, but researchers are fighting back with new ways to control them. VOA's Steve Baragona takes a look.
    Video

    Video Mosul Refugees Talk About Life Under IS

    A top U.S. intelligence official told Congress this week that a planned Iraqi-led operation to re-take the city of Mosul from Islamic State militants is unlikely to take place this year. IS took over the city in June 2014, and for the past year and a half, Mosul residents have been held captive under its rule. VOA's Zana Omar talked to some families who managed to escape. Bronwyn Benito narrates his report.
    Video

    Video Scientists Make Progress Toward Better Diabetes Treatment, Cure

    Scientists at two of the top U.S. universities say they have made significant advances in their quest to find a more efficient treatment for diabetes and eventually a cure. According to the International Diabetes Federation, the disease affects more than 370 million people worldwide. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video NATO to Target Migrant Smugglers

    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video Russia's Catholics, Orthodox Hopeful on Historic Pope-Patriarch Meeting

    Russia's Catholic minority has welcomed an historic first meeting Friday in Cuba between the Pope and the Patriarch of Russia's dominant Orthodox Church. The Orthodox Church split with Rome in 1054 and analysts say politics, both church and state, have been driving the relationship in the centuries since. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Used Books Get a New Life on the Streets of Lagos

    Used booksellers are importing books from abroad and selling them on the streets of Africa's largest city. What‘s popular with readers may surprise you. Chris Stein reports from Lagos.
    Video

    Video After NH Primaries All Eyes on South Carolina

    After Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire, US presidential candidates swiftly turned to the next election coming up in South Carolina. The so-called “first-in-the-South” poll may help further narrow down the field of candidates. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video US Co-ed Selective Service Plan Stirs Controversy

    Young women may soon be required to register with the U.S. Selective Service System, the U.S. government agency charged with implementing a draft in a national emergency. Top Army and Marine Corps commanders told the Senate Armed Services Committee recently that women should register, and a bill has been introduced in Congress requiring eligible women to sign up for the military draft. The issue is stirring some controversy, as VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports from New York.
    Video

    Video Lessons Learned From Ebola Might Help Fight Zika

    Now that the Ebola epidemic has ended in West Africa, Zika has the world's focus. And, as Carol Pearson reports, health experts and governments are applying some of the lessons learned during the Ebola crisis in Africa to fight the Zika virus in Latin America and the Caribbean.
    Video

    Video Smartphone Helps Grow Vegetables

    One day, you may be using your smartphone to grow your vegetables. A Taipei-based company has developed a farm cube — a small, enclosed ecosystem designed to grow plants indoors. The environment inside is automatically adjusted by the cube, but it can also be controlled through an app. VOA's Deborah Block has more on the gardening system.
    Video

    Video Illinois Voters Have Mixed Emotions on Obama’s Return to Springfield

    On the ninth anniversary of the launch of his quest for national office, President Barack Obama returned to Springfield, Illinois, to speak to the Illinois General Assembly, where he once served as state senator. His visit was met with mixed emotions by those with a front-row seat on his journey to the White House. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.
    Video

    Video Exhibit Turns da Vinci’s Drawings Into Real Objects

    In addition to being a successful artist, Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci designed many practical machines, some of which are still in use today, although in different forms. But a number of his projects were never realized — until today. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Heated Immigration Debate Limits Britain’s Refugee Response

    Compared to many other European states, Britain has agreed to accept a relatively small number of Syrian refugees. Just over a thousand have arrived so far -- and some are being resettled in remote corners of the country. Henry Ridgwell reports on why Britain’s response has lagged behind its neighbors.
    Video

    Video Russia's Car Sales Shrink Overall, But Luxury and Economy Models See Growth

    Car sales in Russia dropped by more than a third in 2015 because of the country's economic woes. But, at the extreme ends of the car market, luxury vehicles and some economy brands are actually experiencing growth. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.