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

TEXT SIZE - +
— 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

Multimedia Anti-Keystone XL Protests Continue

Demonstrators are worried about pipeline's effect on climate change, their traditional way of life, health and safety More

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 More

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.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid