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

Islamic State Survivor: A Yazidi Girl's Tale

Sarah Said Haydar, captured a year ago while fleeing Islamic State onslaught in northern Iraq, was so traumatized by militants, she sought to end her own life More

EU, US Applaud Kosovo Law on Special Court

Joint statement says lawmakers' decision to address allegations of war crimes 'demonstrated their commitment to the rule of law and to honor international agreements' More

ASEAN Ministers to Push for S. China Sea Agreements

According to documents obtained by VOA Khmer, ministers will stand up for 'freedom of navigation, unimpeded lawful maritime commerce, trade and over flight' 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.
Cambodia Makes Progress Curbing Bear Tradei
X
Robert Carmichael
August 04, 2015 3:07 PM
Cambodia’s wild bears are under unprecedented pressure. Their native forests are being cut down at record rates, and China's huge demand for traditional medicine has made them targets. But experts say Cambodia's conservation efforts are setting an example that has put it well ahead of its neighbors in protecting bears. Robert Carmichael reports for VOA from Phnom Penh.
Video

Video Cambodia Makes Progress Curbing Bear Trade

Cambodia’s wild bears are under unprecedented pressure. Their native forests are being cut down at record rates, and China's huge demand for traditional medicine has made them targets. But experts say Cambodia's conservation efforts are setting an example that has put it well ahead of its neighbors in protecting bears. Robert Carmichael reports for VOA from Phnom Penh.
Video

Video Growing Number of E. Jerusalem Palestinians Seek Israeli Citizenship

Most Palestinians living in East Jerusalem have long rejected the option of full Israeli citizenship, seeing it as a betrayal to their political cause - the formation of a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital. But as that dream remains elusive, more and more Palestinians are applying for Israeli citizenship. Zlatica Hoke reports the decision is hard for many Palestinians who say they have to be pragmatic about it.
Video

Video With No Money, More Students, African Universities Struggle

Academics from around the African continent converged in Johannesburg last week for the African Universities Summit, a chance to tackle some of the major issues facing higher education in Africa today. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Iraqi Yazidis Fear Death of Their Community

A year ago on August 3, Islamic State militants stormed the homelands of Iraq’s Yazidi minority, killing hundreds of men and enslaving thousands of women. The scenes of desperate Yazidi families crowding on the top of Sinjar mountain without food or water spurred Kurdish fighters into action, an emergency airlift and the start of the U.S. airstrike campaign against the Islamic State Sunni extremists. VOA's Sharon Benh reports from northern Iraq.
Video

Video Bangkok Warned It Soon Could Be Submerged

Italy's Venice and America's New Orleans are not the only cities gradually submerging. The nearly ten million residents of the Bangkok urban area now must confront warnings the city could become uninhabitable in a few decades. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from the Thai capital.
Video

Video Inclusive Gym Gets People With Disabilities in Fitness Spirit

Individuals with special needs are 58 percent more likely to be obese than the general population. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, they also have an increased likelihood of anxiety, depression and social isolation. But a sports club outside Washington wants to make a difference in these people's lives. With Carol Pearson narrating, VOA's June Soh reports.
Video

Video Wisconsin's Voter ID Law Still Mired In Controversy

Voter ID laws have sparked controversy across the US. More than 30 states enacted laws requiring citizens to show identification before they vote. Against fierce opposition, the state of Wisconsin recently enacted one the most restrictive voter ID laws in country. As Jeff Swicord reports, no one can predict its impact as the 2016 election nears.
Video

Video Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missions

Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Hailed as Highly Effective

At last, there's a way to end the suffering from the Ebola epidemic that has ravaged West Africa for more than a year. Researchers say the vaccine is so effective, there may never be a major outbreak of Ebola again. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video Special Olympics Show Competitors' Skill, Determination

Special Olympics competitions will wrap up Saturday in Los Angeles, and the closing ceremony for athletes with intellectual disabilities will be held Sunday night. In a week of competition, athletes have shown what they can do through skill and determination. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Civil Rights Leaders Struggled to Achieve Voting Rights Act

Fifty years ago, lawmakers approved, and U.S. President Lyndon Johnson signed, the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The measure outlawed racial discrimination in voting, giving millions of blacks in many parts of the southern United States federal enforcement of the right to vote. Correspondent Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights leaders who were on the front lines in the struggle for voting rights.
Video

Video Shooter’s Grill: Serving Food with a Touch of the Second Amendment

Shooter's Grill, a restaurant in Rifle, Colorado, attracts visitors from all over the world as well as local patrons. The reason? Waitresses openly carry loaded firearms as they serve food, and customers are welcome to carry them, too. VOA's Enming Liu and Lin Yang paid a visit to Shooter's Grill, and heard different opinions about this unique establishment.
Video

Video Despite Controversy, Business Owner Continues Sale of Confederate Flags

At Cooter’s, a store in rural Sperryville, Virginia, about 120 kilometers west of Washington, D.C., Confederate flags are flying off the shelves. The red, white and blue battle flag, with 13 white stars representing the Confederate states, was carried by southern forces during the U.S. Civil War in the 1860s. The South had seceded from the Union over several key issues of disagreement, including slavery. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Hometown of Boy Scouts of America Founder Reacts to Gay Leader Decision

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

VOA Blogs