News / Africa

Obama in South Africa, Meets Zuma Saturday

President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama are greeted upon their arrival at Waterkloof Air Base in Centurion, South Africa, June 28, 2013,.
President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama are greeted upon their arrival at Waterkloof Air Base in Centurion, South Africa, June 28, 2013,.
U.S. President Barack Obama begins a day of events in South Africa Saturday, continuing a three-nation African tour. Obama spoke on Air Force One before his arrival about lessons young Africans can learn from former South African president Nelson Mandela.

Obama was last in South Africa in 2006 as a U.S. senator.  Now, he has returned, as the first African-American president of the United States, seeking to re-engage with the continent during his second term.

President Obama's trip to AfricaPresident Obama's trip to Africa
President Obama's trip to Africa
President Obama's trip to Africa
On Saturday in Pretoria, South African President Jacob Zuma formally welcomes Obama and first lady Michelle Obama.  After bilateral talks, the two presidents hold a news conference.  President Zuma hosts a state dinner later.

Obama holds a town hall-style meeting in Soweto, the Johannesburg township that played such a pivotal role during protests against apartheid, the former racial segregation system in force during white minority rule.

As part of Obama's Young African Leaders Initiative, he will answer questions from South Africans and young people participating from Uganda, Nigeria and Kenya in a televised event.

Listen to Robinson's audio with President Obama:

President Obama wants to expand the initiative into an exchange program to bring young Africans to the United States in the coming years, working with American educational institutions, including historically black universities.

He spoke about this in a radio interview as he flew into South Africa aboard Air Force One.

"That we hope can identify as many as 500 outstanding young leaders all across Africa to participate in visiting the United States, getting training programs, getting the kinds of skills they are going to need that they can then take back to their countries," said President Obama.

Obama was also asked about the message he will deliver here, especially when South Africans are focused on the health of former president and anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela.

He said his message would be "consistent" with one of the central lessons of  Mandela's life, saying that Africa's rise will continue if African countries are unified and not divided by tribe or race or religion.

In his media interview, Obama linked the legacy of Mandela, whom he met briefly in Washington in 2005, with what he believes is the great potential and promise of new generations of Africans.

"He showed that when you lead with integrity, when you are more concerned about what is right than simply being in power, you can perform miracles.  You can bring about incredible change," said Obama.

Obama played down expectations of a visit with the 94-year-old Mandela, saying "I don't need a photo op" and adding that he does not want to be obtrusive at a time when Mandela's family is concerned with his condition.

Rather than visiting Mandela in the hospital, the president and his wife will meet with the family.

The president said the thoughts and prayers of the American people are with Nelson Mandela, his family, and his country - sentiment he said is universally shared.

Obama and his family will spend just over two days in South Africa, before heading Monday to Tanzania on the final stop of his trip.

  • U.S. President Barack Obama heads a soccer ball at Ubungo Power Plant in Dar es Salaam, July 2, 2013. The ball called a "soccket ball" has internal electronics that allows it to generate and store electricity that can power small devices.
  • U.S. First lady Michelle Obama walks with Salma Kikwete, wife of Tanzania's president, during a departure ceremony in Dar es Salaam, July 2, 2013.
  • U.S. President Barack Obama and former president George W. Bush (left) attend a memorial for the victims of the 1998 U.S. embassy bombing in Dar es Salaam, July 2, 2013.
  • U.S. President Barack Obama, first lady Michelle Obama, Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete, and Tanzanian first lady Salma Kikwete wave as they arrive at State House in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, July 1, 2013.
  • President Barack Obama and Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete walk in front of Michelle Obama and Salma Kikwete as they arrive at the State House in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, July 1, 2013.
  • Young girls and women wear the khanga, a traditional wrap, with the image of U.S. President Barack Obama as they line up to greet him at the State House, in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, July 1, 2013.
  • U.S. President Barack Obama writes in a guest book as he tours Robben Island with first lady Michelle Obama, near Cape Town, June 30, 2013.
  • U.S. President Barack Obama departs the Robben Island prison cell where Nelson Mandela spent 18 of his 27 years of imprisonment near Cape Town, June 30, 2013.
  • U.S. President Barack Obama listens to Desmond Tutu as he visits his HIV Foundation Youth Center and takes part in a health event in Cape Town, June 30, 2013.
  • U.S. President Barack Obama greets participants at a town hall-style meeting with young African leaders at the University of Johannesburg in Soweto, June 29, 2013.
  • Members of the White House traveling staff walk to a group of helicopters about to transport U.S. President Barack Obama from a soccer field in Johannesburg, June 29, 2013.
  • Protesters argue with police outside the University of Johannesburg in Soweto, ahead of a visit by U.S. President Barack Obama, June 29, 2013.
  • U.S. President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama look out of a doorway that slaves departed from on Goree Island, Senegal, June 27, 2013.
  • U.S. President Barack Obama visits a food security expo in Dakar, Senegal, June 28, 2013.
  • People line the motorcade route of U.S. President Barack Obama on his way to meet with Senegalese President Macky Sall in Dakar, June 27, 2013.

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This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
by: tom from: maine
June 28, 2013 5:02 PM
Seems to me that close to 97% of comments on yahoo n' google have unified consensus as to confirm this President as harmful to American interests. I for one, hope obumbha stays in Africa.
In Response

by: Godwin from: Nigeria
June 29, 2013 10:29 AM
If he's as harmful as you portray here, why do you want him stay back in Africa? Have you not heard that his popularity is waning in Africa too?
In Response

by: mehrdad from: persia
June 29, 2013 4:23 AM
so he can ruin another place ,am i right?
i know it seems crazy but most of americans whom i saw were disagree with this man ,so what is he doing here?
beside i think there is something wrong with usa's government ,i mean there are a lot of wrong things with it

by: me from: America
June 28, 2013 4:39 PM
I couldn't care less about Mandela, My concern is the amount of Money we are selling out for their lavish Vacations. Barock osama, is taking from the Rich to give to the RICH family which is he and is Tribe in the white house. for very expensive vacations, that only WE could dream of.
In Response

by: mehrdad from: persia
June 29, 2013 4:14 AM
oh dear you have no idea how much money your government is spending all over the world for ...

by: Hy from: USA
June 28, 2013 4:36 PM
Let's hope he stays in South Africa. We don't want him back into the U. S. A.
In Response

by: mehrdad from: persia
June 29, 2013 4:18 AM
can you tell me the reason?
In Response

by: dzv from: SA
June 29, 2013 1:56 AM
Unlikely that he will stay in SA...if he does... hopefully SA citizens will have the fortitude that is lacking in the USA to arrest this war mongering SOB and put him on trial for his crimes against humanity...

by: Adriaan from: South Africa
June 28, 2013 4:16 PM
I want to rectify a lie which was posted to the world ny the anc government in South Africa. Mandela were only for 5 years in the prison on Robben Island. After that he was held as a "free prisoner" staying in ahous with aircon, pool and the liberty to welcome guests at any on a prison terrain called Victor Verster in one of the most beautiful areas of South Africa. With all respect, the anc government is b....g the outside world. Do not believe them.
In Response

by: mehrdad from: persia
June 29, 2013 4:17 AM
show or introduce some proof,please

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