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
x
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.

You May Like

Video On The Scene: In Ethiopia, 'Are You a Journalist?' Is a Loaded Question

VOA's Anita Powell describes the difficulties faced by reporters in fully conveying the story in a country where people are reticent to share their true opinions More

Nigerians Await New President With High Hopes

When pomp and circumstance of inauguration end in Abuja, Buhari will sit down to the hard task of governing Nigeria More

India's Restrictions on Several NGOs Raise Concerns

Political analysts link recent clampdown on advocacy groups to report last year that said foreign-funded NGO’s negatively impact economic development More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
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

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Expelled from Pakistan, Afghan Refugees Return to Increased Hardshipi
X
Ayesha Tanzeem
May 28, 2015 6:48 PM
Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Expelled from Pakistan, Afghan Refugees Return to Increased Hardship

Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Britain Makes Controversial Move to Crack Down on Extremism

Britain is moving to tighten controls on extremist rhetoric, even when it does not incite violence or hatred -- a move that some are concerned might unduly restrict basic freedoms. It is an issue many countries are grappling with as extremist groups gain power in the Middle East, fueled in part by donations and fighters from the West. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video Floodwaters Recede in Houston, but Rain Continues

Many parts of Texas are recovering from one of the worst natural disasters to hit the southwestern state. Heavy rains on Monday and early Tuesday caused rivers to swell in eastern and central Texas, washing away homes and killing at least 13 people. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, floodwaters are receding slowly in the country's fourth-largest city, and there likely is to be more rain in the coming days.
Video

Video 3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Car

Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Al-Shabab Recruitment Drive Still on In Kenya

The al-Shabab militants that have long battled for control of Somalia also have recruited thousands of young people in Kenya, leaving many families disconsolate. Mohammed Yusuf recently visited the Kenyan town of Isiolo, and met with relatives of those recruited, as well as a many who have helped with the recruiting.
Video

Video US Voters Seek Answers From Presidential Candidates on IS Gains

The growth of the Islamic State militant group in Iraq and Syria comes as the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign kicks off in the Midwest state of Iowa.   As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, voters want to know how the candidates would handle recent militant gains in the Middle East.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Film Festival Looks at Indigenous Peoples, Culture Conflict

A recent Los Angeles film festival highlighted the plight of people caught between two cultures. Mike O'Sullivan has more on the the Garifuna International Film Festival, a Los Angeles forum created by a woman from Central America who wants the world to know more about her culture.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.

VOA Blogs