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

Photogallery Strong Words Start, May End, S. African Xenophobic Attacks

President Jacob Zuma publicly condemned rise in attacks on foreign nationals but critics say leadership has been less than welcoming to foreign residents More

Video Family Waits to Hear Charges Against Reporter Jailed in Iran

Reports in Iran say Jason Rezaian has been charged with espionage, but brother tells VOA indictment has not been made public More

Video Overwhelmed by Migrants, Italy Mulls Action to Stabilize Libya

Amnesty International says multinational concerted humanitarian effort must be enacted to address crisis; decrepit boats continue to bring thousands of new arrivals daily 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.
Are Energy Needs Putting Thailand's Natural Beauty at Risk?i
X
Steve Sandford
April 17, 2015 12:50 AM
Thailand's appetite for more electricity has led to the construction of new dams along the Mekong River to the north and new coal plants near the country's famous beaches in the south. A proposed coal plant in a so-called "green zone" has touched off a debate. VOA's Steve Sandford reports.
Video

Video Are Energy Needs Putting Thailand's Natural Beauty at Risk?

Thailand's appetite for more electricity has led to the construction of new dams along the Mekong River to the north and new coal plants near the country's famous beaches in the south. A proposed coal plant in a so-called "green zone" has touched off a debate. VOA's Steve Sandford reports.
Video

Video Overwhelmed by Migrants, Italy Mulls Military Action to Stabilize Libya

Thousands more migrants have arrived on the southern shores of Italy from North Africa in the past two days. Authorities say they expect the total number of arrivals this year to far exceed previous levels, and the government has said military action in Libya might be necessary to stem the flow. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Putin Accuses Kyiv of ‘Cutting Off’ Eastern Ukraine

Russian President Vladimir Putin, in his annual televised call-in program, again denied there were any Russian troops fighting in Ukraine. He also said the West was trying to ‘contain’ Russia with sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports on reactions to the president’s four-hour TV appearance.
Video

Video Eye Contact Secures Dog's Place in Human Heart

Dogs serve in the military, work with police and assist the disabled, and have been by our side for thousands of years serving as companions and loyal friends. We love them. They love us in return. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports on a new study that looks at the bio-chemical bond that cements that human-canine connection.
Video

Video Ukrainian Volunteers Search for Bodies of Missing Soldiers

As the cease-fire becomes more fragile in eastern Ukraine, a team of volunteer body collectors travels to the small village of Savur Mohyla in the what pro-Russian separatists call the Donetsk Peoples Republic - to retrieve bodies of fallen Ukrainian servicemen from rebel-held territories. Adam Bailes traveled with the team and has this report.
Video

Video Xenophobic Violence Sweeps South Africa

South Africa, long a haven for African immigrants, has been experiencing the worst xenophobic violence in years, with at least five people killed and hundreds displaced in recent weeks. From Johannesburg, VOA’s Anita Powell brings us this report.
Video

Video Sierra Leone President Koroma Bemoans Ebola Impact on Economy

In an interview with VOA's Shaka Ssali on Wednesday, President Ernest Koroma said the outbreak undermined his government’s efforts to boost and restructure the economy after years of civil war.
Video

Video Protester Lands Gyrocopter on Capitol Lawn

A 61-year-old mailman from Florida landed a small aircraft on the Capitol lawn in Washington to bring attention to campaign finance reform and what he says is government corruption. Wednesday's incident was one in a string of security breaches on U.S. government property. Zlatica Hoke reports the gyrocopter landing violated a no-fly zone.
Video

Video Apollo 13, NASA's 'Successful Failure,' Remembered

The Apollo 13 mission in 1970 was supposed to be NASA's third manned trip to the moon, but it became much more. On the flight's 45th anniversary, astronauts and flight directors gathered at Chicago's Adler Planetarium to talk about how the aborted mission changed manned spaceflight and continues to influence space exploration today. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video Badly Burned Ukrainian Boy Bravely Fights Back

A 9-year-old Ukrainian boy has returned to his native country after intensive treatment in the United States for life-threatening burns. Volodia Bubela, burned in a house fire almost a year ago, battled back at a Boston hospital, impressing doctors with his bravery. Faith Lapidus narrates this report from VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko.
Video

Video US Maternity Leave Benefits Much Less Than Many Countries

It was almost 20 years ago that representatives of 189 countries met at a UN conference in Beijing and adopted a plan of action to achieve gender equality around the world. Now, two decades later, the University of California Los Angeles World Policy Analysis Center has issued a report examining what the Beijing Platform for Action has achieved. From Los Angeles, Elizabeth Lee has more.
Video

Video Endangered Hawaiian Birds Get Second Chance

Of the world's nearly 9,900 bird species, 13 percent are threatened with extinction, according to BirdLife International. Among them are two Hawaiian honeycreepers - tiny birds that live in the forest canopy, and, as the name implies, survive on nectar from tropical flowers. Scientists at the San Diego Zoo report they have managed to hatch half a dozen of their chicks in captivity, raising hopes that the birds will flutter back from the brink of extinction. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Exhibit Brings Renaissance Master Out of the Shadows

The National Gallery of Art in Washington has raised the curtain on one of the most intriguing painters of the High Renaissance. Mostly ignored after his death in the early 1500s, Italian master Piero di Cosimo is now claiming his place alongside the best-known artists of the period. VOA’s Ardita Dunellari reports.
Video

Video Sidemen to Famous Blues Artists Record Their Own CD

Legendary blues singer BB King was briefly hospitalized last week and the 87-year-old “King of the Blues” may not be touring much anymore. But some of the musicians who have played with him and other blues legends have now released their own CD in an attempt to pass the torch to younger fans... and put their own talents out front as well. VOA’s Greg Flakus has followed this project over the past year and filed this report from Houston.
Video

Video Iran-Saudi Rivalry Is Stoking Conflict in Yemen

Iran has proposed a peace plan to end the conflict in Yemen, but the idea has received little support from regional rivals like Saudi Arabia. They accuse Tehran of backing the Houthi rebels, who have forced Yemen’s president to flee to Riyadh, and have taken over swaths of Yemen. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA, analysts say the conflict is being fueled by the Sunni-Shia rivalry between the two regional powers.

VOA Blogs