News / Africa

Obama Praises Democratic Progress in Senegal

Obama Praises Democratic Progress in Senegali
X
June 27, 2013 11:49 PM
President Barack Obama, visiting Senegal, praised the country's democratic progress, saying it sets an example for Africa. Senegal was the first stop for Obama and his family on their weeklong trip to Africa that includes South Africa and Tanzania. VOA White House Correspondent Dan Robinson reports from the capital, Dakar.
President Barack Obama, visiting Senegal, praised the country's democratic progress, saying it sets an example for Africa.  Senegal was the first stop for Obama and his family on their weeklong trip to Africa that includes South Africa and Tanzania. 

Thousands turned out to welcome America's first African-American president, on his first return to sub-Saharan Africa since 2009.

At the presidential palace in Dakar, Obama and First Lady Michelle were welcomed by Senegalese President Macky Sall and his wife Mareme.

Bilateral talks covered a range of issues, from U.S. support for Senegal's democracy and infrastructure to joint security.

President Obama's trip to AfricaPresident Obama's trip to Africa
x
President Obama's trip to Africa
President Obama's trip to Africa
President Obama praised Sall for his openness and anti-corruption efforts. He said Senegal is an example for Africa.

“It is moving in the right direction, with reforms to deepen democratic institutions and as more Africans across this continent stand up and demand governments that are accountable and serve the people, I believe Senegal can be a great example," said President Obama.

Speaking one day after a U.S. Supreme Court decision validating gay marriage, Obama said African nations that make homosexuality a crime should make sure gays and lesbians are not victims of official discrimination.  

"I believe everybody has to be treated equally," said Obama.

President Sall responded by calling his country tolerant and not homophobic, though he said Senegal is not ready to decriminalize homosexuality.

Speaking about economic development, Obama said U.S. policy emphasizes partnership and trade rather than merely assistance.  

President Sall said Africa needs good governance to make use of its resources.

“We have tremendous natural resources, we have a lot of human resources, we need infrastructure to accompany the development of all these resources, but all this in the context of good governance, otherwise these resources will be in vain," said President Sall.

First Lady Michelle Obama and her mother joined the president at a museum on Goree Island dedicated to the West African slave trade. Centuries ago, Africans were held captive here before being shipped off, in chains, to be slaves.

Obama said the tour here was a powerful moment that reminded him about the importance of human rights.

"I think more than anything what it reminds us of is we have to remain vigilant," he said.

Earlier, Obama's spoke of former South African President Nelson Mandela, now gravely ill in a Pretoria hospital.

The president called Mandela a hero for the world, whose legacy will last through the ages.   

The Obamas leave for South Africa on Friday.

You May Like

UN Fears Rights Violations in China-backed Projects

UNHCHR investigates link between financing development and ignoring safeguards for human rights More

Boko Haram Violence Tests Nigerians’ Faith in Buhari

New president has promised to stem insurgency; he’s scheduled to meet with President Obama at White House July 20 More

Social Media Network Wants Privacy in User’s Hands

Encryption's popularity in messaging is exploding; now it's the foundation of a new social network More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Making Music, Fleeing Bombs: New Film on Sudan’s Internal Refugeesi
X
Carolyn Weaver
July 06, 2015 6:47 PM
In 2012, Sudanese filmmaker Hajooj Kuka went to make a documentary among civil war refugees in Sudan’s Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains region. What he found surprised him: music was helping to save people from bombing raids by their own government. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video Making Music, Fleeing Bombs: New Film on Sudan’s Internal Refugees

In 2012, Sudanese filmmaker Hajooj Kuka went to make a documentary among civil war refugees in Sudan’s Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains region. What he found surprised him: music was helping to save people from bombing raids by their own government. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video Rice Farmers Frustrated As Drought Grips Thailand

A severe drought in Thailand is limiting the growing season of the country’s important rice crop. Farmers are blaming the government for not doing more to protect a key export. Steve Sandford reports from Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Video

Video 'From This Day Forward' Reveals Difficult Journey of Transgender Parent

In her documentary, "From This Day Forward", filmmaker Sharon Shattuck reveals the personal journey of her transgender father, as he told his family that he always felt he was a woman inside and decided to live as one. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Floodwaters Threaten Iconic American Home

The Farnsworth House in the Midwest State of Illinois is one of the most iconic homes in America. Thousands of tourists visit the site every year. Its location near a river inspired the design of the house, but, as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, that very location is now threatening the existence of this National Historic Landmark.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.

VOA Blogs