News / Africa

    Obama Outlines Partnership Model with Africa

    Obama Outlines Vision of U.S.-Africa Cooperation during South Africa Visiti
    X
    June 30, 2013 9:45 PM
    U.S. President Barack Obama brought his tour of South Africa to a triumphant climax Sunday with a wide-ranging speech outlining a new model for U.S. engagement with Africa, and initiatives he says will being more prosperity and progress to the continent. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Johannesburg he also continued to urge Africa’s youth to do more to push the continent forward.
    Obama Outlines Vision of U.S.-Africa Cooperation during South Africa Visit
    U.S. President Barack Obama has outlined a new model for U.S. engagement with Africa, supporting greater economic opportunity and democracy, and African-led solutions to security.

    At the University of Cape Town, Obama presented a broad picture of his goals for U.S.-Africa policy, including assistance, trade and investment, health, and security cooperation.

    The speech was framed around the legacy Obama said former president Nelson Mandela has left for the continent.

    The most frequently used words and phrases in President Obama's speech in Cape Town on June 30, 2013. Courtesy of wordle.netThe most frequently used words and phrases in President Obama's speech in Cape Town on June 30, 2013. Courtesy of wordle.net
    x
    The most frequently used words and phrases in President Obama's speech in Cape Town on June 30, 2013. Courtesy of wordle.net
    The most frequently used words and phrases in President Obama's speech in Cape Town on June 30, 2013. Courtesy of wordle.net
    ​Earlier he and his family visited Robben Island, where Mandela spent nearly two decades of his 27 years in prison under the former apartheid regime. “Nelson Mandela showed us that one man's courage can move the world and he calls on his to make choices that reflect not our fears, but our hopes, in our own lives and in the lives of our communities and our countries," he said.

    Obama said the United States will “up our game” in a continent he described as “poised to take off," with new trade and investment and steps to bring down trade barriers.

    He spoke about his food security initiative to help lift 50-million people out of poverty within a decade.  And he announced a “Power Africa” initiative to double access to power in sub-Saharan Africa, with an initial investment of $7 billion.  

    Obama said he will continue seeking ideas from Africa's young people about their continent's future.  He announced his plan to hold a first-ever summit in Washington of sub-Saharan African leaders.

    “I am proud to announce that next year, I am going to invite heads of state from across sub-Saharan Africa to a summit in the United States to help launch a new chapter in U.S.-Africa relations," he said.

    The president spoke of a “historic shift” in Africa from poverty to a growing middle class with fewer people dying of preventable disease, but still threatened by the “rot of corruption” and conflict.

    “It is not moving fast enough for the child still languishing in poverty in forgotten townships.  It is not moving fast enough for the protester who is beaten in Harare, or the woman who is raped in Eastern Congo.  We have got more work to do because these Africans must not be left behind," he said.

    Obama called South Africa an example of the difference between freedom and tyranny, saying governments “should exist to serve their people and not other way around.”

    Citing free and fair elections and the growth of civil society from Ghana to Zambia, he said governments that respect the rights of their citizens and abide by the rule of law do better and draw more investment.

    In Zimbabwe, he said only a credible election can help repair the country's economy. “There is an opportunity to move forward, but only if there is an election that is free and fair and peaceful so that Zimbabweans can determine their future without fear of intimidation and retribution.  And after elections there must be respect for the universal rights upon which democracy depends," he said.

    Obama said the United States is interested in investing not in “strong men, but in strong institutions” and supports open and accountable governments, independent judiciaries, and societies that empower women. “No country will reach its potential unless it draws on the talents of our mothers and our sisters and our daughters," he said.

    Obama said opportunity and democracy cannot take root as long as fear prevails in too many places, citing conflicts in Mali, Somalia, Congo and Sudan.

    He said the United States supports African-led solutions, noting U.S. support for African Union peacekeeping in Somalia and efforts against the rebel Lord's Resistance Army in central Africa.

    “From Mali to Mogadishu, senseless terrorism all too often perverts the meaning of Islam one of the world's great religions and takes the lives of countless innocent Africans.  From Congo to Sudan, conflicts fester robbing men and women and children of the lives they deserve.  In too many countries the actions of thugs, and warlords and drug cartels and human traffickers hold back the promise of Africa, enslaving others for their own purposes," he said.

    He said America makes no apology for helping African efforts to end conflict and stand up for human dignity.

    Earlier, Obama joined retired Archbishop Desmond Tutu at a youth center named after him for AIDS prevention.

    “Your success is our success.  Your failure, whether you like it or not, is our failure.  And so we want to assure you that we pray for you to be a great success.  We want you to be known as having brought peace to the world," said Tutu.

    President Obama and his family depart early Monday for Tanzania, the final stop on his three-nation Africa tour.

    You May Like

    In Britain, The Sun Still Doesn’t Shine

    Invoking Spitfires and Merlin, Leave voters insist country can be great again, following surprising 'Brexit' vote last week

    Double Wave of Suicide Bombings Puts Lebanon, Refugees on Edge

    Following suicide bombings in Christian town of Al-Qaa, on Lebanon's northeast border with Syria, fears of further bombings have risen

    US Senators Warned on Zika After Failing to Pass Funding

    Zika threats and challenges, as well as issues of contraception and vaccines, spelled out as lawmakers point fingers

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Noel,
    July 01, 2013 12:39 PM
    Zimbabwe, well for a very long time the West has ignored what has been happening there, that is abundantly clear so the call for a credible election is welcome. However quite how that is implemented, remains to be seen. Thank you Mr Obama for this comment. It is indeed welcome.

    by: Yoshi from: Sapporo
    July 01, 2013 12:30 AM
    I think desirable partnership between US and Africa seems economical one rather than political one because large parts of problems in Africa reffered by Obama look mainly caused by poverty and low income. Any economic relationship between countries shoud be bilateral and absolutely not be exproitationing as it has been ever before.

    by: mullylin33 from: USA
    June 30, 2013 7:41 PM
    Why is Obama still in Africa when he has so many problems that need to be resolved here. And, hand outs is not a thing he should be doing at this point. THIS country is in trouble and he needs to do his job. I voted for him both times and am really disappointed.

    by: Paul from: The generous US of A
    June 30, 2013 6:54 PM
    So We The People should cheer up and pony up 7 (SEVEN) B-I-L-L-I-O-N D-O-L-L-A-R-S 'cause "Mr.Nice" said so? Speaking of redistribution of wealth.
    I don't think so, Mr. B. Hussein Obama!
    Not on our watch. This is Republic, not "Empire".
    In Response

    by: Vick from: Cameroon
    July 02, 2013 12:24 AM
    Investment is not giving!!
    Obama sees Africa as an opportunity for the US to expand the consumer base for its industry. Good relationships with Africa will also mean more friends in the world. China is doing just that.

    Looking only inward (in the US), or seeing Africa only as in need for handouts is outdated. The world is changing.

    by: Mary Bee from: Earth
    June 30, 2013 6:37 PM
    While Obama has opted to spend $70 BILLION American taxpayers dollars in Africa, perhpas he should consider that most senior citizens on Social Security in the USA live below the poverty level. Millions and millions of those seniors have paid into social security and the U.S. tax system their entire lives.

    We have children and adults living in poverty in the United States, the U.S. debt is beyond comprehension and yet Obama feels compelled to further this absurdity on an ever grander scale.

    America has spent BILLIONS and BILLIONS of taxpayer dollars in Africa and other third world nations for decades with very little results. If there were viable past results, the need to give them another 70 billion wouldn't be necessary. We cannot afford to finance the world - when we can't balance (or create) our own budget.

    Given Obama's latest generous gesture with America's money, maybe our federal government should do an audit to find out exactly what all the previous donations have accomplished.

    Instead of promising more money to Africa, perhaps after Mr. Obama leaves office, he should take up residence there and fix their country like he has ours. (yes, sarcasm).

    by: RICK from: ILLINOIS
    June 30, 2013 6:28 PM
    So not only can we not support the citizens of the United States due to the squandering of our tax dollars, but now we have to support the infrastructure of Africa as well. No problem, the fed will keep printing money that doesn't exist.

    by: kathy Jones from: Houston Texas
    June 30, 2013 5:48 PM
    President Obama needs to form a partnership with the American people first.
    In Response

    by: kenn from: nanaimo,bc,canada
    June 30, 2013 8:04 PM
    right on,charity and generosity begins at home.

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Slow Rebuilding Amid Boko Haram Destruction in Nigeria’s Northeasti
    X
    June 29, 2016 6:15 PM
    Military operations have chased Boko Haram out of towns and cities in Nigeria’s northeast since early last year. But it is only recently that people have begun returning to their homes in Adamawa state, near the border with Cameroon, to try to rebuild their lives. For VOA, Chris Stein traveled to the area and has this report.
    Video

    Video Slow Rebuilding Amid Boko Haram Destruction in Nigeria’s Northeast

    Military operations have chased Boko Haram out of towns and cities in Nigeria’s northeast since early last year. But it is only recently that people have begun returning to their homes in Adamawa state, near the border with Cameroon, to try to rebuild their lives. For VOA, Chris Stein traveled to the area and has this report.
    Video

    Video Clinton Leads Trump, But Many Voters Don't Like Either

    In the U.S. presidential race, most recent polls show Democrat Hillary Clinton with a steady lead over Republican Donald Trump as both presumptive party nominees prepare for their party conventions next month. Trump’s disapproval ratings have risen in some recent surveys, but Clinton also suffers from high negative ratings, suggesting both candidates have a lot of work to do to improve their images before the November election. VOA National correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video New US Ambassador to Somalia Faces Heavy Challenges

    The new U.S. envoy to Somalia, who was sworn into office Monday, will be the first American ambassador to that nation in 25 years. He will take up his post as Somalia faces a number of crucial issues, including insecurity, an upcoming election, and the potential closure of the Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya. VOA’s Jill Craig asked Somalis living in Kenya’s capital city Nairobi how they feel about the U.S. finally installing a new ambassador.
    Video

    Video At National Zoo, Captivating Animal Sculptures Illustrate Tragedy of Ocean Pollution

    The National Zoo in Washington, D.C., is home to about 1,800 animals, representing 300 species. But throughout the summer, visitors can also see other kinds of creatures there. They are larger-than-life animal sculptures that speak volumes about a global issue — the massive plastic pollution in our oceans. VOA's June Soh takes us to the zoo's special exhibit, called Washed Ashore: Art to Save the Sea.
    Video

    Video Baghdad Bikers Defy War with a Roar

    Baghdad is a city of contradictions. War is a constant. Explosions and kidnappings are part of daily life. But the Iraqi capital remains a thriving city, even if a little beat up. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on how some in Baghdad are defying the stereotype of a nation at war by pursuing a lifestyle known for its iconic symbols of rebellion: motorbikes, leather jackets and roaring engines.
    Video

    Video Melting Pot of Immigrants Working to Restore US Capitol Dome

    The American Iron Works company is one of the firms working to renovate the iconic U.S. Capitol Dome. The company employs immigrants of many different cultural and national backgrounds. VOA’s Arman Tarjimanyan has more.
    Video

    Video Testing Bamboo as Building Material

    For thousands of years various species of bamboo - one of the world's most versatile plants - have been used for diverse purposes ranging from food and medicine to textiles and construction. But its use on a large scale is hampered because it's not manufactured to specific standards but grown in the ground. A University of Pittsburgh professor is on track to changing that. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Orphanage in Iraqi City Houses Kids Who Lost their Parents to Attacks by IS

    An orphanage in Iraqi Kurdistan has become home to scores of Yazidi children who lost their parents after Islamic State militants took over Sinjar in Iraq’s Nineveh Province in 2014. Iraqi Kurdish forces backed by the U.S. airstrikes have since recaptured Sinjar but the need for the care provided by the orphanage continues. VOA’s Kawa Omar filed this report narrated by Rob Raffaele.
    Video

    Video Re-Opening Old Wounds in a Bullet-Riddled Cultural Landmark

    A cultural landmark before Lebanon’s civil war transformed it into a nest of snipers, Beirut’s ‘Yellow House’ is once again set to play a crucial role in the city.  Built in a neo-Ottoman style in the 1920s, in September it is set to be re-opened as a ‘memory museum’ - its bullet-riddled walls and bunkered positions overlooking the city’s notorious ‘Green Line’ maintained for posterity. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Brexit Resounds in US Presidential Contest

    Britain’s decision to leave the European Union is resounding in America’s presidential race. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, Republican presumptive nominee Donald Trump sees Britain’s move as an affirmation of his campaign’s core messages, while Democrat Hillary Clinton sees the episode as further evidence that Trump is unfit to be president.
    Video

    Video NASA Juno Spacecraft, Nearing Jupiter, to Shed Light on Gas Giant

    After a five-year journey, the spacecraft Juno is nearing its destination, the giant planet Jupiter, where it will enter orbit and start sending data back July 4th. As Mike O'Sullivan reports from Pasadena, California, the craft will pierce the veil of Jupiter's dense cloud cover to reveal its mysteries.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora