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Obama Seeks Stronger US Trade Ties in Africa

U.S. President Barack Obama during a joint news conference with Senegal's President Macky Sall at the Presidential Palace in Dakar, June 27, 2013.
U.S. President Barack Obama during a joint news conference with Senegal's President Macky Sall at the Presidential Palace in Dakar, June 27, 2013.
VOA News
President Barack Obama says the U.S. wants ties with Africa based on trade and partnership instead of aid and assistance.

Obama made his comments at a news conference with Senegal's President Macky Sall in Dakar Thursday.  Senegal is the first leg of his three-nation Africa tour to promote trade, investment and democracy.

The president said the reason he traveled to Africa is because the continent is rising and he does not want the U.S. to miss the opportunity to broaden and deepen its relations in the region.

"All too often, the world overlooks the amazing progress that Africa is making, including progress in strengthening democracy," he said. "Many African nations have made tremendous strides in improving democratic governance and in empowering citizens.”

Obama called Senegal "one of the most stable democracies in Africa," and said the country is "moving in the right direction."

President Obama's trip to AfricaPresident Obama's trip to Africa
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President Obama's trip to Africa
President Obama's trip to Africa
From Senegal, Obama plans to head to South Africa and visit Robben Island, the prison where former president Nelson Mandela spent nearly two decades.

During his appearance with Sall, President Obama paid tribute to the ailing former South Africa leader, calling Mandela a "hero for the world."

Obama will also stop in Tanzania before heading home.

Obama will not be visiting Kenya, the birthplace of his father.  The president's plans have disappointed many Kenyans.  But Kenya's president and deputy president are both facing trial at the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity.  Diplomats say this makes an Obama visit at this time impossible.

This is only the second time Obama has visited sub-Saharan Africa since becoming president.  He briefly stopped in Ghana in 2009.

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Comments
     
by: Johnson Okwu Kamalu from: Port Harcourt, Nigeria
June 27, 2013 2:27 PM
Yes, Ties with Africa based on trade and partnership is what we want. Too much aid and assistance to Africa!


by: Davis K. Thanjan from: New York
June 27, 2013 11:12 AM
President Obama has started his family vacation in Africa after the schools where his daughters study closed. His family vacation cost just about $100 million for the US treasury, in the name of improving relations. If $100 million is donated for the poor countries in Africa, US will have better relations with those countries than these wasteful vacation trips. Even if the trips do not improve relation between the US and the African countries, it improves his family relations. Is there any country his family has not visited for the next vacation? When there is compulsory budget cuts everywhere, his discretionary spending for vacation travels are unlimited.

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