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President Obama Travels to Africa

May 28, 2013

This summer, President Obama and the First Lady will be traveling to Africa to strengthen the ties between the United States and sub-Saharan Africa. They plan on visiting South Africa, the West African nation of Senegal, and Tanzania on Africa’s east coast. According to a statement from the White House, the week-long trip “will underscore the president’s commitment to broadening and deepening the cooperation between the United States and the people of sub-Saharan Africa to advance regional and global peace and prosperity.” From leaders of government to business and civil society, the president plans to meet and discuss their strategic partnerships on bilateral and global issues.

Located on the coast of the Indian Ocean, Tanzania is home to approximately 50 million people and produces massive amounts of precious metals and valuable resources, including natural gas. Located on the west coast of Africa, Senegal is one of the more stable countries in the region due to its higher GDP and its lack of civil wars, military coups, or other major civil conflicts. As a long-time ally of the U.S., South Africa maintains the largest economy on the continent, along with a stable government and political system.

President Obama plans to highlight his goal of building peaceful and prosperous international relations, beginning with these three countries. The son of a Kenyan senior government economist, he will be stopping by his ancestral homeland of Kenya, likely due in part to the charges against Kenya’s newly elected leader, President Uhuru Kenyatta, of crimes against humanity brought by the International Criminal Court (ICC) at The Hague. Both men deny all the allegations.

This will be the president’s first visit to all three countries. Mrs. Obama previously visited South Africa in an official capacity as First Lady in 2011, when she met with Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu and former president Nelson Mandela.

During his first term, the president came to Africa for a one-day visit to Ghana during the presidency of the late Prof. John Atta Mills. With this being his most extended visit to the continent, the president hopes that this trip will help increase American influence in the region.

Baker, Peter. 20 May 2013. Obama to visit sub-Saharan Africa in June. New York Times: The Caucus. Retrieved from

Booker, Brian. 22 May 2013. Barack Obama to Strengthen Africa Ties With Visits. Value Walk. Retrieved from

Mason, Jeff. 20 May 2013. Obama to travel to Africa in late June. Yahoo: Reuters. Retrieved from

Nairobi, Mike Pflanz. 09 May 2013. Uhuru Kenyatta’s crimes against humanity trial must be stopped, Kenya tells UN. The Telegraph. Retrieved from


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