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Blogs Address President Obama’s Travel To Africa This Week

President Obama this week will travel to South Africa, Senegal and Tanzania, his second trip to sub-Saharan Africa since taking office. The following is a summary of blog posts addressing the visit.

  • Center for Strategic & International Studies’ (CSIS) “Smart Global Health” blog: The blog provides video of a CSIS-hosted press briefing to discuss President Obama’s upcoming trip from June 26 to July 3. According to the blog, the briefing was attended by Jennifer Cooke, director of the CSIS Africa Program; Richard Downie, deputy director and fellow for the CSIS Africa Program; and J. Stephen Morrison, senior vice president and director of the CSIS Global Health Policy Center (6/25).
  • Tom Hart, ONE blog: “President Obama can highlight the incredible progress that so many countries on the continent are making — including massive gains in health and agriculture — and demonstrate how the less than one percent of our budget that goes toward aid to Africa can make a huge difference to those in need,” Hart, the U.S. executive director of ONE, writes, adding, “He also can highlight the need to look at our partnership with the continent in a new way — through trade, investment and the incredible entrepreneurial spirit of Africa’s youth” (6/25).
  • Lawrence MacDonald, Center for Global Development’s (CGD) Global Prosperity Wonkcast: “To get a sense of what this trip means for Obama’s African legacy and the expectations of his hosts,” MacDonald, vice president of communications and policy outreach for CGD, talks with CGD vice president for programs and senior fellow Todd Moss and visiting fellow Scott Morris. “So far, Todd notes, Obama’s record on Africa is overshadowed by that of his predecessor, who launched both the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), a new aid program that largely focuses on Africa, and [PEPFAR], a multibillion-dollar effort to respond to the pandemic ravaging much of the continent,” MacDonald notes, adding, “Scott argues in Obama’s defense that the 2007-08 global financial crisis that awaited Obama when he took office and subsequent slow economic growth and tight budgets have made it a tough time to launch initiatives that require new money” (6/25).
  • Tom Murphy, Humanosphere: Development blogger Murphy provides a short roundup of news and opinion pieces published about the upcoming visit, quoting journalist Geoffrey York for the Globe and Mail, Tolu Ogunlesi in The Guardian, the Center for Global Development’s Sarah Jane Staats, Staats’ colleague Todd Moss, and Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes (6/25).