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President Obama Arrives In Africa To Kick Off 3-Country Visit

“President Barack Obama opened a weeklong trip to Africa on Wednesday, a three-country visit aimed at overcoming disappointment on the continent over the first black U.S. president’s lack of personal engagement during his first term,” the Associated Press reports, noting “Air Force One touched down in the Senegalese capital of Dakar on Wednesday evening” (Pace, 6/26). “As the president flew to Senegal on Wednesday to begin a tour that will also take him to South Africa and Tanzania, the White House press secretary, Jay Carney, said the administration’s approach to Africa was similar to the one it had taken toward Asia, where Mr. Obama has insisted on greater attention and investment,” according to the New York Times (Shear/Kulish/Polgreen, 6/26). “Obama’s focus in Senegal will be on the modern-day achievements of the former French colony after half a century of independence,” the AP writes in a second article (Pickler, 6/27).

“Obama’s upcoming visit to South Africa will affirm the strong relations between Pretoria and Washington, particularly in the areas of trade and the fight against HIV/AIDS, says International Relations and Cooperation Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane,” a press release from the South African government states, adding, “‘The visit will provide an opportunity for both countries to reflect on the positive work done by the U.S. on the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR),’ Nkoana-Mashabane told reporters at a briefing in Pretoria on Tuesday” (6/26). “Oxfam is urging President Obama and African leaders to make bold commitments to help transform African institutions into models of transparency and accountability over the next decade as billions of dollars in aid flows and oil, gas and mining revenues pour into the continent, affecting millions of lives,” the organization writes in a press release (6/26).