President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama are making their first-ever official presdential African tour since Obama entered into office. The Obamas will travel to Senegal, Tanzania and South Africa, from June 26 through July 3rd. The only other time President Obama visited Africa (where his father was born) was when he visited Ghana for less than 24 hours in July 2009.
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In a statement released by the White House, President Obama’s trip to Africa will be filled with lots of work on strategic partnerships on bilateral and global issues. With China tightening their link with Africa, it’s becoming imperative that President Obama make this trip. Stephen Hayes, president and CEO of the Corporate Council on Africa has commented that China’s top five leaders are in Africa every year and “as are the leaders of many other countries such as France, Brazil, Turkey and India, all of whom are investing actively in Africa.”
It’s being reported that, “China has made inroads into the continent and there has been concern expressed by American business that the United States has lost ground as China tightens links with Africa.” President Obama is set to reinforce the importance of the ties that the United States has with Africa. This will include expanding economic growth, investment and trade, strengthening democratic institutions and investing in the next generation of African leaders. It seems President Obama’s to do list for Africa is epic. We’ll see what comes of this visit in the following weeks.
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