Africa a world focus: President Barack Obama’s Africa tour and the 2013 George W. Bush, Bill Clinton Africa visits

President Barack Obama announces new power initiative for Africa

By Julie Pace
Associated Press

CAPE TOWN, South Africa — Challenging African youth to seize a “moment of great promise,” President Barack Obama declared Sunday that the future of the young and growing continent still rests in ailing South African leader Nelson Mandela’s vision for equality and opportunity. Seeking to carve out his own piece of that legacy, Obama unveiled an ambitious initiative to double electricity access in sub-Saharan Africa, vowing to bring “light where there is darkness.”

The president’s address at the University of Cape Town capped an emotionally charged day in this picturesque coastal city, including a solemn visit to the Robben Island prison where Mandela was confined for 18 of his 27 years in captivity. Obama stood stoically with his family in Mandela’s cramped cell and peered across the lime quarry where Mandela toiled each day, causing the damage to his lungs that led to his latest hospital stint.

“Nelson Mandela showed us that one man’s courage can move the world,” Obama said during his evening speech at the university. He was flanked by a diverse array of students, underscoring Mandela’s vision for a unified “rainbow nation” for the country once led by a white racist government.

In the flagship address of his weeklong trip to Africa, Obama outlined a U.S. policy toward the continent that focuses on increasing the region’s ability to support itself economically, politically and militarily. Harkening back to a prominent theme from his 2009 speech in Ghana – Obama’s only other trip to Africa as president — he said Africans must take much of the responsibility for achieving that goal, although he pledged American assistance.

“Ultimately I believe Africans should make up their own minds about what serves African interests,” he said. “We trust your judgment, the judgment of ordinary people. We believe that when you control your destiny, if you got a handle on your governments, then governments will promote freedom and opportunity, because that will serve you.”

Obama’s address came nearly 50 years after Robert F. Kennedy delivered his famous speech at the same university. Kennedy’s speech, delivered soon after Mandela was sentenced to life in prison, called on young people to launch a fight against injustice, creating ripples of hope that would “build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.”

Much has changed in South Africa since Kennedy addressed the nation. The apartheid regime crumbled under intense internal and external pressure. Mandela was elected as his country’s first black president following his release from prison. And South Africa has rapidly become continent’s economic and political powerhouse.

But Obama said that progress, in South Africa and elsewhere on the continent, rests on a “fragile foundation.” In order to solidify the gains, Obama called on Africans to focus on three priorities: expanding opportunity, promoting democracy and supporting peace.

A cornerstone of Obama’s efforts to expand opportunity is the new “Power Africa” initiative unveiled ahead of his speech. The venture is supported by $7 billion in U.S. investment and $9 billion from the private sector, and will seek to bring electricity to at least 20 million new households and commercial entities in an initial set of six countries: Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Nigeria and Tanzania.

The White House did not set a specific deadline for achieving that goal, but Obama advisers said it could happen within a decade. However, the first round of contributions still fall well short of the $300 billion the International Energy Agency says would be required to achieve universal electricity access in sub-Saharan Africa by 2030.

Obama opened his speech with deeply personal remarks about Mandela, tracing the anti-apartheid icon’s influence on his own political activism to his young daughters. He said that standing in Mandela’s cell alongside Malia and Sasha made the experience all the more poignant, reflecting on the distinction he shares with Mandela in being his country’s first black president.

“Seeing them stand within the walls that once surrounded Nelson Mandela, I knew this was an experience they would never forget,” he said. “I knew they now appreciated a little bit more that Madiba and other had made for freedom,” Obama added, referring to Mandela by his clan name.

Obama arrived in Cape Town Sunday from Johannesburg, where he met privately with members of Mandela’s family and spoke with the former president’s wife. In keeping with the family’s wishes, Obama did not visit Mandela in the hospital.

On a sunny winter day in the Southern Hemisphere, Obama and his family flew by helicopter to Robben Island, the prison that epitomized the struggle of Mandela and his contemporaries against apartheid rule. The Obamas were led through the island by Ahmed Kathrada, an 83-year-old former prisoner who was held alongside Mandela and had also given Obama a tour of the jail when he visited as a U.S. senator in 2006.

The Obamas solemnly peered across the bright white lime quarry where Mandela worked each day. They spent 20 minutes inside the tiny cell where Mandela spent nearly two decades of his life, all the while inspiring the anti-apartheid movement on mainland South Africa.

Before closing their visit, Obama and wife Michelle stoically entered a prison courtyard, the president’s hand on the small of the first lady’s back, to sign a guestbook.

“On behalf of our family we’re deeply humbled to stand where men of such courage faced down injustice and refused to yield,” Obama wrote. “The world is grateful for the heroes of Robben Island, who remind us that no shackles or cells can match the strength of the human spirit.”

The president also stopped Sunday at a health center overseen by Archbishop Desmond Tutu, a visit aimed at highlighting the impact of a U.S.-funded program to stop the spread of HIV and AIDS. The President’s Emergency Plan For AIDS Relief, or PEPFAR, was started by George W. Bush and continued by Obama.

Obama praised Tutu’s work in an emotional meeting in which Tutu said Africans are praying that Obama will be a success and a leader for peace, particularly in the Middle East. Many of their aides were brought to tears as the two men embraced in a hug.

The White House said the U.S. will spend about $4.2 billion on PEPFAR funding this year, money that has been used to increase the number of people receiving life-saving anti-retroviral drugs and to prevent mother-to-child transmission of the virus.

Bush, who has stayed active on Africa issues since leaving office, was scheduled to be in Tanzania Monday, the same day Obama arrives in the East African nation. The White House did not rule out the possibility of a meeting between the two presidents.

Obama Senegal

Obama Goree Island

Obama Goree Island

Obama Goree Island

Obama Goree Island

Obama Goree Island
Video: President Barack Obama arrives in Senegal for start of Africa tour

Video: President Obama and First Family visited Senegal’s Goree Island fort for enslaved Africans
First Lady Michelle Obama talks about their visit to Gorée Island off the coast of Senegal

Video: President Obama praises democratic progress in Senegal


South Africa

Obama South Africa 0

Obama South Africa 03

Obama South Africa
Video: President Obama and family arrive in Cape Town, South Africa: Obamas to visit Mandela’s prison on Robben Island

Video: President Obama’s presidential motorcade passing through Cape Town, South Africa

Video: President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama visits Robben Island

Video: Barack Obama visited Robben Island and spoke at the University of Cape Town June 30, 2013

Video: Michelle Obama inspires South African youth

Video: President Obama honors Madiba (President Nelson Mandela)

Video: In South Africa President Obama recalls how America’s support of Apartheid moved him to engage in politics

Video: President Obama on why he has not yet visited Kenya as U.S. President
Due to Kenya’s newly elected President Uhuru Kenyatta’s issues around the International Criminal Court

Video: President Obama in the last leg of his Africa tour -Tanzania
It is reported that Obama’s approval rating by Africans has dropped by 20% since becoming president of the United States. First Lady of Kenya will not attend a First Ladies Summit.

Video: President Obama and President Zuma hold a Press Conference
Full Length

Video: President Barack Obama holds Young African Leaders Town Hall at University of Johannesburg
Full Length

Video: Obama, Bush Honor Tanzania Bomb Victims

Video: Michelle Obama and Laura Bush on Being First Lady


George W. Bush in Africa 2013

June 28, 2013

Former U.S. President George W. Bush makes return trip to Africa, arriving in Zambia 

By Tom Benning
The Dallas News

LUSAKA, Zambia — Africa is in the rare position this week of playing host to not just one American president, but two.

While President Barack Obama’s visit to sub-Saharan Africa is a historic trip for America’s first black president, former President George W. Bush is making a repeat visit for a multiday, two-country trek.

Bush’s arrival Friday morning in Zambia with his wife, Laura, hasn’t yet splashed across newspaper front pages or TV screens. But that low profile probably won’t last, as even the prospect of Bush’s third visit in three years merited a story inside the Zambia Daily Mail.

The Bushes are in Livingstone — about 300 miles southwest of Lusaka, the capital — to promote Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon, their cancer-fighting initiative, and to help refurbish a clinic. They will then travel next week to Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, to host an African First Ladies Summit.

Given the couple’s continued focus on the continent — and Zambia, in particular — many in this southern African nation of 14 million speak of the Bushes in reverent tones.

“George Bush is a president who’s supported Zambia with two hands,” said Chipo Hamoonga, a Lusaka taxi driver whose sister lives in Oklahoma.

Officials at the George W. Bush Institute, part of the recently opened presidential center at SMU, and the White House said the overlapping presidential itineraries are purely coincidental.

Obama is visiting Senegal, South Africa and Tanzania. And both Bush and Obama will be in Dar es Salaam on Tuesday. First lady Michelle Obama is scheduled to participate in the Bushes’ summit.

Officials said the high-profile partnerships between the last two administrations — one Republican, one Democratic — shows a broad and sustaining commitment to Africa.

“This will also speak to the bipartisan support … for sub-Saharan Africa,” said Ben Rhodes, Obama’s deputy national security director.

AIDS effort

That alliance also extends well beyond the African trips.

Obama has continued Bush’s multibillion-dollar President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief.

The effort, now 10 years old, recently reported that AIDS deaths and new infections in sub-Saharan Africa have dropped by a third.

And Obama said Friday that his predecessor “deserves enormous credit for that.”

“What we’re doing is transitioning so that it’s not just a matter of delivering antiviral drugs; it’s also how do we create a health infrastructure in these countries that’s sustainable,” he said on Air Force One, en route to South Africa.

Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon came about because women are now surviving AIDS — thanks in part to U.S.-funded antiretroviral drugs — but then dying of cervical cancer.

Zambia has among the world’s highest cervical cancer incidence rates. Given that cervical cancer is typically caused by a sexually transmitted virus, the stigma has made it a difficult health topic to broach.

To combat the disease — along with breast cancer — Bush announced in 2011 the $85 million Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon campaign. The effort is up and running in Zambia and Botswana.

It aims to make screening and treatment more widely available. That includes using inexpensive but effective ingredients like household vinegar and liquid nitrogen and equipping clinics throughout the vast country.

More than 40,000 women have been screened in Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon-affiliated programs over the last 18 months. About 18 percent tested positive for cervical cancer. Nearly 80 percent of those women received same-day treatment.

Doyin Oluwole, a Nigerian doctor who serves as Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon’s executive director, estimates that 850 lives have been saved.

Welcoming crowd

The Bushes have lent a hand to that effort by personally participating in the renovation of clinics. They did that last year in Kabwe, 90 miles north of Lusaka, and will do so again in Livingstone.

A large crowd welcomed the Bushes at Livingstone’s airport Friday. Hours later, people were still gathering to gawk at the former president’s plane.

As his wife snapped photos, Soko Gift said he still has deep reservations about Bush’s decision to go to war in Iraq. But the 55-year-old said he couldn’t help but admire Bush’s focus on disease and poverty.

“He’s a good man,” said Gift, who lives in Lusaka.

A crew of SMU students and Bush Institute volunteers arrived a few days ahead of the Bushes to start on the Mosi-Oa Tunya clinic in Livingstone.

The students got their hands dirty rehabbing the clinic. They also visited schools and interviewed cancer patients.

Prithvi Rudrappa, a junior biochemistry and finance major, said it made him “realize how much more I can do.”

Former United states President George w. Bush arrives in Livingstone

Lusaka Times

Former United states President George w. Bush has arrived in Livingstone on a private visit, during which he will help refurbish a clinic that will help strengthen the country ability to detect and treat cervical cancer.

The Former President who arrived at Harry Mwaanga Nkumbula International Airport at 9:20 hours June 28, 2013 aboard flight VQ, BMS on a direct flight from Texas in the U.S. to Livingstone, was met at the Airport by Southern Province Permanent Secretary Bernard Namachila, Livingstone City Town Clerk Vivian Chikoti and other senior Government officials.

While in Livingstone Mr. Bush who is accompanied by his wife Laura Bush will work with Zambian officials and other volunteers to refurbish a health clinic in the tourist capital in support of the Pink Red Ribbon initiative that seeks to expand critically needed cervical and breast cancer interventions.

Mr. Bush and his entourage will also visit Nsongwe Women’s Association garden that is supported by the American government to help women grow vegetables and other crops as income generating activity.

The Pink Red Ribbon initiative, which the First Lady Christine Kasaba launched in Zambia in December 2011, has so far seen more than 40,000 Zambian women have being screened for cervical cancer.

In addition, many Health Workers have been trained and are serving at 10 new, “Screen and test” , health facilities, eight of which offer procedure to diagnose and treat early invasive cancers.

The Goals of the initiative is to reduce deaths from cervical cancer by an estimated 25 per cent among women screened and treated, to increase access to breast and cervical cancer prevention, and to create innovate models that can be scaled up and used globally.

The Pink Red Ribbon is an innovative partnership between the U.S Presidents’ Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief(PEPFAR), George W. Bush Institute, Zambian government, Susan G. Komen for the cure, Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS(UNAIDS), and the corporate and NOG partners.

Cervical and breast cancer are the two leading causes of death among women in sub-Saharan Africa and Zambia has the second highest rate of cervical cancer in the world.

Meanwhile, City Town Clerk Ms Chikoti said the visit by the former U.S president will significantly boost the marketing of Livingstone as a tourist destination.

In an interview with ZANIS, Ms Chikoti said the visits by high profile persons before the forth-coming United Nations World Tourism General Assembly (UNWTO) will put Livingstone and Zambia on the world Map as a best tourist destination.

President George W. Bush and Mrs. Laura Bush travel to Livingstone, Zambia to continue their commitment to the people of Africa through the work of their global health initiative.

George W. Bush Zambia

George W. Bush Zambia

George W. Bush Zambia

George W. Bush Zambia

George W. Bush Zambia

Laura Bush Zambia

Laura Bush Zambia

Laura Bush Zambia

George W. Bush Zambia

George W. Bush Zambia

George W. Bush Zambia

Laura Bush Zambia

Laura Bush Zambia

First Ladies Summit
Video: Connecting Continents: A Conversation with U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama


Bill Clinton in Africa 2013

Bill Clinton attends the Eko Atlantic dedication ceremony in Lagos, Nigeria

Bill Clinton -Nigeria 2013

On February 21, 2013, a dedication ceremony was held at the reclaimed land of Eko Atlantic, with Nigeria’s President Goodluck Jonathan, former U.S. President Bill Clinton, Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola and former Lagos State Governor Bola Tinubu attending.

Bill Clinton -Nigeria 2013

Bill Clinton -Nigeria 2013

Video: President Jonathan, former U.S. President Clinton and Lagos Sate Governor Fashola commission Eko Atlantic City


Bill Clinton is Special Guest at the 18th edition of THISDAY Awards- 2013

Bill Clinton -Nigeria 2013

Bill Clinton -Nigeria 2013
Bill Clinton, the 42nd President of the United States, made his 3rd appearance as Special Guest at the 18th edition of THISDAY Awards 2013, which was held, for the first time, in the ancient city of Abeokuta, capital of Ogun State, some 55 kilometres (35 miles) from Lagos.

THISDAY Awards celebrates Nigeria’s best and brightest teachers in an effort by the Editors of THISDAY to reward the unsung heroes and highlights the challenges facing the country’s troubled education sector.
February 27, 2013

Clinton lists Nigeria’s challenges
Former President of United States of America, Bill Clinton, in Abeokuta, Ogun State capital, that the inability to manage the nation’s natural resources well was one of the three major challenges Nigeria was facing as a nation.

Vanguard (Nigeria)

Former President of United States of America, Bill Clinton, said in Abeokuta, Ogun State capital, that the inability to manage the nation’s natural resources well was one of the three major challenges Nigeria was facing as a nation.The former US president, who was speaking at the 18th Annual Awards of Thisday newspaper, organized to celebrate Nigeria’s best teachers, further tasked Nigerian leaders to tackle unemployment, brain-drain and to maximise the potential of the citizens.

The 42nd American President, who spoke in the presence of former Nigerian President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, Ogun State governor, Ibikunle Amosun, his counterpart in Delta, Emmanuel Uduaghan and other notable Nigerians, said Nigerian leaders mismanaged the proceeds from oil, under-utilized technology and failed to retain its best brains.Clinton said: “When I became President, my Secretary of Commerce did a lot of work in Africa before he was tragically killed in a plane crash in 1995. “I said he should make a list of 10 most important countries in the world for the 21st century. Nigeria was in the list. “Imagine the future of the entire continent if Nigeria fails or South Africa fails. So, you are a country of potential. I will say you have about three big challenges.

“First of all, like 90 percent of the countries, which have one big resource, you haven’t done well with your oil money. You should have reinvested it in different ways. Now you are at least not wasting the natural gas. You are developing it in pipelines but you don’t do a better job of managing natural resources.”

“Secondly, you have to somehow bring economic opportunity to the people who don’t have. This is not a problem specific to Nigeria. Almost in every place in the world, prosperity is heavily concentrated in and around urban areas.”

“So you have all these political problems: violence, religious differences, and all the rhetoric of Boko Haram.”

“But the truth is the poverty rate in the north is three times greater than what it is in the Lagos area. To deal with that, you have to have both powerful stake in the local governments and a national policy that work together.”

“As you keep trying to divide the power, you have to figure out a way to have a strategy that will help in sharing prosperity.”

“The third thing is there has to be a way to take the staggering intellectual and organizational ability that Nigerians exhibit in every country in the world in which they are immigrant and bring it to bear here, so that the country as a whole can rise.”

“One of the people on my trip with me today, who unfortunately could not come up here because he had to go and visit his family, is a young Nigerian-American named Nnamdi. He is an all pro-quarter back footballer for the Philadelphia Eagles.”

“He’s a wonderful man; he does great work in America for poor kids in Arkansas City and he became a friend of mine.”

“Both his parents have PhDs. His sister has a PhD. He often says ‘I’m the failure in my family and I only have a university degree and I play football.”

“My point is: there are Nigerians who are like this all over the world. What you have to figure out is how to keep those people in Nigeria and how to ensure their success encourages others in the country.”


“So, I think solving the economic divide that is in your country will help the political divide; making better use of your resources.”

“Nigeria is trying to set up an investment fund where the Federal Government will set it up and the governors are being consulted so that they can concentrate the capital. That is the problem in India.”

“They have unbelievable entrepreneurs but they are not very good at collecting capital and investing it in infrastructure so that they can unite the poor part of the country with the rich part. That’s what you have to do. And then, you have to empower people with education so they can succeed at home as well as around the world.”
Video: President Bill Clinton at the 18th Annual This Day Awards 2013


Jimmy Carter many years in Africa 

Former President Jimmy Carter is in Africa often with The Carter Center

Some of Jimmy Carter’s most recent visits to Africa:

2012 visited: Egypt in January, May and November.

Jimmy Carter

Video: Jimmy Carter speaks to Al Jazeera about the Egyptian elections


2011 visited: Sudan with primary purpose to lead the monitoring team for the referendum among South Sudanese to determine whether to remain part of a united Sudan or to form a new independent nation.

2010 visited: Ghana, Egypt and Sudan twice

Jimmy Carter in Sudan

2009 visited: Egypt

2008 visited: Zimbabwe, Egypt, Ghana and Nigeria

2007 visited: Ghana, Ethiopia, Nigeria and Sudan twice

Jimmy Carter in Nigeria

2005 visited: Liberia, Ghana, Mali, Nigeria and Ethopia twice

2004 visited: Mozambique, Togo, Ghana and Mali

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