Obama for new model of Africa development

US president says during stop in Tanzania that goal is for Africa to build Africa, for Africans.

Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete (R) and US President Barack Obama met to discuss trade possibilities [AFP]

US President Barack Obama has advocated a stronger and more effective US economic partnership with Africa during a stop in Tanzania on the last leg of his three-nation tour of the continent.

“Ultimately the goal here is for Africa to build Africa, for Africans,” Obama said after talks with Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete on Monday.

“And our job is to be a partner in that process, and Tanzania’s been one of our best partners,” Obama said, saying that “we are looking at a new model that’s based not just on aid and assistance”.

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Throughout his Africa journey, which also included Senegal and South Africa, Obama has implicitly touted US-style investment and partnership as superior to Beijing’s own Africa push, arguing US firms do more to build local economic capacity.

When Air Force One touched down in Dar es Salaam after a flight from Cape Town, Obama was serenaded by marching bands in red tunics and groups of traditional dancers clapping as a guard of honour blasted off a 21-gun salute.

Huge crowds, perhaps the biggest of his presidency, save for a trip to Myanmar last year, packed the roads into town. Kikwete said he had never seen such a welcome for a foreign leader.

“You are a true friend of Tanzania and a dear friend of Africa,” he said.

The promenade separating Tanzania’s State House from the glittering blue water of the Indian Ocean has been renamed Barack Obama Drive and proclaimed its name with a freshly painted sign.

“In Africa we have so many countries, so Obama choosing to come to Tanzania, it makes us feel happy,” said Francis Gedyman, 26, a driver.

Ubongo power plant

Obama is due on Tuesday to visit the Ubungo power plant, after unveiling a new $7bn programme, a mix of private and public funds and loan guarantees, to boost African electric power networks.

We have got enormous opportunity to unleash the next era of African growth.

by US President Barack Obama, in Tanzania,

Obama will also see a new invention that places a generator unit inside a football, which can be taken home after a kick around to power up lamps or even mobile electronic devices.

“Even as this continent faces great challenges this is also a moment of great promise for Africa,” Obama later said in a speech on trade given to leading business figures from around the East Africa region.

“I see Africa as the world’s next major economic success story and the United States wants to be a partner in that success.

“We have got enormous opportunity to unleash the next era of African growth.”

On Tuesday, before leaving for Washington, Obama will lay a wreath at a memorial to those killed in the US embassy bombing in 1998, alongside his predecessor George W. Bush.

Bush is in the country for a forum of regional First Ladies, hosted by his wife Laura, which will also be attended by current First Lady Michelle Obama.

Source: News Agencies