leaders and announced new trade initiatives to open up East Africa’s markets to
American businesses, as he sought to counter the rise of Chinese economic
influence in the growing continent.
game’’ in a region that is home to six of the world’s 10 fastest growing
of his weeklong trip to the continent where his family ties run deep. Thousands
of people lined the streets as his motorcade sped through this city on the
shores of the Indian Ocean, some wearing shirts and traditional khanga wraps
bearing Obama’s image. The oceanfront road leading to the Tanzanian president’s
residence had been permanently changed to ‘‘Barack Obama Drive’’ in honor of
model for U.S. partnership with Africa, one based not just on aid and
assistance, but also on trade. While the U.S. has long been a leader in foreign
aid to Africa, China has surpassed America as sub-Saharan Africa’s largest
trading partner. Countries like India, Turkey and Brazil also
story,’’ Obama told U.S. and African business leaders Monday. He spoke
following a private meeting with top executives, including representatives from
Coca Cola, Microsoft and General Electric.
said he welcomed world economies turning their sights to Africa, declaring
‘‘the more, the merrier.’’ But he also challenged African leaders to pick their
international partners carefully, saying they should push back against countries
that bring in their own workers or mine Africa’s natural resources but handle
the production outside the continent — all criticisms that have been levied
his administration’s goal was ‘‘for Africa to build Africa for Africans,’’ and
for the U.S. to be a partner in that process.
he spent 24 hours in Ghana. China’s new President Xi Jinping embarked on an
Africa swing less than two weeks after taking office earlier this year.
venture, dubbed ‘‘Trade Africa,’’ that aims to increase the flow of goods
between the U.S. and sub-Saharan Africa. The initial phase will focus on East
Africa—Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda and Tanzania—and aim to increase the
region’s exports to the U.S. by 40 percent.
each other. The president cited the laborious physical roadblocks and border
crossings on the continent that delay the transport of goods and products. As
an example, Michael Froman, the U.S. trade representative who is traveling with
Obama, told reporters it takes 42 days to export coffee out of Rwanda, compared
to 14 days out of Colombia.
leg of his weeklong visit to Africa. He arrived in Dar Es Salaam Monday
afternoon, along with wife Michelle Obama and daughters Malia and Sasha.
Jakaya Kikwete, Obama appeared moved by the welcome from the exuberant crowds.
He cited his ties to neighboring Kenya, where his father was born, and said
that his father’s family had spent time in Tanzania.
head of state that had attracted such big crowds.
on foreign soil between two American presidents. George W. Bush is in Dar Es
Salaam for a conference on African women organized by his institute and hosted
by wife Laura Bush. The presidents will attend a wreath-laying ceremony
honoring the victims of the 1998 U.S. embassy bombing in Tanzania.
Bush began during his tenure, the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief,
known as PEPFAR.
said. ‘‘Because of the commitment of the Bush administration and the American
people, millions of lives have been saved.’’
commitment to the program, saying lower spending on PEPFAR is due to
efficiencies in treating more people.
started under Bush and continued by Obama. Childhood mortality has been cut in
half since 2000 and more than 90,000 people are receiving anti-retroviral
treatment for HIV through facilities funded by the U.S. Agency for
million initiative to support anti-wildlife trafficking efforts on the
continent. Grant Harris, Obama’s senior Africa director, said illegal wildlife
trafficking is a $7 to 10 billion trade each year, with China and the U.S. the
leading destinations for the animals.
force that will develop a national strategy aimed in part at reducing U.S.
demand for trafficked wildlife.
Jason Straziuso in Johannesburg contributed to this report.