Obama Tries to Forge an Africa Legacy

from The wall Street Journal..

July 2, 2013


President, Shadowed by China and Bush’s Achievements, Faces Hurdles in Leaving a Lasting Mark

DAR ES SALAAM, Tanzania—President Barack Obama, on the last leg of his weeklong Africa tour, confronted two awkward challenges that have shadowed him during the trip: George W. Bush and China.

The arrival of Mr. Obama’s predecessor here in the same city at the same time—an unlikely overlap of itineraries that all involved described as coincidental—was another reminder of the legacy Mr. Bush left in the region as president.

And while Mr. Obama lays out plans to step up trade with Africa, he finds in the streets of Tanzania examples of how extensive China’s economic ties with the country—and the continent—have become.

The irony is that Mr. Obama’s two-day visit to the East African nation highlights the work ahead for a president who is eager to create his own Africa legacy and claim some of the continent for American business.




At a news conference in Tanzania Monday, President Obama said the U.S. will provide its allies information over recent NSA eavesdropping claims. He also addressed the deaths of 19 firefighters in Arizona. (Photo/Video: AP)

Tanzania government spokesman Assah Andrew Mwambene said the country sees both the U.S. and China as important partners. He said many initiatives that the U.S. supports are crucial in that they are not easy or prestigious projects.

Like many African cities, Tanzania’s capital shows how Chinese companies and traders have arrived in large numbers, building roads and selling everything from shoes to cars.

Paul Hinks, the head of a consortium of U.S. businesses active in Africa called the Corporate Council for Africa, said that the idea of U.S. investment in conflict with China seemed overplayed and that the U.S. is drawing on its strengths by emphasizing energy and increased trade. “They have their own niche,” Mr. Hinks said of China. “The U.S. government initiatives now are nothing to do with countering the Chinese.”

—William Mauldin in Washington, D.C. and Patrick McGroarty in Johannesburg contributed to this article.

Link to the article and video:  http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323936404578579851895579518.html?KEYWORDS=Obama


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