“I have drawn strength from the support received from President Barack Obama, Michelle, Malia and Sasha. Having taken the time to telephone me to express their solidarity and meet our children they have added a touch of personal warmth that is characteristic of the Obama family.
“I am humbled by their comfort and messages of strength and inspiration which I have already conveyed to Madiba.”
Greeted by South African president Jacob Zuma and First Lady Tobeka Zuma at the Union Buildings in Pretoria
The Rest of the Day in South Africa:
All times US Eastern
9:30 AM: The First Lady hosts a conversation with youth, organized in conjunction with MTV Base, an African youth and music TV channel, and Google+. The First Lady will be joined by teenagers from across South Africa, as well as students joining virtually in cities around the U.S. via Google+ Hangouts, including in L.A., Kansas City, New York City, and Houston
AP: President Barack Obama on Saturday encouraged leaders in Africa and around the world to follow former South African President Nelson Mandela’s example of country before self, as the U.S. president prepared to pay personal respects to relatives who have been gathered around the critically ill anti-apartheid icon.
“We as leaders occupy these spaces temporarily and we don’t get so deluded that we think the fate of our country doesn’t depend on how long we stay in office,” Obama said.
…. Obama referred to Mandela by his clan name as he praised South Africa’s historic integration from white racist rule as a shining beacon for the world. “The struggle here against apartheid for freedom, Madiba’s moral courage, this country’s historic transition to a free and democratic nation has been a personal inspiration to me, it has been an inspiration to the world,” Obama said.
“The outpouring of love that we’ve seen in recent days shows that the triumph of Nelson Mandela and this nation speaks to something very deep in the human spirit, the yearning for justice and dignity that transcends boundaries of race and class and faith and country,” Obama said. “That’s what Nelson Mandela represents, that’s what South African at its best represents to the world, and that’s what brings me back here.”
Zuma told Obama he and Mandela are “bound by history as the first black presidents of your respective countries.”
President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama are greeted by Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Maite Mkoana-Mashabne after arriving at Waterkloof Air Force Base in Pretoria, South Africa
South African times first (six hours ahead of Washington DC)
9:45 AM (3:45 AM ET): The President and First Lady participate in an official arrival ceremony, Union Building, Pretoria
10:0 AM (4:0 AM ET) The President holds bilateral meetings with President Zuma
11:05 AM (5:05 AM ET): Holds a joint press conference with President Zuma
3:35 PM (9:35 AM ET): Takes part in a Young African Leaders Initiative Town Hall, University of Johannesburg – Soweto
5:55 PM (11:55 AM ET): Meets with African Union Chairwoman Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma
8:05 (2:05 PM ET): The President and First Lady attend an official state dinner with President Zuma, Union Building, Pretoria
On Saturday afternoon in Johannesburg, the First Lady will host a conversation with youth, organized in conjunction with MTV Base, an African youth and music TV channel, and Google+. The First Lady will be joined by teenagers from across South Africa, as well as students joining virtually in cities around the U.S. via Google+ Hangouts, including in L.A., Kansas City, New York City, and Houston
South African times first (six hours ahead of Washington DC)
9:45 AM (3:45 AM ET): The President and First Family depart Johannesburg
11:45 AM (5:45 AM ET): Arrive Cape Town
2:20 PM (8:20 AM ET): The First Family tour Robben Island
4:20 PM (10:20 AM ET): The President tours the Desmond Tutu HIV Foundation Youth Centre with Archbishop Desmond Tutu
6:15 PM (12:15 PM ET): The President delivers remarks at the University of Cape Town
The Week Ahead:
Monday: The President and the First Family will travel to Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania, where they will be hosted by President Jakaya Kikwete and First Lady Salma Kikwete. The President will participate in a CEO roundtable and will attend a formal state dinner in the evening. The President and the First Family will remain overnight in Tanzania.
Tuesday: The President will attend a meet and greet with U.S. Embassy personnel. He will then participate in a wreath-laying ceremony at the 1998 Embassy Bombing Memorial. Later that morning, he will witness a “Soccket” Ball demonstration at the Ubungo Plaza – Symbion Power Plant. Following the demonstration, he will tour the plant and deliver remarks. In the afternoon, the First Family will depart Tanzania en route Washington, DC.
Wednesday: The President has no public events scheduled.
Thursday: The President and the First Lady will celebrate the Fourth of July by hosting military heroes and their families for an Independence Day celebration with a barbeque, concert and a view of fireworks on the South Lawn.
Friday, Saturday and Sunday: The President and First Family will be at Camp David. On Sunday, they will return to Washington, DC.
* On Saturday morning, President Obama takes part in a formal arrival ceremony in Pretoria
* Participates in a bilateral meeting and joint press conference with President Jacob Zuma of South Africa
* Holds a town hall for Young African Leaders at University of Johannesburg – Soweto Campus
* Participates in a joint Embassy and Consulate meet and greet
* Meets with African Union Chairperson Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma
* President Obama and President Jacob Zuma of South Africa participate in an official dinner
Saturday – The First Lady:
* The President and First Lady will visit Pretoria where the First Lady will meet with Mrs. Tobeka S. Zuma, First Lady of South Africa
* Later in the afternoon in Johannesburg, the First Lady will host a conversation with youth, organized in conjunction with MTV Base, an African youth and music TV channel, and Google+. The First Lady will be joined by teenagers from across South Africa, as well as students joining virtually in cities around the U.S. via Google+ Hangouts, including in L.A., Kansas City, New York City, and Houston
President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama wave from Air Force One as they depart Dakar, Senegal, June 28
Remarks by President Obama After Tour of Maison Des Esclaves: I want to thank the President of Senegal, but also the Mayor of Gorée and the museum curator here. Obviously, it’s a very powerful moment whenever I can travel with my family, but especially for Michelle and Malia and my mother-in-law to be able to come here and to fully appreciate the magnitude of the slave trade, to get a sense in a very intimate way of the incredible inhumanity and hardship that people faced before they made the Middle Passage and that crossing.
And I think more than anything what it reminds us of is that we have to remain vigilant when it comes to the defense of people’s human rights — because I’m a firm believer that humanity is fundamentally good, but it’s only good when good people stand up for what’s right. And this is a testament to when we’re not vigilant in defense of what’s right, what can happen.
And so it’s always powerful for me to visit countries outside of the United States generally, but obviously for an African American, and an African American President to be able to visit this site I think gives me even greater motivation in terms of the defense of human rights around the world.
Thanks, you guys.
AP: President Barack Obama says he learned some lessons on a visit to Goree Island, where he toured a slave house and gazed out at the Atlantic Ocean through what’s known as the Door of No Return. It’s the point on this Senegalese island from which Africans were said to have been shipped to the Americas and into slavery.
The son of a Kenyan man, Obama said the tour helped him, and the family members who accompanied him, to “fully appreciate the magnitude of the slave trade.” He was joined by first lady Michelle Obama, daughters Malia and Sasha, his mother-in-law, Marian Robinson, and a niece, Leslie Robinson.
The president said Thursday’s trip also reminded him of the importance of standing up for human rights worldwide. “This is a testament to when we’re not vigilant in defense of human rights what can happen,” Obama said after the tour. “Obviously, for an African-American, an African-American president, to be able to visit this site, I think, gives me even greater motivation in terms of human rights around the world.”
President Obama looks at rice crops during a food security expo on Frida in Dakar, Senegal. The President met with farmers, innovators, and entrepreneurs whose new methods and technologies are improving the lives of smallholder farmers throughout West Africa
Thursday: The President will participate in a bilateral meeting and joint press conference with Senegalese President Sall, and meet with regional judicial leaders. The President will then tour the Maison Des Esclaves Museum on Goree Island, where he will also drop by a civil society event at the Goree Institute. Later, the President will meet with Embassy employees, and attend an official dinner with President Sall. The President and the First Family will remain overnight in Senegal.
Friday: The President will participate in a food security event. He will then travel to South Africa with the First Family, where they will remain overnight in Johannesburg.
Saturday – Tuesday: The President will meet with SA President Jacob Zuma in Pretoria, hold a joint press conference, then move on to Cape Town where his events include a visit to Robben Island and a roundtable with business leaders. Later, he will hold a town hall meeting with young Africans at the Soweto campus of the University of Johannesburg.
The final leg of the First Family’s journey will take them to Tanzania, where the President’s program includes talks and a press conference with President Jakaya Kikwete and a visit to the Ubungo power plant. He will also lay a wreath at a memorial to the 11 people killed in the US embassy bombing in 1998.
The First Family return to Washington on Wednesday.
During the trip, First Lady Michelle Obama will speak to girls at a Senegal middle school, with students at a South African high school, and will participate in a first ladies summit hosted by the George W. Bush Institute. Former first lady Laura Bush also will participate, along with first ladies of African nations.
Our handy and very expertly-fiddled-with little map again:
See photos and videos from Senator Obama’s 2006 trip to Africa here
Monday: The President will host a meeting at the White House with business leaders to discuss the importance of commonsense immigration reform including the Congressional Budget Office analysis that concludes immigration reform would promote economic growth and reduce the deficit.
Tuesday: President Obama will speak at Georgetown University on the growing threat of climate change (1:35 EST)
Wednesday morning: The President and the First Family depart on their trip to Senegal, South Africa, and Tanzania. The President and the First Family will arrive in Dakar, Senegal, on Wednesday evening.
Expertly fiddled-with map
Random rant: Whenever I look at those ruler-straight African borders, it’s a reminder of how brutally colonialists carved up the continent among themselves, with no regard for the people’s native homelands. Compare it with Europe’s ‘natural’ borders:
…. and the West still gasps when there’s trouble and strife in African countries….
(because, you know, Europe, for example, has had no internal civil-ish wars, if you exclude Ireland, the former Yugoslavia, Spain, Germany, etc)….
….. and is at a loss to understand why the people of south such-and-such feel a bond with the people of north such-and-such. Look at your artificial borders, dudes, and the people you divided.