President Obama waves as he departs the White House for Chattanooga, Tennessee, July 30
Today (all times Eastern):
10:45 AM: The President departs the White House
12:30: Arrives Chattanooga, Tennessee
1:35: Tours the Amazon Fulfillment Center
2:0: Delivers remarks
3:05: Departs Chattanooga
4:55: Arrives the White House
5:10: The President and VP Biden meet with Secretary of Defense Hagel
Morning/afternoon everyone, enooooooormous thanks again to the legend that is UT for all her completely wonderful work the last few days. I’m in the same middle-of-nowhere spot as last year, enjoying the rain – 😕 – so wasn’t able to be around while traveling and trying to sort out an internet connection. Still struggling on that front, I have a moody dongle thingie that only started working occasionally from this morning, but I should have a new gadget later today that will sort things out. So, I had to abandon today’s R&S efforts because the connection kept dropping, leading to me using exceedingly bad language.
Normal-ish service will – hopefully – be resumed later.
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.
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.
August 2006: Senator Barack Obama peers out of what was Nelson Mandela’s prison cell on Robben Island off the coast of Cape Town, South Africa (Photo: Pete Souza)
Washington Post: President and Michelle Obama will leave Washington on Wednesday for a week-long trip to three African nations, focusing on economic development, democracy building and private sector investment.
Among the highlights for the president will be bilateral meetings with the leaders of Senegal, South Africa and Tanzania, visits to Senegal’s supreme court and a power plant in Tanzania, tours of a slave museum in Gorree Island and the site of the prison where Nelson Mandela was held for two decades on Robben Island.
Obama also will tour a community center with Archbishop Desmond Tutu in Cape Town.
The centerpiece of the trip will be the president’s speech at the University of Cape Town, where he will deliver a message that the United States intends to significantly boost its presence on the continent….
…. Michelle Obama, too, will have a full schedule. She will speak to girls at a Senegal middle school and with students at a South African high school, and she 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, officials said.
August, 2006: Sen. Barack Obama, Michelle, daughters Sasha, Malia and other children help plant a tree with 2004 Nobel Peace Prize winner Wangari Maathai, Nairobi, Kenya
Photos from then Senator Obama’s visit to Africa in 2006 – all taken by Pete Souza, then working for the Chicago Tribune:
…. touring Robben Island with Ahmed Kathrada, a former prison mate of Nelson Mandela
….. visiting a health clinic in a township near Cape Town, Sen. Obama talks to Sisisipo Mngeni, 3, whose mother Nomathamsanqa Mngeni (top right) is HIV positive
….. viewing a 1976 photograph of the fatally wounded Hector Pieterson at the museum in Soweto, named for the 13-year old victim of apartheid violence. Antoinette Pieterson, Hector’s sister, accompanies Obama