Air Force One touches down

2013-06-28 20:27
President Barack Obama, with his arm around daughter Sasha, and first lady Michelle Obama and eldest daughter Malia exit Air Force One. (Cliff Owen, AP)

President Barack Obama, with his arm around daughter Sasha, and first lady Michelle Obama and eldest daughter Malia exit Air Force One. (Cliff Owen, AP)

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Cape Town -  President Obama and his entourage have arrived in South Africa. Airforce One touched down a few minutes ago.

He has inspected an honour guard and greeted a few dignitaries before leaving in his helicopter.

President Obama is in South Africa in part to pay homage to his hero Nelson Mandela.

AP reports President Barack Obama is receiving the embrace you might expect for a long-lost son on his return to his father's home continent, even as he has yet to leave a lasting policy legacy for Africa on the scale of his two predecessors.

Presidents Bill Clinton and George W Bush passed innovative Africa initiatives while in the White House and passionately continue their development work in the region in their presidential afterlife. Obama's efforts here have not been so ambitious, despite his personal ties to the continent.

His first major tour of Africa as president is coming just now, in his fifth year, while Bush and Clinton are frequent fliers to Africa. Bush even will be in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, next week at the same time as Obama, although they have no plans to meet. Instead, their wives plan to appear together at a summit on empowering African women organized by the George W Bush Institute, with the former president in attendance.

Speaking to reporters aboard Air Force One, Obama said it was uncertain whether he would get an opportunity to see the 94-year-old Mandela, a personal hero to the president.

"I don't need a photo-op, and the last thing I want to do is to be in any way obtrusive at a time when the family is concerned about Nelson Mandela's condition," he said.





Read more on:    barack obama  |  us  |  obama in africa

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