Michelle Obama coming to SA

2011-06-03 22:38
Washington - A White House official says Michelle Obama is heading to Africa on an official visit later this month, stopping in South Africa and Botswana where she will continue her efforts to encourage young people to get involved in their societies.

The US first lady will visit Johannesburg and Cape Town in South Africa and Gaborone, Botswana during the June 21-26 trip.

Obama will be accompanied by her daughters, Malia, 12, and Sasha, 9, as well as her mother Marion Robinson on the trip.

The children occasionally accompany their parents on official visits abroad, though the White House takes pains to keep them out of the political spotlight.

An official said Mrs Obama's visit will highlight the important stake the US has in the success of Africa's many nations, as well as the historic connections between the American people and those who live on the African continent.

"South Africa is a vital global partner for the United States, as a political leader and economic engine on the continent, and a historic example of democratic transition in Africa and around the world.

"Botswana's enduring democracy, bolstered by its commitment to using its vast natural resources to invest in its people and grow its economy, models the potential for good governance, and strong institutions to advance prosperous and stable societies."

Although President Obama is the son of a Kenyan and has referenced his African heritage as he carries out his foreign policy, the president has so far only visited sub-Saharan Africa once since taking office: in Ghana in 2009.

Read more on:    michelle obama  |  us
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