What to Look for as Obama Tours Africa
Nelson Mandela reportedly on life support
By Matt Cantor, Newser User
Posted Jun 27, 2013 7:10 AM CDT
Updated Jun 27, 2013 7:57 AM CDT
A member of the honor guard adjusts another's collar as they prepare for the arrival of President Barack Obama at the presidential palace in Dakar, Senegal, Thursday, June 27, 2013.   (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)

(Newser) – President Obama has arrived in Senegal, the first of three countries he'll visit during his African tour—the other two being Tanzania and South Africa, the Wall Street Journal reports. His trip comes at a heavy moment for South Africa, the New York Times notes, with Nelson Mandela said to be in critical condition. While many welcomed the Obamas to Senegal as they met with President Macky Sall and his wife, Marieme Faye Sall, some were less than thrilled: Newspaper headlines read, "Obama is stifling us," and "The Americans take over Senegal."

A preview of Obama's plans:

  • The president's visit to Senegal celebrates the country's successful democracy, which recently saw an incumbent president voted out as he tried to change the rules in order to stay. Obama is expected to hold up Senegal as an example for other countries, the AP notes.
  • Obama will tour Senegal's Gorée Island, which has a dark history of ties to slavery: Some say millions were shipped from the site into bondage. In another island visit, Obama will see Robben Island in South Africa, where Mandela was imprisoned for 18 years.
  • Everywhere, Mandela's influence looms large: Mandela is "a hero for the world. His legacy will linger on through the ages," Obama said at a press conference today, as per the AP. Obama may meet with Mandela, but the decision is up to the Mandela family, an adviser says.
  • Meanwhile, the former South African president is on life support, a relative tells Fox News, and his family has reportedly been called to his side. From his daughter, per Reuters: "I won't lie, it doesn't look good. But as I say, if we speak to him, he responds and tries to open his eyes. He's still there. He might be waning off, but he's still there." Current president Jacob Zuma yesterday canceled a planned trip to Mozambique over Mandela's health, the Times notes.

More From Newser
My Take on This Story
To report an error on this story,
notify our editors.
What to Look for as Obama Tours Africa is...
Show results without voting
You Might Like
Showing 3 of 35 comments
Jun 30, 2013 11:35 AM CDT
(R) 2014 & 2016 Gov. RICK PERRY Report: We think African-Americans like today's Barack Obama, the blacks and their black backbone ought to return to Africa where they really belong to and defined the black people's Root since the black slaves were set free since US President Abraham Lincoln. African-Americans can find their rich natural resources and fortune in their homeland Africa instead to let China's men, Koreans and Japanese and Englishmen (British subjects) to have ambition to an "Africa Dream" to encroach upon black African economy. Like Barack Obama, we encourage the blacks ought to get out of Shenzhen, China, the "Made-in-China" goods are not for the Africans should in their mind !!
Jun 29, 2013 9:52 AM CDT
Are you not proud of what a black dude can do ?
Jun 28, 2013 10:07 PM CDT
i know just what to look for!!!!!!!! THE MONEY TO PAY FOR THE TRIP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!