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Obama Visits Africa

7/4/2013, 9:06 a.m.

President Barack Obama is in Southern Africa on tour and Africans hope that the visit marks greater engagement between the president and the 54 nations on the continent. Even before this trip, Africans and other observers criticized Obama for what they see as a decided lack of real investment in, and attention to, countries in Africa.

Others are concerned about the increasing militarization by the Obama administration across the continent under the pretext of fighting terrorism.

Africa has largely avoided the global economic crisis and a number of nations are experiencing six percent growth.

With regards to attention and investment, the U.S. is lagging behind China, India, Brazil and Saudi Arabia. China has offered African nations billions in loans and has also invested untold billions in infrastructure. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton conceded that China has made major inroads in Africa but argued that America was playing just as important a role. The statistics and data say otherwise but as South Africa’s Ambassador to the U.S. said during remarks in 2011: "There is money to be made in Africa as an investor, trader or tourist,” His Excellency Ebrahim Rasool asserted. “The return on investment in Africa outstrips any such return anywhere else. U.S. economic salvation lies in Africa. Africa is third behind China and India [in terms of economic growth]. It is foolish to have the ground controlled by China. The U.S. needs the courage to cross the pond.”