Thursday, June 27, 2013

DTN News - PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA IN DAKAR, SENEGAL: Obama Offers Africa Closer Business Ties, Urges Tolerance for Gays

DTN News - PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA IN DAKAR, SENEGAL: Obama Offers Africa Closer Business Ties, Urges Tolerance for Gays
Source: DTN News - - This article compiled by Roger Smith from reliable sources Drew Hinsaw - The  Wall Street Journal
(NSI News Source Info) TORONTO, Canada - June 27, 2013: (DAKAR, Senegal) President Barack Obama Thursday called for broader commercial engagement with Africa, but also touched on the continent's more sensitive issues such gay rights and the failing health of former South African leader Nelson Mandela.

"The reason I came to Africa is because Africa's rising," President Obama told reporters, after an hourlong talk with Senegal's President Macky Sall, to mark the start of his second trip to the continent as president.
The two presidents said they hope to sign new trade agreements between the U.S. and the West African Community of Economic States, a bloc of 15 countries whose economies are picking up pace. Mr. Obama also said he'll ask Congress to renew and expand on the African Growth and Opportunity Act, a 2000 law that allows African democracies to export manufactured goods to the U.S. duty free.
"We historically have been an enormous provider of aid to Africa—food, medicine—but what I want us to do is have a shift in paradigm, where we start focusing on trade, development, partnerships," Mr. Obama said. "This is going to be a continent that is on the move. It is young, it is vibrant and full of energy," he added.
Mr. Obama's trip highlights budding ties between the growing club of African democracies and a U.S. administration that sees room to champion democracy and investment on the world's poorest region. Mr. Obama next heads to South Africa, the continent's biggest economy, and Tanzania, a fast-growing East African economy, where he is expected to discuss U.S. investment and then wrap up his first extended presidential trip to the continent.
In 2009, President Obama made a short stop in Ghana to deliver a speech on democracy.
On Thursday, Mr. Obama also touched on issues that divide the U.S. and Africa, such as gay rights. One day after the U.S. Supreme Court issued a historic ruling that broadly cleared the way for an expansion of same-sex marriage, Mr. Obama addressed an African crowd that represents what many gay rights activists see as a next frontier. In almost every African nation, homosexuality is illegal, punishable by jail time and even death in several states.
As Mr. Obama pressed African countries to decriminalize homosexuality, Senegalese members of the audience murmured and muttered. "The issue of gays and lesbians and how they're treated has come up and has been controversial in many parts of Africa, so I want the African people to hear just what I believe," Mr. Obama said. "People should be treated equally. And that's a principle that I think should be applied universally."
In recent years, Senegalese gays who've attempted to live openly have suffered police crackdowns and even killed. "Senegal, as far as we are concerned, is a very tolerant country which doesn't discriminate against the inalienable rights of people, but we are not still ready to decriminalize homosexuality," said Senegal's President Macky Sall in response to Mr. Obama. "This doesn't mean that we are all homophobic."
In part to press his case for equality, Mr. Obama, the son of a Kenyan father, referenced a leader admired across the continent: South Africa's first black president Nelson Mandela, currently in critical condition in a South African Hospital.
Mr. Obama had hoped to meet Mr. Mandela during his next stop in South Africa, although that meeting appears unlikely, as the former South African leader remains hospitalized in critical condition. "He's a personal hero, but I don't think I'm unique in that regard," said Mr. Obama. "I think he's a hero for the world, and if and when he passes from this place, I think we all know his legacy is one that will carry on throughout the ages."

*Link for This article compiled by Roger Smith from reliable sources Drew Hinsaw - The  Wall Street Journal
*Speaking Image - Creation of DTN News ~ Defense Technology News 
*Photograph: IPF (International Pool of Friends) + DTN News / otherwise source stated
*This article is being posted from Toronto, Canada By DTN News ~ Defense-Technology News 

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