Obama looks for era of partnership and trade, not just aid for Africa
DAR ES SALAAM, Tanzania (AP) -
President Barack Obama is declaring a new era in U.S. relations with Africa -- one that is based on partnership as opposed to charitable aid.
Obama spoke in Tanzania, the last stop on a week-long tour of Africa.
The visit gives Obama a unique opportunity to meet with a fellow U.S. president who's been hailed for his Africa aid programs. Former President George W. Bush will be in the same city tomorrow for a conference on African women. And the two presidents will meet briefly.
During a news conference shortly after his arrival, Obama praised Bush's funding for AIDS treatment in particular, calling it "one of his crowning achievements."
Obama rejected the notion that he has reduced the U.S. commitment to Bush's anti-AIDS program, saying the reduced spending on the program is a result of its increased efficiency in treating more people.
But Obama also said he wants to change the approach the U.S. takes with Africa -- to make it a relationship "based not just on aid and assistance but on trade and partnership." For example, he says the U.S. doesn't want to just provide food aid, but also help for Tanzanians to grow their own food. He said the goal is "for Africa to build Africa for Africans." He said the U.S. wants to "be a partner in that process."