U.S. first lady Michelle Obama, right, and former U.S. first lady Laura Bush look to each other as they participate in the African First Ladies Summit: “Investing in Women: Strengthening Africa,” hosted by the George W. Bush Institute, Tuesday, July 2, 2013, in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
DAR ES SALAAM, Tanzania (AP) — Everywhere he went in Africa, President Barack Obama was competing with history.
There was the heroic leadership of former South African President Nelson Mandela, whose deteriorating health has captured the world’s attention; the legacy in Africa of Obama’s predecessor, George W. Bush, who created a widely praised program to fight HIV and AIDS on the continent; and the history surrounding Obama himself, America’s first black president and the son of a Kenyan man.
Against that backdrop, the initiatives Obama promoted on food security, improved health care and expanded access to electricity appeared to pale in comparison.
The president at times seemed to be trying to will the traveling press corps and the American public back home to grasp the importance of the ventures. He took jabs at the U.S. media for only covering poverty or war in Africa and made a rare on-the-record appearance before reporters on Air Force One to give an extra boost to his program for reducing hunger.
“I know that millet and maize and fertilizer Login to read more