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Obama says time for world to 'change approach to Africa'

Tuesday, July 28, 2015 - 20:02
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US President Barack Obama said Tuesday that it was time for the world to change its approach to Africa, as he made the first address to the African Union by a US leader.

[ADDIS ABABA] US President Barack Obama said Tuesday that it was time for the world to change its approach to Africa, as he made the first address to the African Union by a US leader.

"As Africa changes, I've called for the world to change its approach to Africa," Mr Obama said in a speech at the AU's headquarters in Ethiopia's capital.

"A half century into this independence era, it is long past time to put aside old stereotypes of an Africa forever mired in poverty and conflict. The world must recognise Africa's extraordinary progress."

Mr Obama said Africa needed more trade, and that the United States was stepping up its business ties with the continent.

"So many Africans have told me: we don't just want aid, we want trade that fuels our progress. We don't want patrons, we want partners who help us build our own capacity to grow. We don't want the indignity of dependence, we want to make our own choices and determine our own future," he said.

Mr Obama said the United States was a trusted partner of the continent, and took a veiled swipe at resource-hungry China - which has massively stepped up its presence on the continent.

"Economic relationships cannot simply be about other countries building infrastructure with foreign labour or extracting Africa's natural resources," Mr Obama said.

"Real economic partnerships have to be a good deal for Africa. They have to create jobs and capacity for Africans. That's the kind of partnership America offers."

AFP