U.S. President Barack Obama and his family arrive in the Senegalese capital of Dakar late Wednesday to kick off a week-long, three-country Africa tour aimed at reinforcing democratic institutions and spurring American investment on the continent. The first family is traveling with a large delegation of American economic officials, business executives and journalists.
Obama starts his visit Thursday with bilateral talks with Senegalese President Macky Sall at the presidential palace in Dakar. The presidents are expected to discuss trade issues and security concerns in Africa’s Sahel region, which has seen a spike in militant Islamist activity.
Obama’s choice to visit Senegal, a small, French-speaking West African country, is seen as a nod to Senegal’s democratic track record . Sall the senegalese president said what they want to see is Obama launch more economic initiatives for Africa that will help the continent take off and realize its vast potential. The two president will hold a press conference before Obama heads to Senegal’s Supreme Court to meet with regional justice officials.
President Obama and his family spend Thursday afternoon at Goree Island, which was a final transit point in the Atlantic slave trade. President Obama attends a state dinner Thursday night and then wraps up his visit to Senegal on Friday morning with a meeting on food security before heading to South Africa and then Tanzania for the remaining two legs of his trip.