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Advocacy Groups Urge Obama To Prioritize Development During Trip To Africa This Week

“Starting Wednesday, [President] Obama will visit Senegal, South Africa and Tanzania on what will be his second trip to the [African] continent as president,” Inter Press Service reports, noting “[h]is advisers say he hopes to focus on increasing trade, investments and other economic opportunities.” However, “[a]dvocacy groups [in Washington] are urging [Obama] to focus on more than just economic development,” the news service writes, adding, “They are also hoping that the state visits will be able to turn the tide on years of U.S. engagement with Africa only through the lens of security and counter-terrorism.” IPS continues, “According to aides, Obama will also put significant emphasis on supporting growing democracies in each of the three countries, as well as on the African youth population,” noting, “In addition to bilateral meetings with political leaders in the three countries, Obama will participate in events with private sector leaders. Development issues will play a role, particularly regarding food security” (Hargis, 6/24).