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Strengthening “democracy” will remain a key focus of the US strategy in Africa, says President Barack Obama on his visit to Senegal, the first leg on his three-nation African trip.
President Obama made the remarks in the Senegalese capital of Dakar on Thursday when meeting with judicial heads from 12 African countries.
The US leader said his country had spent more than $292 million in support of its efforts to push for democracy in Africa, especially in aid to civil society, independent media and credible elections to create strong democratic systems.
“We appreciate the progress that most African countries have made to expand political participation and improve governance, and we shall remain a faithful partner to help them in the reinforcement of electoral processes, transparency and security while also respecting and protecting the universal rights and fundamental freedoms,” Obama said in a statement.
The president also announced the launch of an anti-corruption training programme for West Africa.
“The US will continue to promote responsible and open governance in Africa and across the whole world and will also expand its support to technological innovations that will improve governance systems,” said the US leader.
Obama’s African tour will also take him to South Africa and Tanzania, although he will not be visiting Nigeria – the biggest economy of the continent.
The president is also skipping his father’s homeland, Kenya, whose president has been charged with war crimes.