Hi again. Welcome back to As It Is. I'm Kelly Jean Kelly.
President Barack Obama returned to the United States this week after visiting Senegal, South Africa, and Tanzania with his wife and two daughters. One issue that the president spoke about was power.
"Access to electricity is fundamental to opportunity in this age. It's the light that children study by. The energy that allows an idea to be transformed into a real business. It's the lifeline for families to meet their most basic needs. And it's the connection that' s needed to plug Africa into the grid of the global economy. You got to have power."
During his visit, President Obama promised to give $7 billion to increase electricity production in sub-Saharan Africa. The program is being called Power Africa.
Obama said it will double the number of people in Africa who have electricity in the next five years. The program will be started in Ethiopia, Kenya, Liberia, Nigeria, Uganda, Mozambique and Tanzania.
The president also spoke about increasing trade between sub-Saharan Africa and the United States. He told African and American business leaders in Tanzania that he believes Africa is the world's next major success story. And, he said, America wants a relationship with Africa based more on trade than aid.
Many people saw President Obama's trip as a response to China's heavy investment in Africa. Observers say America needs to have a bigger economic role in the continent.
During the weeklong visit, the Obama family also visited Robben Island in South Africa. That is the prison where former South African president Nelson Mandela spent 18 years. He was imprisoned for fighting to end the country's apartheid regime.
Mr. Obama also joined former president George W. Bush in Dar es for a ceremony, they honoured the people killed in the 1998 bombings of the American embassy there.
Reporter Michael Shear wrote in the New York Times that the president's critics say he missed a chance to visit countries that are creating problems.
For instance, critics say he could have visited Kenya, whose president has been charged with crimes against humanity by the International Criminal Court. Or, he could have gone to the Republic of Congo and talked about ending the country's long history of violence.
Aides traveling with the president reportedly said the trip was designed to show positive opportunities in Africa.