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President Obama Pledges Billions To South Africa

Story By: Larry Stine

 

 

 
 
 
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  Original Published: 7/1/2013

  President Barack Obama and his family traveled to Cape Town, South Africa Sunday.
 
  And he brings big news for the whole continent.
 
  Cristina Mutchler has the story.

  President Obama says the U.S. is moving to a new model, from assistance to partnership with Africa.

  Speaking at the University of Cape Town, Obama pledged $7-billion to help combat power outages in the continent's sub-Saharan areas.

  "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," he said. "You've got to have power."

  Calling the initiative "Power Africa," Obama says the funds will develop new sources of energy that will reach more households outside city limits and expand access for those living off the power grid.

  He says the initiative also will support clean energy to protect from climate change.

  "As President of the United States, I believe my own nation will benefit enormously if you can reach your full potential," said Obama.

  The president and his family also took a tour of Robbenisland Sunday, the site of a prison where South Africa's anti-apartheid icon, Nelson Mandela, spent 19 of his nearly 27 years behind bars.

  The First Family stood in the lime quarry where Mandela was forced to work, and the president spent a quiet moment alone in the leader's former cell.

  Obama says bringing his daughters to the prison is something they will never forget.

  "I knew they now appreciated a little bit mote, the sacrifices Mandela and others had made for them," he said.

  Meanwhile, Mandela's fsithful supporters are keeping vigil outside the hospital, lighting incense, praying in song and a children's choir releases balloons, hopeful for the recovery of South Africa's first elected president.

  President Obama will fly to Tanzania Monday for his last stop in Africa and then flies back to the U.S. on Tuesday.

   
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