By: April Ryan, aprildryan.com
Sunday in South Africa President Obama delivers a speech after visiting Robben Island, the place where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for 27 years for his anti-apartheid movement. The speech is framed around Nelson Mandela and his example of how change can happen. The address takes place at the University of Cape Town, where then President Robert Kennedy addressed a crowd in June 1966 just after Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for his anti-apartheid efforts. President Obama’s speech will focus on the change that has taken place since the Kennedy visit almost 50 years ago. President Obama is expected to focus on opportunity, Democracy, peace and security.
There will be another event that deals with energy. The White House says two-thirds of Sub-Saharan Africa does not have power. Up to 85 percent of rural African communities have no electricity. With this information there is a new effort to secure the energy infrastructure in some Sub-Saharan African countries. The countries selected to take part of the program are Tanzania, Kenya, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Liberia, Ghana.
With this energy initiative, the White House is directly in China’s face helping with Nigeria’s infrastructure. China has been in Nigeria and in other African countries exchanging infrastructure building for oil. White House sources contend this is not about taking oil but helping to cut into poverty and securing African nations as a National Security issue. Meanwhile, another White House source says they are giving companies money for insurance to work in the energy sector in Nigeria as there are major problems with attacks on Nigerian oil barges and other portions of the oil sector. Those disruptions have caused the price of oil to increase globally to include at pumps in the United States.
Health is also a focus Sunday for the President. He will deal with issues of HIV/AIDS. The White House is taking credit for cutting into the Sub-Saharan African HIV/Aids epidemic saying the millionth baby has been born without AIDS in Africa because of the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR)program. In 2013 and for 2014 the White House on average has asked Congress to approve 4.2 billion dollars for PEPFAR. It is the 10th anniversary for PEPFAR. President George W. Bush endorsed an effort backed by the Congressional Black Caucus for an initial investment of 15 billion dollars to fight HIV/AIDS worldwide.