United States presidential visits to Sub-Saharan Africa
- The first presidential trip was an offshoot of the secretive World War II trip of President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1943. The trip to Africa was a direct result of the technology of aircraft of the day. The shortest path across the Atlantic Ocean was from Brazil to Africa. On his return trip when secrecy was less important, Roosevelt made a formal visit to Liberia.
- President Jimmy Carter was the only U.S. President to have made a state visit to Sub-Saharan Africa, making his trip in 1978. He also returned to Liberia 35 years after Roosevelt's first visit.
- President George H. W. Bush went to Somalia for a New Year's visit in 1993, part of a larger trip which included Saudi Arabia, Russia, and France. This was the first use of the VC-25 airplane in Sub-Saharan Africa.
- President Bill Clinton's tours of 1998 and 2000 initiated the modern era of formal visits to Sub-Saharan Africa. His entourage required 5 passenger airplanes, and scores of heavy lift aircraft missions. The cost of this trip was the subject of a GAO report.
- President Barack Obama made a deliberate attempt to change the paradigm in July 2009, when he included a stop-over to Sub-Saharan Africa at the end of his trip for a G8 summit in L'Aquila, Italy. Instead of seven trips from the five previous presidential administrations, trips to Africa since Obama may be more regularly included as part of the much more frequent presidential trips to Europe. In Ghana, Obama visited the dungeons of Cape Coast Castle, where many enslaved Africans died and others were loaded onto slave ships.
- Since Obama is the only president with ancestry from Sub-Saharan Africa, his visit to his father's birthplace in Kenya is highly anticipated by that country. However, Kenya has never had a visit by a sitting U.S. president.
List of trips
|Barack Obama||10-Jul-2009||11-Jul-2009||Ghana||Accra||Met with President John Atta Mills. Delivered a speech to the Ghanaian Parliament. Toured a former departing point of the trans-Atlantic slave trade, the Cape Coast Castle.|
|George W. Bush||16-Feb-2008||16-Feb-2008||Benin||Porto Novo||Met with President Yayi Boni.|
|16-Feb-2008||19-Feb-2008||Tanzania||Dar es Salaam, Arusha||Met with President Jakaya Kikwete, signed Millenimum Challenge agreement|
|19-Feb-2008||19-Feb-2008||Rwanda||Kigali||Met with President Paul Kagame and dedicated new embassy.|
|19-Feb-2008||21-Feb-2008||Ghana||Accra||Met with President John Kufuor.|
|21-Feb-2008||21-Feb-2008||Liberia||Monrovia||Met with President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.|
|George W. Bush||8-Jul-2003||8-Jul-2003||Senegal||Dakar, Goree Island||Met with President Abdoulaye Wade.|
|8-Jul-2003||11-Jul-2003||South Africa||Pretoria||Met with President Thabo Mbeki.|
|10-Jul-2003||10-Jul-2003||Botswana||Gaborone||Met with President Festus Mogae. Toured Mokoldi Nature Reserve.|
|11-Jul-2003||11-Jul-2003||Uganda||Kampala||Met with President Yoweri Museveni.|
|11-Jul-2003||12-Jul-2003||Nigeria||Abuja||Met with President Olusegun Obasanjo.|
|Bill Clinton||26-Aug-2000||28-Aug-2000||Nigeria||Abuja, Ushafa||Met with President Obasanjo and addressed the National Assembly.|
|28-Aug-2000||29-Aug-2000||Tanzania||Arusha||Met with former South African President Nelson Mandela to promote a peace agreement for Burundi; also met with President Benjamin Mkapa.|
|Bill Clinton||23-Mar-1998||23-Mar-1998||Ghana||Accra||Met with President Jerry Rawlings; visited a Peace Corps project.|
|23-Mar-1998||25-Mar-1998||Uganda||Kampala, Kisowera, Mukono, Wanyange, Entebbe||Met with President Museveni and with the Presidents of Ethiopia, Rwanda, Tanzania, Kenya, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.|
|25-Mar-1998||25-Mar-1998||Rwanda||Kigali||Met with President Pasteur Bizimungu; delivered a public address.|
|25-Mar-1998||29-Mar-1998||South Africa||Cape Town, Johannesburg||Met with President Nelson Mandela; addressed joint session of Parliament.|
|29-Mar-1998||31-Mar-1998||Botswana||Gaborone, Kasane||Met with President Quett Masire; visited Chobe National Park.|
|31-Mar-1998||2-Apr-1998||Senegal||Dakar, Thies, Goree Island||Met with President Abdou Diouf; visited Senegalese peacekeeping troops; delivered several public addresses.|
|George H. W. Bush||31-Dec-92||2-Jan-93||Somalia||Mogadishu, Baidoa, Baledogle||Visited international relief workers and U.S. military personnel.|
|Jimmy Carter||3-Apr-78||3-Apr-78||Liberia||Monrovia||Met with President William R. Tolbert, Jr..|
|31-Mar-78||3-Apr-78||Nigeria||Lagos||Met with President Obasanjo; first State visit of a U.S. President to sub-Saharan Africa.|
|Franklin D. Roosevelt||26-Jan-43||27-Jan-43||Liberia||Monrovia||Informal visit; met with President Edwin Barclay.|
|25-Jan-43||25-Jan-43||The Gambia||Bathurst||Overnight stop en route from the Casablanca Conference.|
Last modified on 6 October 2012, at 14:15↑Jump back a section