Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Obama: Fulfill Mandela's legacy

01 July 2013, 07:42

Cape Town - US President Barack Obama called on young Africans to rise to the challenge of shoring up progress on the continent that rests on a "fragile foundation", summoning them to fulfill the legacy of South Africa's beloved former leader Nelson Mandela.

In his own effort to carve out a piece of that legacy, Obama announced a new US-led initiative to double access to electric power across Africa, vowing to help bring "light where there is currently darkness".

"Nelson Mandela showed us that one man's courage can move the world," Obama said during an evening speech on Sunday at the University of Cape Town.

Obama's remarks capped an emotional day that included a visit to the Robben Island prison where Mandela spent 18 of his 27 years in prison. The 94-year-old anti-apartheid hero has been in hospital for most of this month and is said to be in critical condition.

In deeply personal remarks, the US president spoke of standing in Mandela's cramped prison cell with his two young daughters, Malia and Sasha.

"Seeing them stand within the walls that once surrounded Nelson Mandela, I knew this was an experience they would never forget," he said.

"I knew they now appreciated a little bit more that Madiba and other had made for freedom," Obama added, referring to Mandela by his clan name.

'Ripple of hope'

Obama address came nearly 50 years after Robert F Kennedy delivered his famous "Ripple of Hope" speech at the same university, an address that Obama aides said helped inspire the president's remarks.

Kennedy's speech, delivered soon after Mandela was sentenced to prison, called on young people to launch a fight against injustice, creating ripples of hope that would "build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance".

Laying out his own vision for development on the continent where his father was born, Obama said the US seeks "a partnership that empowers Africans to access greater opportunity in their own lives".

He dismissed the notion that the US sought to meddle in Africa's affairs, saying his country would benefit from the continent's ability to manage its own affairs - economically, politically and militarily.

"Ultimately I believe Africans should make up their own minds about what serves African interests," he said.

"We trust your judgment, the judgment of ordinary people. We believe that when you control your destiny - if you got a handle on your governments - then governments will promote freedom and opportunity, because that will serve you."

The White House says Obama's electricity initiative, dubbed "Power Africa," symbolises the type of cross-continent ventures the president seeks.

Backed by $7bn in US investment, the power programme will focus on expanding access to electricity in six African countries: Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Nigeria and Tanzania.

Private companies - including General Electric and Symbion Power - will make an additional $9bn in commitments.

However, those contributions fall well short of the $300bn the International Energy Agency says would be required to achieve universal electricity access in sub-Saharan Africa by 2030.

The funds are aimed at expanding the reach of power grids and developing geothermal, hydro, wind and solar power.

- AP


Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...