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English Subtitles

On his first big trip to Africa, US president Barack Obama has been keen to talk up what he calls his 'new model' for engagement with the continent.

By that he means: 'business'.

And he also might mean, although he doesn't say it, playing catch up to China...

...which is already heavily involved in building the infrastructure that the continent needs

Importing cheap manufactured products to sell to Africa's growing number of consumers, and digging out its valuable minerals for export.

At every turn, Mr Obama has met CEOs, talked about win-win solutions that create jobs for the US and deliver economic development for Africa

And he has pointed out that the world's fastest growing economies are to be found on the continent that many have too easily written off before, as a perennial failure.

So, I'm calling for America to up our game...

...when it comes to Africa.

We're bringing together business leaders from America and Africa to deepen our engagement.

We're going to launch new trade missions and promote investment from companies back home.

While US companies already do business in mining, contracting and agriculture.

it's certainly a departure in terms of tone.

and a recognition that there is room for a lot more growth

after all, American involvement in Africa has more normally focused on aid and security, spending millions supporting African armies, drone bases, and counterterrorism.

And, even in the last hours of his three-nation, six-day tour, Mr Obama laid a wreath to commemorate those killed in terrorism attacks that targeted the US in 1998.

One August day, Al Qaeda launched its first large-scale successful attack on the US.

It bombed its embassies in both Nairobi and Dar es Salaam at the same time, and killing hundreds and injuring thousands.

It was a trip tinged with emotion elsewhere too, as he visited a former slave fort in Senegal, and met with the family as ailing Nelson Mandela, his personal hero, in South Africa

Son of a Kenyan, Mr Obama nevertheless skipped his Kenyan homeland, citing the international issues around the International criminal court.

The ICC has indicted new president Khukuri Kenyatta for crimes against humanity for his alleged role in post-election violence five years ago.

The timing was not right for me as the president of United States to be visiting Kenya, when those issues are still being worked on and hopefully, at some point, resolved.

But, Mr Obama was also keen to stress a series of new initiatives.

The US we'll hold several business summits on Africa next year, wants to boost intra-Africa trade and, most significant, will put seven billion dollars towards a new joints public-private scheme to double the subcontinent's access to electricity.

If you can deliver, it promises exactly the sort of scale and potential impact the continent may come to thank him for.

Katrina Manson, Nairobi, Financial Times.

Introduction

The US president, Barack Obama, has waited a long time to make his first visit to Africa. Find out why the trip is so important in this video from the UK's Financial Times.

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