News

Actions

Nelson Mandela: Obama tours South Africa while country prays for anti-apartheid leader’s recovery

Posted: 7:04 PM, Jun 30, 2013
Updated: 2013-06-30 20:21:24-04

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

Speaking at the University of Capetown, Obama pledged $7 billion to help combat power outages in the continent’s South African areas.

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 to those living off the power grid.

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

The President and his family also took a tour of Robin Island Sunday, the site of a prison where South Africa’s anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela spent 18 of his nearly 27 years behind bars.

The 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 daughter’s to the prison is something they will never forget.

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