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Obama visits South Africa to commemorate Nelson Mandela’s 100th birthday and to develop future leaders

Obama visits South Africa to commemorate Nelson Mandela’s 100th birthday and to develop future leaders

Former President Barack Obama on Tuesday, July 17, visited Africa to deliver the annual Nelson Mandela Lecture before thousands of South Africans to honour the late anti-apartheid leader on the 100th anniversary of his birth.

Obama has often spoken of how much Mandela influenced him and gave a eulogy at the late president's 2013 memorial service.

When Obama was a senator, he had his picture taken with Mandela. When he became president, Mandela kept in his office a copy of the photo that Obama sent him, Washington reports.

READ ALSO: Observers, Fayemi disagree over Ekiti election gathered that the speech on Tuesday, one of Obama’s most high-profile since leaving office, was meant to draw attention to values that today are under threat and to rally people in Africa and elsewhere to push for tolerance and justice.

Obama, who has spent much of his post-presidency focused on launching his foundation, is also scheduled to participate in a town hall featuring 200 emerging leaders from the Obama Foundation in Africa.

Attendees from more than 40 countries will participate in a five-day workshop emphasizing leadership development.

Guest speakers include Graca Machel, Mandela's widow; Kofi Annan, the former secretary-general of the United Nations; and former Liberian president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.

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The former president's visit to Africa was not limited to South Africa. He also made his way to Kenya, the birthplace of his late father, Barack Obama Sr., who worked in politics in the country.

Obama spent his trip meeting with Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta and reportedly attended the opening of a centre founded by his half-sister, Auma Obama, aimed at providing educational and economic opportunities for young adults to improve their lives.

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