Youth to benefit from Michelle Obama's visit
Pretoria - Youth leadership, education, health and wellness will be under the spotlight when United States First Lady Michelle Obama visits South Africa and Botswana later this month.
Spokesperson for the US Embassy in South Africa, Elizabeth Kennedy Trudeau, said the trip is a continuation of Obama's work to engage young people at home and abroad, from mentoring students in the United States and encouraging them to gain international experience, to encouraging young people to excel academically.
Obama's visit to Johannesburg and Cape Town, as well as Gaborone will be from 21 - 26 June.
"This visit to two critical countries will underscore that the United States has an important stake in the success of Africa's many nations and underscore the historic connections between the American people and those who live on the African continent.Â
"South Africa is a vital global partner for the United States, as political leader and economic engine on the continent, and a historic example of democratic transition in Africa and around the world," said Trudeau.
In addition to advancing her international youth engagement agenda, Trudeau said Obama's activities will amplify the US President's support for democracy, development and economic opportunity across Africa.Â
During her trip, Obama, who will accompanied by her mother Mrs Robinson and her daughters Malia and Sasha Obama, will deliver the keynote address to a US-sponsored Young African Women Leaders Forum in South Africa.Â
The forum participants include young women from across sub-Saharan Africa, who are leading or involved in social and economic initiatives in their own countries.Â
"The forum will build on the Obama administration's ongoing engagement with the next generation of African leaders and the momentum of the August 2010 President's Forum with Young African Leaders held at the White House," Trudeau said.
She further noted that Obama's engagement with the people of South Africa and Botswana, as well as women and youth leaders from across sub-Saharan Africa, will further strengthen the already deep connections between the United States and African nations.Â
"Africa's future will be shaped by its growing and dynamic youth population, building stronger and more enduring relationships with Africa's emerging young leaders, tapping the strength and potential of African women, and investing in the health and well-being of its children upholds core American values and advances American interests," said Trudeau.
Department of International Relations and Cooperation spokesperson, Clayson Monyela, noted that the US First Lady's visit coincides with Youth Month in South Africa and is expected to enhance people-to-people relations and in particular, those between women and the youth in the two countries.
"The First Lady's visit will further enhance the already close ties between South Africa and the United States of America. South Africa looks forward to hosting this historic visit by the First Lady of the USA," said Monyela.