Fw: Pool report 5

----- Original Message -----
From: Andrew BEATTY [mailto:xxx@email.com]
Sent: Tuesday, July 28, 2015 02:59 PM
To: Velz, Peter T. EOP
Subject: Pool report 5

POTUS entered the assembly of the African Union to a standing ovation, delegates from the member states, observer countries and some peacekeepers pulled out phones and tablets to take photos and video -- there were lots of cell phone rings and Twitter alerts throughout all of the speeches.

Remarks were open press, but President Obama took the podium and earned loud cheers when he began by saying it was a "great honor to be the first president of the United States to address the African Union."

"Africa and its people helped to shape America" he said, speaking of slavery, his forefathers, he said, were slaves and slave owners.

But he focused on the fact "a new Africa is emerging," saying colonialism was a thing of the past.

Invoking Nelson Mandela for the first of three times by using his clan name "Madiba" he paraphrased the poem "Invictus" by William Ernest Henley as being representative of Africa's situation today (I am the master of my fate, the captain of my soul) and said that as Africa has changed he has encouraged the rest of the world to change its attitude to Africa.

The paradigm of aid and dependence was changing,  he said, although he also said that extreme poverty in some places was an "assault on human dignity."

Towards the coda of his speech he spoke about democracy, praising peaceful transitions of power in Botswana, Nigeria and elsewhere.

As he spoke of places where there was "democracy in name, but not in substance" there were loud cheers from some parts of the audience, with one person in the assembly audibly saying "thank you, thank you."

Against a backdrop of crises in Rwanda, Burundi and elsewhere, there were perhaps the loudest cheers of the day for his criticism of African leaders seeking third terms.

Joking that if he ran again "I could win, but I can't" he said adding that he doesn't understand why people want to stay "especially when they have got a lot of money."

Nkosazana Dlamini-Zulu spoke before Obama, and began by praising the "beautiful tapestry of humanity" in the United States - "today there is no America without Africa" she said, turning to Obama to say "we also claim you as our own."

She also commented on America's impact in Africa, speaking about her alma mater Adams College, near Durban, which was founded by an American missionary, and produced African leaders such as Albert Luthuli, an early leader of the African National Congress in South Africa. POTUS nodded repeatedly as she was recounting this story.

She also made a call for a seat for Africa on the UNSC - although did not say for which country -- "Africa is the only continent that is not represented as a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council," she said, describing it as a "historic injustice."

Praising Obama's stance on Cuba, she recounted a decades-old Fidel Castro quote, saying normalization of ties would only happen when American had a black president and there was a Latin American Pope.

At 14:58 the pool is heading to the motorcade, next stop the airport.

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