United States presidential visits to Sub-Saharan Africa

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The countries of Sub-Saharan Africa.

Six United States presidents have made presidential visits to Sub-Saharan Africa. The first was an offshoot of Franklin D. Roosevelt's secretive World War II trip to French Morocco for the Casablanca Conference. Since 1978, all presidents, except Ronald Reagan, have visited Sub-Saharan Africa. All totaled, fourteen nations in the region have been visited by a U.S. president.

Table of visits[edit]

President Dates Nation Locations Highlights
Franklin D. Roosevelt January 13, 1943 Flag of The Gambia (1889-1965).svg Gambia Bathurst Overnight stop en route to Casablanca.[1]
January 25, 1943 Overnight stop en route from Casablanca.[1]
January 26-27, 1943  Liberia Monrovia Informal visit; met with President Edwin Barclay.[1]
December 9, 1943 France French West Africa Dakar Re-embarked for the U.S.[1][a]
Jimmy Carter March 31-April 3, 1978  Nigeria Lagos State visit; Met with President Olusegun Obasanjo.[2]
April 3, 1978  Liberia Monrovia Met with President William R. Tolbert, Jr..[2]
George H. W. Bush December 31, 1992-
January 2, 1993
 Somalia Mogadishu,
Baledogle Airfield
Visited international relief workers and U.S. military personnel.
Bill Clinton March 23, 1998  Ghana Accra Met with President Jerry Rawlings; visited a Peace Corps project.[3]
March 23-25, 1998  Uganda Kampala,
Met with President Yoweri Museveni and with the Presidents of Ethiopia, Rwanda, Tanzania, Kenya, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.[3]
March 25, 1998  Rwanda Kigali Met with President Pasteur Bizimungu; delivered a public address.[3]
March 25-29, 1998  South Africa Cape Town,
Met with President Nelson Mandela; addressed joint session of Parliament.[3]
March 29-31, 1998  Botswana Gaborone,
Met with President Quett Masire; visited Chobe National Park.[3]
March 31-April 2, 1998  Senegal Dakar,
Goree Island
Met with President Abdou Diouf; visited Senegalese peacekeeping troops; delivered several public addresses.[3]
August 26-28, 2000  Nigeria Abuja,
Met with President Obasanjo and addressed the National Assembly.[3]
August 28-29, 2000  Tanzania Arusha Met with former South African President Mandela to promote a peace agreement for Burundi; also met with President Benjamin Mkapa.[3]
George W. Bush July 8, 2003  Senegal Dakar,
Goree Island
Met with President Abdoulaye Wade.[4]
July 8-11, 2003  South Africa Pretoria Met with President Thabo Mbeki.[4]
July 10, 2003  Botswana Gaborone Met with President Festus Mogae. Toured Mokolodi Nature Reserve.[4]
July 11, 2003  Uganda Kampala Met with President Yoweri Museveni.[4]
July 11-12, 2003  Nigeria Abuja Met with President Olusegun Obasanjo.[4]
February 16, 2008  Benin Porto Novo Met with President Yayi Boni.[4]
February 16-19, 2008  Tanzania Dar es Salaam,
Met with President Jakaya Kikwete, signed Millenimum Challenge agreement.[4]
February 19, 2008  Rwanda Kigel Met with President Paul Kagame and dedicated new embassy.[4]
February 19-21, 2008  Ghana Accra Met with President John Kufuor.[4]
February 21, 2008  Liberia Monrovia Met with President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.[4]
Barack Obama July 10-11, 2009  Ghana Accra Met with President John Atta Mills. Delivered a speech to the Ghanaian Parliament. Toured a former departing point of the trans-Atlantic slave trade, the Cape Coast Castle.[5][b]
June 26-28, 2013  Senegal Dakar Met with President Macky Sall.[5]
June 28-July 1, 2013  South Africa Johannesburg,
Cape Town
Met with President Jacob Zuma and with members of the Mandela family; gave a speech on trade and investment, development, democracy and security partnerships; visited Robben Island.[5][6]
July 1-2, 2013  Tanzania Dar es Salaam Met with President Jakaya Kikwete. Laid a wreath at the memorial to the 1998 United States embassy bombing.[5] Participated in trade and investment discussions; accompanied by business leaders.[6]
July 2, 2013  Senegal Dakar Stopped during return to Washington D.C..[5]
July 24-26, 2015  Kenya Nairobi Attended the 2015 Global Entrepreneurship Summit. Also met with President Uhuru Kenyatta.[7][c]
July 26-28, 2015  Ethiopia Addis Ababa Met with the government of Ethiopia and addressed the African Union.[9][10]


  1. ^ Stop made after conferring with General Dwight Eisenhower in Tunis, Tunisia, following Tehran Conference and Second Cairo Conference.[1]
  2. ^ Visit made while en rote home from the 35th G8 summit in L'Aquila, Italy.
  3. ^ The first U.S. president with ancestry from Sub-Saharan Africa, Obama’s 2015 visit to his father's native Kenya was particularly highly anticipated by that country. At the time Kenya was not included in Obama's 2013 tour, the country had reportedly omitted due to Obama's discomfort with the International Criminal Court charges pending against Uhuru Kenyatta.[8][6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e "Travels of President Franklin D. Roosevelt". U.S. Department of State Office of the Historian. 
  2. ^ a b "Travels of President Jimmy Carter". U.S. Department of State Office of the Historian. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h "Travels of President William J. Clinton". U.S. Department of State Office of the Historian. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Travels of President George W. Bush". U.S. Department of State Office of the Historian. 
  5. ^ a b c d e "Travels of President Barack Obama". U.S. Department of State Office of the Historian. 
  6. ^ a b c Epatko, Larisa, "Why Obama Is Visiting Senegal, South Africa and Tanzania But Not Kenya", PBS NewsHour, June 25, 2013. Retrieved 2013-08-18.
  7. ^ Ferris, Sarah. "Obama: Proud to be first U.S. president to visit Kenya". The Hill. Retrieved July 30, 2015. 
  8. ^ Raghavan, Sudarsan, "In snub to Washington, Kenyan president visits China, Russia first", Washington Post, August 17, 2013. Retrieved August 18, 2013.
  9. ^ Lee, Carol E. "Obama Becomes First U.S. President to Address African Union". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved July 29, 2015. 
  10. ^ "Obama to be first sitting U.S. President to visit Ethiopia". CNN. June 19, 2015. Retrieved June 28, 2015.