Obama warns African leaders

ADDIS ABABA - US President Barack Obama has warned that Africa will not advance if its leaders refuse to step down when their terms end.

He also called for an end to the "cancer of corruption", saying it took money away from development .

Mr Obama made the comments in the first ever address by a US leader to the 54-member AU at its headquarters in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa.

The address marked the climax of Mr Obama's five-day trip to Africa.

He visited Kenya and Ethiopia, the headquarters of the AU.

African leaders should respect their constitutions, and step down when their term ends.

Violence in Burundi following President Pierre Nkurunziza's bid for a third term showed how stability could be threatened if constitutional rules were ignored, he said.

"Nobody should be president for life," Mr Obama said.

"I don't understand why people want to stay so long, especially when they have got a lot of money," he added.

Democracy existed in name but not in substance when journalists were jailed and activists were threatened, he said.

Corruption was "draining billions of dollars" from Africa, he added.

The money could be used to build schools and hospitals, Mr Obama said.

The rapid economic growth in Africa was changing "old stereotypes" of a continent hit by war and poverty, he said.

But unemployment needed to be urgently tackled on a continent whose one-billion people will double in a few decades, Mr Obama said.

"We need only look to the Middle East and North Africa to see that large numbers of young people with no jobs and stifled voices can fuel instability and disorder," he added.

Comments (20)

Africais a cursed continent. Virtually all leaders we put in power get possesed with demons of corruption which tell them to turn the countries into dust. One wonders if ever they have the brains in the first place.

Masamba Akareyo -Tanganda - 28 July 2015

Mr. Obama leave Mr. R Mugabe alone we love him as Zimbabweans go and be in your country don't come in Africa and cause havoc

Anderson Iso - 28 July 2015

Anderson uridofo

chamangwiza - 28 July 2015

@ANDERSON: Obama did not even mention any names here, why then rush to put Mugabe's name in the equation??

Mike - 28 July 2015

Anderson uriduzvi regwavha, wanyumwa namdhara wako la, ngaabveka, nxa

border gezi - 28 July 2015

Listen to the voice of reason. Leaders are being born everyday. There will never be a shortage. Don't HOG leadership or cheat yourself that you are unique.

Gerald - 28 July 2015

leaders are born, so we should not worried abt who shall going to take over

KARAL - 29 July 2015

Anderson uriduzvi hausi kuona kuti nyika yaparara nekuda kwemadhara aya,wake up young boy or old man.Obama is 100% right.God bless Obama and his Administration,chinja iz bho mhani,

Cde Matimati - 29 July 2015

African leaders ullurate when Mugabe castigates the westerners, and again give standing ovation when Obama shits on african dictaters. SHAME

EL-DODO - 29 July 2015

Obama is an African despite being legally American, his tone of empathy and pleading with African leaders is to give some sense of responsibility because when a president is corrupt and immune to follow the constitution this affect investment which should create employment, create stability and democratize the country. These ingredients are what make Africa a dark continent. Everyone in Africa find her/himself in this state of absolute poverty with leaders in absolute wealth is because of these things. Its clear that in Africa we have presidents who have never left office since they stepped in, others have violated their constitution. At the end the same western countries are burdened by the same African leaders wanting donations for their countries to help their impoverished citizen. There are millions of African citizens dying each year try to cross deadly seas to Europe and Americas to seek better life. Many die from poor health facilities yet if these African leaders can stand with one voice they can tackle their poverty issues and address economic development. MUGABE AND OBEUM NGWEMA, NKRUNZINZA, jose Eduado Dosantos and parteners have over stayed their welcome.

bruce - 29 July 2015

African leaders ullurate when Mugabe castigates the westerners, and again give standing ovation when Obama shits on african dictaters. SHAME

EL-DODO - 29 July 2015

Obama is an African despite being legally American, his tone of empathy and pleading with African leaders is to give some sense of responsibility because when a president is corrupt and immune to follow the constitution this affect investment which should create employment, create stability and democratize the country. These ingredients are what make Africa a dark continent. Everyone in Africa find her/himself in this state of absolute poverty with leaders in absolute wealth is because of these things. Its clear that in Africa we have presidents who have never left office since they stepped in, others have violated their constitution. At the end the same western countries are burdened by the same African leaders wanting donations for their countries to help their impoverished citizen. There are millions of African citizens dying each year try to cross deadly seas to Europe and Americas to seek better life. Many die from poor health facilities yet if these African leaders can stand with one voice they can tackle their poverty issues and address economic development. MUGABE AND OBEUM NGWEMA, NKRUNZINZA, jose Eduado Dosantos and parteners have over stayed their welcome.

bruce - 29 July 2015

ANDERSON JUST SHUT UP.

GABUZA - 29 July 2015

Anderson you hurt.

Worried - 29 July 2015

Baraak Obama must be reminded that all African countries are constitionally governed, except for a few like Burundi. If America is a two-five year-term ; fine it is good for them. He could also still be two-five-year-term DICTATOR as seen by his mindless wars, human rights abuses, sanctions against peace- loving countries such as Iraq, Iran, AFHGANISTAN, Libya, Syria, Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, ZIMBABWE, just but to mention a few.

ivhu kuvanhu chete chete - 29 July 2015

Anderson, what kind of a creature are you. Mugabe lost his zimdollar and begged for the $US, you are still using the $US. Does that make any sense to you, you are a piece of Shiiiiittti

Mabhunu Takauraya - 29 July 2015

It was Robert Mugabe who introduced democracy to Zimbabwe. But it was only a democracy if you voted for him, if you voted for someone else it was called toppling the government. People are not allowed to choose their own leaders as may be seen from the Mujuru fiasco. No one is allowed to contest or stand for the office of president.

vortex - 30 July 2015

pliz barak obhama can u first remove that deadly virus wic is more dangerous than AIDS en we can listen, zvirwere zvamagadzira zvawandisa veduwee, corruption torarama kwete zvemaexperiment enyu iwayo,ndimi makatiurayira nyika futi apa mava kutibetsera saka,this is AFRICA NOT AMERICA pasi nemaexperiments pamberi nekutambura kana usati waziva MWARI KKKKKKKKKKKKKKK

avast - 19 August 2015

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