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Africa: Obama ignores African journalists at summit in U.S.

U.S. President Barack Obama

U.S. President Barack Obama COURTESY PHOTO

By Genevieve Quinta

allAfrica.com

The closing press conference of the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit with United States President Barack Obama was dominated by questions about local policy issues, sparking indignation from African journalists last Wednesday.

Obama rushed onto the stage an hour and 14 minutes late and launched into his closing speech on the summit, Aug. 6, which saw more than 40 heads of states or representatives from African countries converge on the U.S. capital.

After a statement on the success of the summit, Obama took questions from a pre-selected list of journalists, of which only one was from Africa.

White House press members dominated the question and answer session, focusing on local policy issues, such as immigration, and the crisis in the Middle East and Ukraine.

The press core was given front row seats to the conference while African journalists scrabbled for space behind the cameras at the U.S. Department of State.

Some waved their arms hoping to get a chance to ask Obama a question or two about the summit, but the chance never came.

After the short Q&A, Obama left the stage and was whisked out the building, leaving many hot under the collar.

“What did we come all this way for?” a journalist asked.

The three-day summit was the first of its kind, initiated by Obama following is visit to Africa last year.

It focused on issues of trade and investment between the US and Africa, peace and regional stability and good governance.

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