At a time when China has surpassed the United States as a trading partner and left its mark throughout Africa, Mr. Obama essentially made the argument that Washington offers a better, more empowering vision for Africa’s future.
Whether he has succeeded in this mission remains to be seen. But at all of his stops, he laid out the case that Africa should be wary of China’s appetite for oil for its own use and instead embrace an American relationship that seeks to foster economic growth, democracy, health care, education and electrification.
“The United States isn’t the only country that sees your growth as an opportunity, and that is a good thing,” Mr. Obama told African leaders in a speech here in Addis Ababa, the Ethiopian capital, before returning to Washington. He urged Africans to do business with everyone.