Michelle Obama flies home after African tour

GABORONE — US First Lady Michelle Obama flew back to Washington on Sunday after a week-long tour of southern Africa where she met icons of the liberation movement and took in a short safari.

By (AFP)

Published: Sun 26 Jun 2011, 4:54 PM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 10:43 PM

Travelling with her daughters, Malia and Sasha, two of their cousins, and her mother, Marian Robinson, Obama met with legends like Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu during her journey.

But at every stop she also met with young women to encourage them to follow the lead of the liberation leaders to work for social change, whether fighting AIDS, corruption or poverty.

She was seen off at the airport by US ambassador Michelle Gavin, who described the visit as extremely successful.

“The visit has further strengthened relations between the two countries,” she said.

Botswana’s assistant minister of finance Gloria Somolekae who was also at the airport to bid farewell to the first lady said the visit had put Botswana on the global map.

“It was an honour for Botswana to host the American first lady and I am sure we will be reaping the rewards of this visit very soon.”

Obama charmed both nations as she hugged everyone she met, danced and played soccer with children, and dined in neighbourhood delis and roadside village restaurants.

“Michelle Obama brings out the best in southern Africa,” proclaimed The Sunday Independent in Johannesburg, bidding farewell to the first lady.

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