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Obama praises Senegal democracy

Thursday June 27 2013

Senegal's President Macky Sall (right) welcomes US President Barack Obama (2nd left) alongside US First Lady Michelle Obama (2nd right) and Sall's wife, Marieme Faye Sall (left), as they arrive at the Presidential Palace prior to meetings in Dakar, on June 27, 2013. AFP

Senegal's President Macky Sall (right) welcomes US President Barack Obama (2nd left) alongside US First Lady Michelle Obama (2nd right) and Sall's wife, Marieme Faye Sall (left), as they arrive at the Presidential Palace prior to meetings in Dakar, on June 27, 2013. AFP 

By AFP

DAKAR

US President Barack Obama lavished praise on Senegal as a paragon of democracy on Thursday and said it was leading a drive to good governance in Africa.

"Senegal is one of the most stable democracies in Africa and one of the strongest partners that we have in the region," Obama said at a media conference with Senegal President Macky Sall in Dakar.

"It is moving in the right direction, with reforms to deepen democratic institutions. I believe Senegal can be a great example," Obama told reporters at the presidential palace.

Obama noted that Senegal had never suffered a military coup, and there had been free and fair elections and repeated peaceful transfers of power.

He also hailed the "amazing" progress that Africa as a whole was making in democratic governance and empowering its people, also specifically singling out Ghana and Ivory Coast, at the start of a week-long continental tour.

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