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I recently gave Rep. Karen Bass (D-CA) kudos for her Africa Policy Breakfast series. I do however, have to comment on a recent email that I received from her office, ‘Africa Update: African Growth, POTUS Travels.’

There are brief country profiles on South Africa and Tanzania (two of Obama’s three destinations on his Africa trip), obviously intended for businesspeople with little knowledge of Africa.

South Africa is described as being “ruled by a white minority from independence in 1948 to the end of apartheid in 1994.”  While the National Party, which formally implemented the Apartheid system came to power in 1948, I am not aware of any means by which South African ‘independence’ can be traced to that year.

The profile on Tanzania reads as if it was lifted from a tourist magazine: “Known for its spectacular landscapes, coastal plains and highlands, Tanzania has the largest land area among its East African neighbors. Situated between Kenya and Mozambique, Tanzania is bordered by the Indian Ocean and boasts pristine sandy beaches and Africa’s highest and snow-capped mountain, Kilimanjaro.”

It may just be small errors and romantic talk like this that leaves the US with a small share of the ‘Africa rising’ pie.

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