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Yesterday, I noticed two opinion pieces discussing Obama’s recent Africa trip on AllAfrica.com from DC-based Africanist luminaries.

Bernadette Paolo of the Africa Society states that “President Barack Obama has made a profound and impactful visit to Africa.”

Conversely, Rosa Whitaker, who heads a leading Africa-focused consulting firm that bears her name, proclaims that Obama’s trade announcements amount to “little more than a repackaging of policies established by President Bill Clinton and expanded by President George W. Bush.”

I tend to agree with this slightly more rigorous view.  As I noted previously, all of the countries that Obama visited have also been visited by George W. Bush.  Obama’s new engagement is encouraging.  However, I don’t think that by merely using the word ‘partner’ as noted by Ms. Paolo, there is a “paradigm shift…clearly evident.”

And what about when Africa heads of state come to DC?  As Africa is a Country tells us, “it’s like meeting Beyonce, but you get to call it a state visit.”

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