Obama to support Africa

NAIROBI: US President Barack Obama, in a videotaped message to a conference here, pledged Wednesday his administration's "full support" for Africa's development.

"I see Africa as a fundamental part of our interconnected world," Obama, whose father was born in Kenya, told an economic conference attended by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

"And I pledge to you the full support and partnership of the United States," he said.

Obama last month visited Ghana on his first presidential stop in Africa, leading many Kenyans to speculate that he deliberately snubbed the land of his ancestors due to endemic corruption and political infighting.

Obama apologised for not being able to come to Kenya in person and said he had always enjoyed his visits to the country.

The president returned to the theme of his Ghana speech and Clinton's, saying that "open markets alone are not enough" and stressing that Africans needed to stand up to insist on good governance.

"Only Africans can unlock Africa's potential," Obama said.

"And to all Africans who are pursuing a future of hope and opportunity, know this: you have a partner and a friend in the United States," he said.