Halfway across the globe, President Barack Obama and former President George W. Bush stood side by side to remember the victims of one of Osama bin Laden’s earliest terrorist attacks against the United States.
The two presidents attended a memorial Tuesday for the victims of the 1998 U.S. Embassy bombing in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and laid a wreath to honor the victims of the deadly attack on embassies in Tanzania and Kenya, which killed 224 people, including 12 Americans.
The event marks the final day of Obama’s visit to the continent. First lady Michelle Obama also attended a summit her predecessor Laura Bush was hosting for African first ladies in a candid discussion about the struggles of being under the public microscope in the White House.
Obama’s final event before he heads home before the 4th of July holiday was a tour of a power factory, where the president kicked around a “socket ball” – a soccer ball that builds up kinetic energy to provide power. The president’s stop was part of his larger “Power Africa” initiative he launched on the trip to help provide electricity to sub-Saharan countries.
As NBC’s First Read notes, it’s an important initiative for the president, as he seeks to make a lasting impression on the continent where Bush had success in helping with the AIDS epidemic:
The success of Obama’s Africa trip won’t really be known for years. The centerpiece program Obama introduced, Power Africa, is a tangible idea that will be easy to track. If the lights are on in rural Africa in the next decade, Obama has his positive legacy. This is similar to Bush’s Africa legacy: It hasn’t been until the last few years (after Bush left office) that it’s been clear just how successful the PEPFAR program has been in helping this continent get control of the AIDS/HIV epidemic.