“Africa’s democratic progress is also at risk when leaders refuse to step aside when their terms end,” Obama said, drawing huge applause and cheers from some sections of the audience in the AU’s Nelson Mandela hall.
“No one should be president for life,” he said, explaining that he was personally relishing handing over office in 18 months.
“Now let me be honest with you: I do not understand this. I am in my second term… I love my work, but under our constitution, I cannot run again. I actually think I’m a pretty good president, I think if I ran again I could win, but I can’t.
“And, I’ll be honest with you, I’m looking forward to life after being president. I won’t have such a big security detail all the time, it means I can take a walk, it means I can spend time with my family.
“The point is I don’t understand why people want to stay so long. Especially when they’ve got a lot of money,” he said, drawing another huge cheer from the hall — packed with diplomats but also many civil society activists…
“Nothing will unlock Africa’s economic potential more than ending the cancer of corruption…”
Speaking on militancy, Obama said, “Many of these groups claim the banner of religion, but hundreds of millions of African Muslims know that Islam means peace. We must call groups like Al-Qaeda, ISIL (Islamic State), Al-Shebab and Boko Haram, we must call them what they are -— murderers.
“Because of the AU force in Somalia, Al-Shebab controls less territory, and the Somali government is growing stronger. In central Africa, the AU-led mission continues to degrade the Lord’s Resistance Army.
“In the Lake Chad basin, forces from several nations — with the backing of the AU –are fighting to end Boko Haram’s senseless brutality…”
Obama’s Speech was met with a thunderous applause as he addressed a lot of issues from corruption to autocratic rulership, militancy and of course gay marriage.