Behind the Scenes of Obama’s Africa Trip

Shapiro shares his completed vaccination card.

Shapiro shares his completed vaccination card.

NPR’s Ari Shapiro is keeping a Tumblr blog to document his travels in sub-Saharan Africa with the rest of the press corps that will follow President Obama on his trip to Senegal, Tanzania and South Africa. The trip kicked off today, but the blog is filled mostly with pictures from Senegal and preparations for the trip itself.

Shapiro filed his first report this morning to explain why the trip matters.

Here’s why all of this matters. When you look at the world’s top 10, or even the top 20 fastest-growing economies, half those countries are in Africa. The median age on the continent is 17 years old. So millions of Africans are about to enter the workforce. That could shift the global economic chessboard dramatically.

On the political front, many African strongmen who’ve held power for decades are gone. There’s more democratic stability than there used to be.

This picture of a door in Dakar, Senegal is one of his latest posts. Expect to see more as Obama travels to Tanzania and South Africa.

“Dakar wall”

About Author

Tom Murphy

Tom Murphy is a New Hampshire-based reporter for Humanosphere. Before joining Humanosphere, Tom founded and edited the aid blog A View From the Cave. His work has appeared in Foreign Policy, the Huffington Post, the Guardian, GlobalPost and Christian Science Monitor. He tweets at @viewfromthecave. Contact him at tmurphy[at]