Addis Ababa: US President Barack Obama said Tuesday that it was time for the world to change its approach to Africa, as he made the first address to the African Union by a US leader.
"As Africa changes, I`ve called for the world to change its approach to Africa," Obama said in a speech at the AU`s headquarters in Ethiopia`s capital.
"A half century into this independence era, it is long past time to put aside old stereotypes of an Africa forever mired in poverty and conflict. The world must recognise Africa`s extraordinary progress."
Obama said Africa needed more trade, and that the United States was stepping up its business ties with the continent.
"So many Africans have told me: we don`t just want aid, we want trade that fuels our progress. We don`t want patrons, we want partners who help us build our own capacity to grow. We don`t want the indignity of dependence, we want to make our own choices and determine our own future," he said.
Obama said the United States was a trusted partner of the continent, and took a veiled swipe at resource-hungry China -- which has massively stepped up its presence on the continent.
"Economic relationships cannot simply be about other countries building infrastructure with foreign labour or extracting Africa`s natural resources," Obama said.
"Real economic partnerships have to be a good deal for Africa. They have to create jobs and capacity for Africans. That`s the kind of partnership America offers."