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STATE OF THE UNION WITH CANDY CROWLEY
President Obama Speaks in South Africa; Interview with Ned Walker
Aired June 30, 2013 - 12:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CANDY CROWLEY, CNN ANCHOR: Our breaking news is out of Cairo. Mass demonstrations are under way there against the country's President Mohammed Morsi. In the year since he took office, anger has been rising over Egypt's deteriorating conditions.
We start now with Reza Sayah. He is outside the presidential palace. Reza, you're at the meeting point for really the anti-Morsi protesters. Other than him being gone, is there something they want from the president that would settle down this unrest?
REZA SAYAH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: They want to press reset here, Candy. They want him gone, the constitution gone and they basically want new elections. And the anticipation and the drama is building at this hour.
We have new information to pass along. Within the past 15 minutes, the official spokesperson for President Morsi delivered a statement on TV essentially calling on everyone to refrain from violence and unite under democratic principles. And he also added that the security apparatus is responsible for making arrests if anyone gets violent in protecting government buildings.
However, that statement hasn't eased the frenzy here.
I'm going to step aside to show what you things look like here at the presidential palace. Tens of thousands of people are here, these are the opposition factions. And this protest is the culmination of a campaign that started with a petition drive about three months ago.
The petition drive, the leaders say they have gathered 22 million signatures calling for new elections, calling for President Morsi to leave. These are the liberals, the moderates who claim the president and his Islamist supporters have hijacked the revolution, pushed aside the moderate voices.
On the other hand, not to be outdone, the president's supporters a short drive away from here. They are holding a demonstration. So what you have, Candy, are these two sides digging in.
And the concern in the next few hours is if elements within these demonstrations cross paths, it could be for a difficult day.
CROWLEY: Which is why we have you there.
Reza, thanks for being with us. Stand by as we say.
We want to turn now to Ian Lee. He joins us by phone. He's at the headquarters of the Muslim Brotherhood.
Ian, President Morsi has very fervent supporters as well. So tell us from your vantage point, among supporters of President Morsi, what's happening on the ground in support of the president?
IAN LEE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Candy, I'm at (inaudible) but the atmosphere is absolutely charged. There seems like they're prepared for a battle. Men are wearing helmets, they have padded armor. They're wearing club. They're running military style drills. They have patrols around their rally. It really seems like they're preparing for something to go down like Reza just said earlier.
(inaudible) going to be an attack.
Inside the rally, though, they are adamant that President Mohamed Morsi stay in power. And they say they will do absolutely everything necessary to make sure that happens.
Now they are, though, vastly outnumbered by the anti-Morsi protesters today. This has been a rally here that has been going on for the past three days and the number peaked two days ago where we saw roughly 100,000 people. But today it has definitely died down a bit in terms of numbers.
But they are still very much charged and still very much adamant that Morsi stays in power, Candy.
CROWLEY: Very hot weather, large crowds with differing opinions. There are certainly a lot of elements there that would seem scary. Ian, thank you very much.
I want to show our viewers another picture here. You're actually looking at the University of Cape Town in South Africa. The president is going to speak here. We expect to carry his speech. He's had quite a day visiting Robben Island where of course Nelson Mandela spent 18 of his many years in jail on Robben Island. It's always an emotional tour, especially emotional at this time with Nelson Mandela in a hospital in Pretoria in critical condition.
Bringing you back now to Egypt as we await the president's speech, we going to go actually to Elise Labott. She's in Jerusalem. She's been traveling with Secretary of State John Kerry in the region.
Elise, what has he had to say about what's going on in Egypt?
ELISE LABOTT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well Candy, Secretary Kerry and the White House watching this very carefully what's going on in Egypt and will be watching throughout the night.
Secretary Kerry, as he's been traveling throughout the region, has been talking to leaders, really concerned about what's going on in Egypt. He's also been in touch with Mohamed ElBaradei and Amr Moussa, leaders of the opposition, as well as members of the Egyptian government.
But Candy, what's really concerning to the U.S. is protecting the U.S. embassy, U.S. diplomats and Americans overseas. The State Department sent out a travel warning yesterday urging Americans not to the travel to Egypt unless it was absolutely necessary.
And the State Department really taking precautions to make sure you don't have a repeat of what happened last year when the U.S.consulate in Benghazi was overrun. That was following an attack on the U.S. embassy in Cairo.
Let's take a listen to what the secretary said just a few hours ago.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN KERRY, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: We are very confident about the status, we believe, of the embassy. There are a great many embassy folks who are on voluntary -- who have been offered a voluntary drawdown. It's up to them whether our not they want to drawdown.
In addition to that, we have a huge number of people who are actually on leave and away because of vacation and home leave time.
So we believe our embassy is appropriately staffed and we believe it is appropriately protected.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LABOTT: Now, Candy, last time what happened with Benghazi and what happened with the U.S. embassy in Cairo is there was not enough reinforcements to protect those facilities. Now the U.S. has marines stationed in southern Europe on alert if they have to come to Egypt and protect the embassy and U.S. consulates.
Other marines on navy ships in the Red Sea that happen to be there also on alert if they have to evacuate Americans.
U.S. not taking any chances this time, Candy.
CROWLEY: Yeah, they certainly couldn't afford it obviously.
Thanks so much, Elise.
We will be back to you, particularly, if secretary has more to say about what's going on in Egypt.
Joining me now, former U.S. Ambassador to Egypt Ned Walker -- and you have a very long resume of being ambassador in various places. But I want to take some advantage of your four years in Cairo.
Can you put this in perspective for me? Because I look and think the last time this happened, we lost -- you know, Mubarak was ousted and it just has that same feel. NED WALKER, FRM. U.S. AMBASSADOR TO EGYPT: Yeah, well, it does and it doesn't. It certainly has got a lot of street credibility for the protests against Morsi. But the Brotherhood is increasingly entrenched in the bureaucracy, in the...
CROWLEY: And by the Brotherhood, this is where Morsi was once a member of the Brotherhood, so those are friendly forces.
WALKER: They are friendly to Morsi.
WALKER: And I think that what we're going to see is some explosion, some possibility of violence, but the reality is that when all that goes by, you'll still going to come back to a government that is in place, it has a lot of power, it has a lot -- it's been building up its capabilities, taking over positions in the judiciary, taking over positions in the governorates. The Muslim Brotherhood isn't going to go away. They've waited too long for this.
CROWLEY: So I want to take you back to something Elise said, which is it seems to me that the U.S. reaction so far has been a little bit -- well, we have got our embassy covered and we've got Marines on standby, so it's all been kind of this defensive, our guys are OK.
Do you think it's just time for the U.S. to step back and watch what's going on here?
WALKER: Well, this is an Egyptian problem. It's for them to solve and sort out. We can't do it for them and we shouldn't do it for them. There is a lot of issues at stake for the United States in this confrontation. But let's let the Egyptians see what they can do to bring this back into calm.
CROWLEY: And what do you think is -- I mean, we know the economy is bad and crime is up. Is it just the general state of things or is it, oh, you know, this is what happens in a new democracy? What's prompting this?
WALKER: Well, there's two things. One, the Brotherhood does have an agenda. It's a much longer-term agenda than we often look at. It is an Islamic agenda, and there is a strong desire to bring the country closer to Islam. That's not altogether popular in Egypt. So that is going to be a problem.
The other problem is that I don't know that anybody can solve their economic problems in the short term, and people want quick answers. There are no quick answers to the problems they've got.
CROWLEY: Right. And do you think that there is any way -- one of the complaints has been the rule of law, too much crime. But this is a country that moved from a dictatorship and this kind of iron clampdown that assures that actually not a lot goes wrong, to a democracy where a lot goes wrong.
WALKER: Well, yes and no. I'm not sure that you can really call it a democracy yet.
CROWLEY: Well, OK -- you're right, closer to... WALKER: Closer to, yes.
CROWLEY: ...a democracy.
WALKER: But we've been seeing some very disturbing signs from Morsi in terms of his desire to be another Mubarak. And he's doing some of the same things that Mubarak did by established his people in the judiciary, by taking over three set of governorates. The Mubarak -- this is the Mubarak/Morsi plan.
CROWLEY: Interesting, the answer to Mubarak, so I want to ask you to stand by. We've got another story, as you know, going on. It's why I want to bring in our Jessica Yellin, our chief White House correspondent.
CROWLEY: Jessica, the president delivering a speech shortly. He had a fairly bad speech and the last big public speech he gave on a trip was in Germany. What do you expect from this speech today?
JESSICA YELLIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, first of all, it's an opportunity for him to show what he can do after, as you point out, a fairly lackluster speech in Berlin. It is going to be the signature speech of the president's trip to Africa. This speech will be framed around Nelson Mandela and the president will make the case that Mandela's life proves what is possible when people commit themselves to fight for change.
The president will be speaking at the University of Cape Town and history buffs will note that's the same location where Robert F. Kennedy gave his famous speech here in 1966. And look for the president to invoke some of the same themes that RFK hit on back then. Change, even nonviolence change can be unsettling, but as RFK said, all people are equal before God.
And you should expect the president to talk about the strides that Africa has made since RFK spoke here, but also say that there is much further Africa can go. And look for him to commit the U.S. to work with Africa to develop economically. He'll pledge $7 billion toward a program to develop power grids in six African countries. Here is the president.
CROWLEY: I guess I don't know if you can see that the president is on the podium ...
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Thank you very much. Thank you.
CROWLEY: So I think we'll go to him.
OBAMA: Thank you very much.
CROWLEY: And it's going to give him a chance, maybe that -he might not be able to actually calm this crowd down. So while I have you there, and we await his speech, let me ask you, what was this trip about? Can you do that in a nutshell? Why did he go?
YELLIN: His connection to Africa and a commitment that the U.S. will stand with Africa for the long haul.
CROWLEY: You did that in a nutshell. We're impressed. Here is the president. (APPLAUSE)
OBAMA: (SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE)
See, I've been practicing. How is it?
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
OBAMA: (SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE)
OBAMA: All right. I didn't want to leave anybody out here. I want to thank the vice chancellor Max Price who is here, and as well as Archbishop Njongonkulu. It's wonderful to have them in attendance. I'm so happy to be here today. It is wonderful to see all of these outstanding young people. I just had the honor of going to Robben Island with Michelle and our two daughters this afternoon. And this was my second time. I had the chance to visit back in 2006, but there was something different about bringing my children. And Malia is now 15. Sasha is 12. And seeing them stand at within the walls that once surrounded Nelson Mandela, I knew this was an experience that they would never forget. I knew that they now appreciated a little bit more the sacrifices that Madiba and others had made for freedom.
But what I also know is that because they have had a chance to visit South Africa for a second time now, they also understand that Mandela's spirit could never be imprisoned because his legacy is here for all to see. It's in this auditorium. Young people, black, white, Indian, everything in between.
OBAMA: Living and learning together in a South Africa that is free and at peace. Obviously, today, Madiba's health weighs heavily on our hearts. And like billions all over the world, I and the American people have drawn strength from the example of this extraordinary leader and the nation that he changed. Nelson Mandela showed us that one man's courage can move the world. And he calls on us to make choices that reflect not our fears, but our hopes, in our own lives and in the lives of our communities and our countries. And that's what I want to speak to all of you about today.
Some of you may be aware of this, but I actually took my first step into political life because of South Africa.
OBAMA: This is true.
OBAMA: I was the same age as some of you. 19 years old, my whole life ahead of me. I was going to school on a campus in California. Not quite as pretty as this one, but similar. And I must confess, I was not always focused on my studies. (LAUGHTER)
OBAMA: There were a lot of distractions.
OBAMA: And I enjoyed those distractions. And as the son of an African father and a white American mother, the diversity of America was in my blood. But I had never cared much for politics. I didn't think it mattered to me, I didn't think I could make a difference. And like many young people, I thought that cynicism, a certain ironic detachment, was a sign of wisdom and sophistication.
But then I learned what was happening here in South Africa. And two young men, ANC representatives, came to our college and spoke. And I spent time hearing their stories. And I learned about the courage of those who waged the defiance campaign and the brutality leveled against innocent men, women and children from Sharpeville to Soweto. And I studied the leadership of Ntuli (ph) and the words of Biko, and the example of Madiba. And I knew that while brave people were imprisoned just off these shores on Robben Island, my own government and the United States was not standing on their side. And that's why I got involved in what was known as the divestment movement in the United States. It was the first time I ever attached myself to a cause. It was the first time also that I ever gave a speech. It was only two minutes long.
OBAMA: And I was really just a warm-up act at a rally that we were holding demanding that our college divest from Apartheid South Africa. So I got up on stage, I started making my speech, and then as a bit of political theater, some people came out with glasses that looked like security officers and they dragged me off the stage. Fortunately there are no records of this speech.
OBAMA: But I remember struggling to express the anger and the passion that I was feeling and to echo in some small way the moral clarity of freedom fighters an ocean away. And I'll be honest with you, when I was done, I did not think that I had made any difference. I was even a little embarrassed. And I thought to myself, what's a bunch of university kids doing in California that is somehow going to make a difference. It felt too distant from what people were going through in places like Soweto.
But looking back, as I look at that 19-year-old young man, I'm more forgiving of the fact that the speech might not have been that great. Because I knew -- I know now that something inside me was stirring at the time. Something important. And that was the belief that I could be part of something bigger than myself. That my own salvation was bound up with those of others. That's what Bobby Kennedy expressed far better than I ever could when he spoke here at the University of Capetown in 1966. He said, "Each time a man stands up for an ideal or acts to improve the lot of others or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope. And crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring, those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance."
Now, the world was very different on that June day in 1966 when Bobby Kennedy spoke those words. Mandela faced many more years as a prisoner. Apartheid was entrenched in this land. In the United States, the victories of the Civil Rights movement were still uncertain.
In fact, on the very day that Kennedy spoke here, the American Civil Rights leader James Meredith was shot in Mississippi where he was marching to inspire blacks to register to vote.
Those were difficult, troubled, trying times. The idea of hope might have seemed misplaced. It would have seemed inconceivable to people at that time that, less than 50 years later, an African- American president might address an integrated audience at South Africa's oldest university and that this same university would have conferred an honorary degree to a president, Nelson Mandela.
OBAMA: It would have seemed impossible.
OBAMA: That's the power that comes from acting on our ideals. That's what Mandela understood. But it wasn't just the giants of history who brought about this change. Think of the many millions of acts of conscience that were part of that effort. Think about how many voices were raised against injustice over the years in this country, in the United States, around the world.
Think of how many times ordinary people pushed against those walls of oppression and resistance and the violence and the indignities that they suffered, the quiet courage that they sustained. Think of how many ripples of hope it took to build a wave that would eventually come crashing down like a mighty stream.
So Mandela's life, like Kennedy's life, like Gandhi's life, like the life of all those who fought to bring about a new South Africa or a more just America, they stand as a challenge to me, but more importantly, they stand as a challenge to your generation.
Because they tell you that your voice matters. your ideals, your willingness to act on those ideals. Your choices can make a difference.
And if there's any country in the world that shows the power of human beings to effect change, this is the one. You've shown us how a prisoner can become a president. You've shown us how bitter adversaries can reconcile. You've confronted crimes of hatred and intolerance with truth and love, and you wrote into your constitution the human rights that sustain freedom.
And those are only the most publicized aspects of South Africa's transformation. Because alongside South Africa's political struggle, other battles have been waged, as well, to improve the lives of those who, for far too long, have been denied economic opportunity and social justice.
You know, during my last journey here in 2006, what impressed me so much was the good works of people on the ground, teaching children, caring for the sick, bringing jobs to those in need. In Khayelitsha Township -- you know, I'm still working on some of these things.
OBAMA: You know, I met women who were living with HIV -- and this is at a time, back in 2006, where there were still some challenges in terms of the policies around HIV and AIDS here in South Africa. But they were on the ground struggling to keep their families together, helping each other, working on behalf of each other.
In Soweto, I met people who were striving to carry forward the legacy of Hector Pieterson. At the Rosa Parks Library in Pretoria, I was struck by the energy of students who -- they wanted to capture this moment of promise for South Africa.
And this is a moment of great promise. South Africa is one of the world's economic centers. Obviously, you can see it here in Cape Town. In the country that saw the first human heart transplant, new breakthroughs are being made in the treatment of HIV/AIDS.
I was just talking to your vice chancellor. People come to this university from over 100 countries to study and teach. In America we see the reach of your culture from Freshlygrounds concerts to...
OBAMA: ... the -- we've got the Nando's just a couple of blocks from the White House.
OBAMA: And thanks to the first World Cup ever held on this continent, the world now knows the sound of the vuvuzela.
OBAMA: I'm not sure that's, like, the greatest gift that South Africa ever did, but...
(LAUGHTER) OBAMA: But progress has also rippled across the African continent. You know, from Senegal to Cote d'Ivoire to Malawi, democracy has weathered strong challenges. Many of the fastest-growing economies in the world are here in Africa, where there's a historic shift taking place from poverty to a growing, nascent middle class. Fewer people are dying of preventable disease. More people have access to health care. More farmers are getting their products to market at fair prices. From microfinance projects in Kampala to stock traders in Lagos to cell phone entrepreneurs in Nairobi, there's an energy here that can't be denied, Africa rising.
We know this progress, though, rests on a fragile foundation. We know that progress is uneven. Across Africa the same institutions that should be the backbone of democracy can all too often be infected with the rot of corruption.
The same technology that enables record profits sometimes means widening a canyon of inequality. The same interconnection that binds our faiths makes all of Africa vulnerable to the undertow of conflict.
So there is no question that Africa is on the move. But it's not moving fast enough for the child still anguishing in poverty in forgotten townships. It's not moving fast enough for the protester who is beaten in Harare or the woman who is raped in Eastern Congo.
We've got more work to do. Because these Africans must not be left behind. And that's where all of you come in, the young people of Africa. Just like previous generations, you've got choices to make. You get to decide where the future lies.
Think about it. Over 60 percent of Africans are under 35 years old. So demographics means young people are going to be determining the fate of this continent and this country. You've got time and numbers on your side and you'll be making decisions long after politicians like me have left the scene.
OBAMA: And I can promise you this, the world will be watching what decisions you make. The world will be watching what you do. Because one of the wonderful things that's happening is, where people used to only see suffering and conflict in Africa, suddenly now they're seeing opportunity, for resources, for investment, for partnership, for influence.
Governments and businesses from around the world are sizing up the continent and they're making decisions themselves about where to invest their own time and their own energy. And as I said yesterday at a town hall meeting up in Johannesburg, that's a good thing.
We want all countries, China, India, Brazil, Turkey, Europe, America -- we want everybody paying attention to what's going on here because it speaks to your progress.
And I've traveled to Africa on this trip because my bet is on the young people who are the heartbeat of Africa's story. I'm betting on all of you.
As president of the United States, I believe that my own nation will benefit enormously if you reach your full potential. If prosperity is broadly shared here in Africa, that middle class will be an enormous market for our goods. If strong democracies take root, that will enable our people and businesses to draw closer to yours. If peace prevails over war, we will all be more secure. And if the dignity of the individual is upheld across Africa, then I believe Americans will be more free as well. Because I believe that none of us are fully free when others in the human family remain shackled by poverty or disease, or oppression.
Now, America's been involved in Africa for decades. But we are moving beyond the simple provision of assistance, foreign aid, to a new model of partnership between America and Africa, a partnership of equals that focuses on your capacity to solve problems and your capacity to grow.
Our efforts focus on three areas that shape our lives, opportunity, democracy, and peace. So first off, we want a partnership that empowers Africans to access greater opportunity, in their own lives, in their communities, and for their countries.
As the largest economy on the continent, South Africa is part of a trend that extends from south to north, east to west. More and more African economies are poised to take off. And increased trade and investment from the United States has the potential to accelerate these trends, creating new jobs and opportunities on both sides of the Atlantic.
So I'm calling for America to up our game when it comes to Africa. We're bringing together business leaders from America and Africa to deepen our engagement. We're going to launch new trade missions and promote investments from companies back home. We'll launch an effort in Addis (ph) to renew the African Growth and Opportunity Act to break down barriers to trade. And tomorrow I'll discuss a new Trade Africa initiative to expand our ties across the continent.
Because we want to unleash the power of entrepreneurship and markets to create opportunity here in Africa.
It was interesting yesterday at the town hall meeting I had with a number of young people, the first three questions had to do with trade. Because there was recognition -- these young people said, "I want to start something. I want to build something. And then I want to sell something."
Now, to succeed, these efforts have to connect to something bigger. And for America, this isn't just about numbers on a balance sheet or the resources that can be taken out of the ground. We believe that societies and economies only advance as far as individuals are free to carry them forward.
And just as freedom cannot exist when people are imprisoned for their political views, true opportunity cannot exist when people are imprisoned by sickness or hunger or darkness.
And so the question we've been asking ourselves is what will it take to empower individual Africans? For one thing, we believe that countries have to have the power to feed themselves. So instead of shipping food to Africa, we're now helping millions of small farmers in Africa make use of new technologies and farm more land.
And through a new alliance of governments in the private sector, we're investing billions of dollars in agriculture that grows more crops, brings more food to market, gives farmers better prices and helps lift 50 million people out of poverty in a decade.
An end to famine, a thriving African agricultural industry: that's what opportunity looks like. That's what we want to build with you.
We believe that countries have to have the power to prevent illness and care for the sick. And our efforts to combat malaria and tropical illness can lead to an achievable goal, ending child and maternal deaths from preventable disease.
Already, our commitment to fight HIV/AIDS has saved millions and allows us to imagine what was once unthinkable, an AIDS-free generation. And while America will continue to provide billions of dollars in support, we can't make progress without African partners. So I'm proud that, by the end of my presidency, South Africa has determined it will be the first African country to fully manage its HIV care and treatment program.
That's an enormous achievement.
Healthy mothers, healthy children, strong public health systems: that's what opportunity looks like.
And we believe that nations must have the power to connect their people to the promise of the 21st century. Access to electricity is fundamental to opportunity in this age. It's the light that children study by, the energy that allows an idea to be transformed into a real business. It's the lifeline for families to meet their most basic needs. And it's the connection that's needed to plug Africa into the grid of the global economy.
You've got to have power. And yet two-thirds of the population in sub-Saharan Africa lacks access to power. And the percentage is much higher for those who don't live in the cities.
So today I'm proud to announce a new initiative. We've been dealing with agriculture. We've been dealing with health. Now we're going to talk about power, Power Africa, a new initiative that will double access to power in sub-Saharan Africa...
... double it.
We're going to start by investing $7 billion in U.S. government resources. We're going to partner with the private sector, who themselves have committed more than $9 billion in investment. And in partnership with African nations, we're going to develop new sources of energy. We'll reach more households, not just in cities but in villages and on farms. We'll expand access for those who live currently off the power grid. And we'll support clean energy to protect our planet and combat climate change.
... a light where currently there's darkness, the energy needed to lift people out of poverty. That's what opportunity looks like.
So this is America's vision, a partnership with Africa that unleashes growth and the potential of every citizen, not just a few at the very top. And this is achievable. There's nothing that I've outlined that cannot happen. But history tells us that true progress is only possible where governments exist to serve their people and not the other way around.
OBAMA: If anyone wants to see difference between freedom and tyranny, let them come here to South Africa. Here, citizens braved bullets and beatings to claim that most basic right, the ability to be free, to determine your own fate in your own land. And Madiba's example extended far beyond that victory. I mentioned yesterday at the town hall, like America's first president, George Washington, he understood that democracy can only endure when it's bigger than just one person. So his willingness to leave power was as profound as his ability to claim power.
OBAMA: The good news is that this example is getting attention across the continent. We see it in free and fair elections from Ghana to Zambia. We hear it in the voices of civil society. I was in Senegal and met with some civil society groups including a group called Y'en a Marre, which meant "fed up," that helped to defend the will of the people after elections in Senegal.
We recognize it in places like Tanzania, where text messages connect citizens to their representatives. And we strengthen it when organizations stand up for democratic principles, like ECOWAS did in Cote d'Ivoire.
But this work is not complete. We all know that. Not in those countries where leaders enrich themselves with impunity. Not in communities where you can't start a business or go to school or get a house without paying a bribe to somebody.
These things have to change. And they have to change not just because such corruption is immoral, but it's also a matter of self- interest and economics. Governments that respect the rights of their citizens and abide by the rule of law do better, grow faster, draw more investment than those who don't. That's just a fact.
OBAMA: Just look at your neighbor, Zimbabwe, where the promise of liberation gave way to the corruption of power, and then the collapse of the economy.
Now, after the leaders of this region, led by South Africa, brokered an end to what has been a long-running crisis, Zimbabweans have a new constitution, the economy is beginning to recover. So there is an opportunity to move forward, but only if there is an election that is free and fair and peaceful so that Zimbabweans can determine their future without fear of intimidation and retribution. And after elections, there must be respect for the universal rights upon which democracy depends. (APPLAUSE)
OBAMA: These are things that America stands for. Not perfectly, but that's what we stand for. That's what my administration stands for.
We don't tell people who their leaders should be, but we do stand up with those who support the principles that lead to a better life. And that's why we're interested in investing not in strong men, but in strong institutions. Independent judiciaries that can enforce the rule of law.
OBAMA: Honest police forces that can protect the people's interests instead of their own.
OBAMA: An open government that can bring transparency and accountability. And, yes, that's why we stand up for civil society. For journalists and NGOs and community organizers and activists who give people a voice.
That's why we support societies that empower women, because no country will reach its potential unless it draws on the talents of our wives and our mothers and our sisters and our daughters.
OBAMA: Just to editorialize here for a second, because, you know, my father's home country of Kenya, like much of Africa, you see women doing work and not getting respect. And I tell you, you can measure how well a country does by how it treats its women.
OBAMA: And all across this continent and all around the world, we have got more work to do on that front. Got some sisters saying amen.
(LAUGHTER) OBAMA: Now, I know that there are some in Africa who hear me say these things, who see America's support for these values, and say that's intrusive, why are you meddling? I know there are those who argue that ideas like democracy and transparency are somehow Western exports.
I disagree. Those in power who make those arguments are usually trying to distract people from their own abuses.
OBAMA: Sometimes they're the same people who behind closed doors are willing to sell off their own country's resources to foreign interests, just so long as they get a cut. Just telling the truth.
OBAMA: Now, ultimately, I believe that Africans should make up their own minds about what serves African interests. We trust your judgment, the judgment of ordinary people. We believe that when you control your destiny, if you've got a handle on your governments, then governments will promote freedom and opportunity, because that will serve you.
And it shouldn't just be America that stands up for democracy. It should be Africans, as well.
So here in South Africa, your democratic story has inspired the world. And through the power of your example and through your position in organizations like SADC and the African Union, you can be a voice for the human progress that you've written into your own constitution.
You shouldn't assume that that's unique to South Africa. People have aspirations like that everywhere.
And this brings me to the final area where our partnership can empower people: The pursuit and protection of peace in Africa. So long as parts of Africa continue to be ravaged by war and mayhem, opportunity and democracy cannot take root. Across the continent, there are places where too often fear prevails. From Mali to Mogadishu, senseless terrorism all too often perverts the meaning of Islam, one of the world's great religions, and takes the lives of countless innocent Africans. From Congo to Sudan, conflicts fester, robbing men, women and children of lives that they deserve. In too many countries, the actions of thugs and warlords and drug cartels and human traffickers hold back the promise of Africa, enslaving others for their own purposes.
America cannot put a stop to these tragedies alone. And you don't expect us to. That's a job for Africans. But we can help, and we will help.
I know there is a lot of talk of America's military presence in Africa, but if you look at what we're actually doing, time and again we're putting muscle behind African efforts. That's what we're doing in the Sahel, where the nations of West Africa have stepped forward to keep the peace as Mali now begins to rebuild. That's what we're doing in central Africa, where a coalition of countries is closing the space where the Lord's Resistance Army can operate. That's what we're doing in Somalia, where an African Union force, AMISOM, is helping a new government to stand on its own two feet. These efforts have to lead to lasting peace, not just words on a paper. Or promises that fade away. Peace between and within Sudan and South Sudan, so that these governments get on with the work of investing in their deeply impoverished peoples. Peace in the Congo with nations keeping their commitments so rights are at last claimed by the people of this war- torn country, and women and children no longer live in fear. (APPLAUSE)
OBAMA: Peace in Mali, where people will make their voices heard in new elections this summer. In each of these cases, Africa must lead and America will help. And America will make no apology for supporting African efforts to end conflict and stand up for human dignity.
OBAMA: Now this year marks the 50th anniversary of the OAU, now the African Union. An occasion that is more historic because the A.U. is taking on these challenges. And I want America to take our engagement, not just on security issues, but on environmental issues and economic issues and social issues, educational issues, I want to take that engagement to a whole new level. So I'm proud to announce that next year I'm going to invite heads of state from across sub- Saharan Africa to a summit in the United States to help launch a new chapter in U.S.-African relations.
OBAMA: And as I mentioned yesterday, I'm also going to hold a summit with the next class of our young African leaders' initiative because we want to engage leaders and tomorrow's leaders in figuring out how we can best work together.
OBAMA: So let me close by saying this. Governments matter. Political leadership matters. And I do hope that some of you here today decide to follow the path of public service. It can sometimes be thankless, but I believe it is -- can also be a noble life. But we also have to recognize that the choices we make are not limited to the policies and programs of government. Peace and prosperity in Africa and around the world also depends on the attitudes of people. Too often the source of tragedy, the source of conflict involves the choices ordinary people make that divide us from one another. Black from white. Christian from Muslim. Tribe from tribe. Africa contains a multitude of identities. But the nations and people of Africa will not fulfill their promise so long as some use these identities to justify subjugation, an excuse to steal or kill or disenfranchise others.
And ultimately that's the most important lesson that the world learned right here in South Africa. Mandela once wrote, "no one is born hating another person because of the color of their skin or his background or his religion. People must learn to hate. And if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love. For love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite."
(APPLAUSE) OBAMA: I believe that to be true. I believe that's always been true. From the dawn of the first man to the youth today, and all that came in between here in Africa. Kingdoms come and gone. The crucible of slavery and the emergence from colonialism. Senseless war, but also iconic movements for social justice. Squandered wealth, but also soaring promise.
Madiba's words give us a compass in a sea of change, firm ground amidst swirling currents. We always have the opportunity to choose our better history. We can always understand that most important decision, the decision we make when we find our common humanity in one another. That's always available to us, that choice.
And I've seen that spirit in the welcoming smiles of children on Gori Island. And the children of Mombasa, on Kenya's Indian Ocean coast. That spirit exists in the mother in the Sahel who wants a life of dignity for her daughters, and in the South African student who braves danger and distance just to get to school. It can be heard in the songs that rise from villages and city streets. And it can be heard in the confident voices of young people like you. It is that spirit, that innate longing for justice and equality, for freedom and solidarity, that's the spirit that can light the way forward. It's in you. And as you guide Africa down that long and difficult road, I want you to know that you will always find the extended hand of a friend in the United States of America.
OBAMA: Thank you very much. God bless you.
OBAMA: Thank you.
CROWLEY: That, of course, is the president of the United States. He is at the University of Capetown giving a speech that basically walked through the history of that country from the Apartheid days of Nelson Mandela who would then, of course, spend 27 years in jail only to become then president of South Africa. And the president talking to youth here saying that he's talking about the next generation and what they will do in this next period for their country which they call -- which he called "Africa Rising."
We've got more stories out there, though, that we want to bring you to. We want to go to the Middle East and to Cairo where there have been these massive demonstrations in Tahrir Square and in fact, all over the country. We have our correspondent Ian Lee who, I believe, is somewhere near Tahrir Square, which, as always, is kind of the center of this political and these massive demonstrations. Ian, what can you tell us?
IAN LEE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, I can tell you I have been in Egypt for five years and I've never seen a crowd this large, not even during the revolution. There are people that are standing kilometers just trying to get deep into Tahrir Square. It is quite a vibrant crowd of people chanting "Leave" to President Mohamed Morsi. But it is a very large, a very festive crowd, a very energized crowd. And a lot of people -- you're seeing families, you're seeing men, women, children and it's a mix of Egyptian society, as well, all coming to one place. We're also seeing military helicopters circling above the crowds taking note of what's going on. But definitely, charged -- very charged atmosphere here in downtown Cairo.
CROWLEY: Ian, we want to tell our viewers that we just saw a shot and that was actually Alexandria, Virginia, just to show you -- that, of course, is a coastal city and -- that's -- I'm sorry, Alexandria, Egypt. I live too close to Alexandria, Virginia. That is Alexandria, Egypt, and that is where protests are also taking place today. So it is, in fact, across the country.
We want to thank our viewers for joining us here. It turned out to be a special edition of "State of the Union." Right now, Fareed Zakaria, "GPS."