Obama arrives in SA

Johannesburg - US President Barack Obama arrived in South Africa on Friday evening on a three-day official visit aimed at promoting bilateral ties and seeking business opportunities.

Shortly after landing at the Waterkloof Air Force Base in Pretoria, Obama and his family were flown to Johannesburg, TV footage showed.

International Relations and Cooperation Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane was at the airport to greet the Obama family.

The South African government has called Obama's visit "historic".

"South Africa values its warm and mutually beneficial relationship with the United States immensely. This is a significant visit which will take political, economic and people-to-people relations between the two countries to a higher level, while also enhancing cooperation between the US and the African continent at large," said a statement from the Presidency.

The US is a major trade, investment, tourism and technology partner for South Africa. There are 600 US companies in South Africa, employing more than 150 000 local people.

President Jacob Zuma will meet Obama today to discuss several crucial issues, including trade, investment, US commitment to Africa and democratic developments on the continent.

This afternoon, Obama will address students at the University of Johannesburg Soweto campus.

Obama will then travel to Cape Town on Sunday, where he will visit Robben Island where former South African President Nelson Mandela spent 18 years of imprisonment. Obama will then make a keynote speech at the University of Cape Town.

Obama will travel to Tanzania after winding up his trip to South Africa on Sunday. He has already visited Senegal. – SAnews.gov.za-Xinhua