'Greedy bastards' "Nobody should be president for life" - Obama

Barack Obama has condemned African leaders who refuse to give up power

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US President Barack Obama play

US President Barack Obama

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US President Barack Obama says Africa will not advance if its leaders refuse to step down when their terms end.

"Nobody should be president for life," Mr Obama said.

Speaking at the African Union's headquarters in Ethiopia's capital, Addis Ababa, Obama said the rest of the world also needed to change its approach to Africa by boosting fair trade and not just providing aid handouts, and vowed that the United States stood with the region to defeat terrorism and end conflict.

He said, "Africa's democratic progress is also at risk when leaders refuse to step aside when their terms end."  He pointed to the political crisis in Burundi as an example.

"No one should be president for life," he said, explaining that he was personally relishing handing over office in 18 months.

"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," he said.

"Africa’s progress will also depend on security and peace because an essential part of human dignity is being safe and free from fear," Obama said.  

He stressed that in the face of threats, Africa and the African Union has shown leadership. 

He said al-Shabab controls less territory because of the AU force in Somalia and that forces from several nations with the backing of the AU are fighting to end Boko Haram's "senseless brutality" in the Lake Chad basin.

"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.

President Obama has ended his visit to the African continent and returned to the US.

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