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Obama lands in Senegal

An analyst says Obama's visit will focus on youth issues and trade with South Africa.

US President Barack Obama. Picture: AFP.

JOHANNESBURG - Government maintains Madiba's health won't affect US President Barack Obama's visit to South Africa.

The US president is already in Senegal and he's due to arrive in South Africa on Friday evening and will meet with President Jacob Zuma on Saturday.

Obama and his family are spending Thursday in Senegal and analyst Brooks Spector says a visit to Gory Island, a notorious slave port, will be a special one.

"Without doubt it will be a special moment for a president whose heritage stems from the continent."

He says in South Africa, Obama will focus on youth issues and trade between the two nations.

Obama will also visit Robben Island while in Cape Town.

Meanwhile, Spector says mass protests against the visit are unlikely.

"In spite of all the other questions there's an enormous reservoir of good will for Obama in this country and on the continent.

He says an important import/export deal between the two nations, which is part of US law, expires in 2015 and needs to be discussed.

"It would be a great shame if that didn't get discussed more on how best to encourage the US congress to pass legislation on it."