Report: Obama’s Africa Trip Could Cost $60-100 Million

Source: Lucy Madison / CBS News

A presidential trip to Africa this month could cost the government anywhere from $60 to $100 million dollars, according to the Washington Post, which obtained an internal planning document for the travel itinerary.

At the end of June, Mr. Obama and his family will take an eight-day trip to sub-Saharan Africa, making stops in Senegal, Tanzania, and South Africa in the name of reinforcing U.S. commitment to forging strong relationships with emerging democracies in the region. The president will hold meetings with “a wide array of leaders from government, business, and civil society, including youth,” according to a White House press release announcing the trip, and seek to “underscore the [his administration’s] commitment to broadening and deepening cooperation between the United States and the people of sub-Saharan Africa to advance regional and global peace and prosperity.”

Presidential trips to foreign countries tend to be expensive in any administration: According to the Post, former President Bill Clinton’s 1998 trip to Africa racked up a bill of at least $42.7 million, not including what were likely significant Secret Service costs. For his part, former President George W. Bush and his wife, Laura, took two trips to Africa in 2003 and 2008, involving significant resources as well. But the also paper reports that, due to “a confluence of factors,” Mr. Obama’s three-country trip could be “one of the most expensive” of his presidency.

“Obama’s trip could cost the federal government $60 million to $100 million based on the costs of similar African trips in recent years, according to one person familiar with the journey, who was not authorized to speak for attribution,” according to the Post. The paper said that it received the internal planning document from a “person who is concerned about the amount of resources necessary for the trip.”

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