President Barack Obama is in Senegal Thursday in his first stop on his weeklong trip to Africa.
The three-nation tour is aimed at overcoming disappointment in Africa that America's first black president didn't give more attention to it during his first term.
"Africans were very excited when President Obama was elected and they expected deeper engagement than in the past, both in regard to policy and also in terms of actual visits to the continent, given the president's African heritage," Mwangi Kimenyi, an Africa analyst at the Washington-based Brookings Institution, said.
"Africans have been gradually disappointed, especially when they look at the focus on Africa by previous presidents, in particular President Clinton and President George W. Bush, who did quite a bit there," he noted.
The president will also be visiting South Africa and Tanzania, where he's expected to be greeted warmly.
The trip is expected to cost up to $100 million, and some congressional Republicans have questioned that expense when the budget sequester has led to spending cuts in government agencies.