Africa texts Obama before visit

US President Barack Obama has received thousands of text messages about Africa after his media advisor asked people to send questions before the Presidents trip to Ghana on Friday.

Mr Obama will answer a number of questions sent by text messages  – The questions will be selected by journalists from Senegal, Kenya and South Africa.

The US president’s media adviser, Macon Phillips, told the BBC’s Network Africa programme he wanted the messages to be part of a “continental conversation“.

Mr Phillips said people could text whatever they wanted – questions, criticism or just general comment.

What we can do is look at all these responses and find trends and popular issues and it gives us a better understanding of what people are thinking about,” he said.

There’s much greater value than just question and answer – it’s yet another way for us to see what’s happening on the ground.”

The White House has set up local SMS short codes for people to send their messages:

Textlocal specialise in short codes  E.g 60777. A  number of businesses and political parties throughout the UK use the service to enage and interact with customers and the public and the service is proving very popular.