Obama shoots, hopes to score in Africa with ‘socket ball’

DAR ES SALAAM, Tanzania -- Can "socket ball" shed some light on President Obama's Africa policies?

The White House hopes so. Senior administration officials said the president is expected to discuss a new invention by two women from Harvard who have developed a soccer ball that contains a small electric generator inside -- one that is charged up as people kick the ball around.

"Kids play soccer all day long," said Michael Froman, the U.S. Trade Representative, who is accompanying Obama on the president's week-long Africa tour. "They take the thing, the ball home, and you can plug a lamp into it and they can read at night. Or they can plug a cell phone charger into it."

Froman got a first-hand -- er, make that first-foot look, as there's no hands in soccer -- when he tested it out with Obama's deputy national security striker -- er, adviser -- Ben Rhodes. The ball will be demonstrated during Obama's trip Tuesday to a Tanzanian power plant, where he where he will highlight the administration's new $7 billion program called "Power Africa," whose aim is to double access to electricity across the continent.

Whether you like soccer or not, that's quite an admirable goooooaaaaalllll!!!!!

David Nakamura covers the White House. He has previously covered sports, education and city government and reported from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Japan.
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