Men sit in front of a poster welcoming U.S. President Barack Obama to Senegal in Dakar, on June 26, 2013. Obama and his family arrive in the west African nation later today to start his first major tour of Africa with visits also scheduled to South Africa and Tanzania over the next week. - 

President Obama heads to Africa today.

It’s his second trip to the continent since he took office -- and his agenda is packed: promoting American business interests and democracy on the continent, and addressing issues like food security.  

The President’s first stop is Senegal. The BBC’s West African correspondent, Thomas Fessy, reports that the U.S.’s relationship with Senegal is one based around aid and “trade is very tiny." He says the trade that does exist is mostly agriculture, and that the country is a tough place to do business.

One positive sign for future trade, he says, is that “since the new President has been elected, there is a lot of effort to make sure that it is attractive for investment."

Follow David Gura at @davidgura