The visit of the first African-American President to Sub-Saharan Africa electrified not only Ghana but the entire continent.
Coming at the heels of a G-8 summit in Italy, Obama’s visit was sending one message; that Africa stands as an integral part of the U.S. foreign policy and that Africa is “not some separate sphere” that one engages in with no relationship to the rest of the foreign policy agenda.
This is clearly a new and laudable strategy that the Obama administration has brought on board, and one that Africa is bound to benefit from tremendously.
Often, Africa’s fate is left to the mercy of the mighty rich nations, who at such summits like the G8, prefer to draft resolutions packed with empty promises of increased aid. In short, Africa’s role in contributing to issues of global interest has always been relegated to the back stage.
Obama’s first visit to Sub-Saharan Africa reflects a new commitment in Washington to see this impoverished continent uplifted from the misery it has always been known for.
He had a stern message for Africa’s leadership. He said Africa’s future lies in the hands of Africans themselves. To build a prosperous future, Obama said Africa needs to shed corruption and tyranny and take on poverty and disease.
He told African leaders that no country was going to create wealth if its leaders exploit the economy to enrich themselves.
“No business wants to invest in a place where the government skims 20 percent off the top, or the head of the port authority is corrupt. No person wants to live in a society where the rule of law gives way to the rule of brutality and bribery. That is not democracy that is tyranny, and now is the time for it to end.”
Obama is willing to work with nations on the continent that have embraced the true values of democracy.
He’s willing to help African governments with commendable credentials of good governance and clear strategies on eliminating poverty.
Simply put, he wants a change on the continent of his kith and kin.