Really? A lot has been written about Obama’s vist to Africa and I have scanned and read a few of the artcles/blogs. Earlier today I came across this one although it would appear that it has since been pulled, unless something is wrong at my end
Zimbabwe Tribune Is Mr. Obama out of touch with the African question?
Zimbabwe Tribune – Harare,Zimbabwe
Africa needs to curtail spiraling poverty, widespread disease and falling literacy rates. Poverty is at the centre of what has caused so much suffering, .
I do agree with the opening statement but the article went on to say Africans didn’t really care for democracy and certainly not the sort of democracy that is being advocated by Obama and his chums. Obama was out of touch with African affairs and so was the rest of the Western world and as such this explains the lack of progress in spite of the billions of dollars that have been poured into Africa. Apparently the likes of Mugabe have remained in power precisely because they have spent their money where it matters??
Anyway reading this article in particualr remined of something I wrote about way back in Nov last year and if you missed it here it is
Having followed the news headlines particularly on reactions from around the world the issue of expectations of the new president stood out for me. In particular the expectations of the people of the people of Kogelo in kenya. This is a poor African village and the news that one of their own made it the highest office in the land is put simply a Miracle
Ok he is not a Kenyan president, but when I watched the interviews of the villagers on TV I got a feeling that the villagers believe Obama’s victory is crucial for their village and as one commentator put it “they believe their streets will soon be lined with gold” Why would a news reporter say such a thing?
Well you would have to understand how politics works in some parts of Africa in order to understand such a statement
Generally speaking in some areas of Africa politics and nepotism go hand in hand and therefore it
is generally accepted that the life of folk in a certain village will improve if one of their own get’s into government “she/he will look after us”
An illustration of this is the First Lady of Uganda is the MP for Ruhanga in the SW of the Country where we are currently working to improve the lives of the villagers. But one Ugandan business person I approached for support said to me “why should I help those people? their tribes people are in power and as far as I understand a lot of money has been invested in their villages!”
My efforts to convince him otherwise fell on deaf ears
The other side to these sorts of expectations of the person in government are rather sinister in that it is implied that the person is corrupt!
As I watched the scenes from the Kenyan village I couldn’t help but wonder whether they believe that a president Obama will increase aid to their village or whether the assocaition will draw tourists into their village who will spend money in their village and thereby improve their lives!
So the question I ask today, did Obama’s speech/visit to Africa inspire folk to do more to help themselves out of poverty or did it raise un realistic expectations?
Is Obama’s kind of democracy possible in places where people are starving, dying of disease or is it a necessity in order that these issues can resolved?
Is there anyone out there that understands Africa’s problems and how to resolve them? One thing for certain as someone I met two weeks ago put it “there are no Silver bullets”
What do you think?