Barack Hussein Obama is the 44th President and first black Commander in Chief of the United States of America. Been the son of a Kenyan immigrant (student) and a white mother from Hawai.
His audacity to contest the presidency in 2008 against all odds makes him a super hero with extra-ordinary will, for daring to challenge/succeed where the likes of him had failed in the past.
Nevertheless, his ascendancy to power in 2008, was seen as a beckon of hope, a fresh start for Africans in Africa for the very expectation and hope that the lopsided economic/trade policies of the westerners and their allied towards African countries, which were deliberately formulated to short change Africans countries in international scheme of events, would be reduced to a bearable minimum.
A policy engagement of unequal partnership, aids instead of trade and unfulfilled promises of political and diplomatic engagements, which regrettably had left African down for far too long.
It would be noteworthy to remember that all the world financial, diplomatic/humanitarian and bilateral institution are being controlled by the Europeans and Americans. World Trade Organization, International Monetary Fund and World Bank; to mention but few, are all control by the westerners without Africans having equal representation and influence.
These institutions presumably were created as an international body with one amongst other reasons, to assist poor countries around the world to manage their economies/diplomatic and political front. Also to facilitate poverty alleviation through provision of low interest IMF/WB Loans, yet by every indication, measures and comparison African countries and its people are largely poor with these institutions officially cutting the shots.
By the time the first black man was set to occupy the oval office 2008, and the unpopular outgoing president George Bush then, who managed the American economy to near recession, was leaving office. The world was spinning around with what was tagged "World financial Crises" which was rated as the largest financial event since after the great depression.
Though, the impact of the crisis affected the rest of the world, with the most severe consequence on African countries. It would be a rude shock to observe that 54 countries of African continent south Sudan included, account for only 3% world of GDP. That alone shows the magnitude of the set back the continent that without question supplies almost half of the world natural resources is going through.
So, if truth be told, those who christened that crises of 2007/2008 "World Financial Crises “simply did that as a mockery and injustice to Africans, a continent still crippled by "Open ending Financial Crises ever, hence it should have been tagged "Western Financial Crises".
Actually this piece is not meant to showcase the economic/political marginalization of the Africans by the rest of the world in terms of economic co-operation, sincere political/diplomatic engagement and integration acceptance, rather to draw a line on what many see as westerners’ under-current relationship with the rest of the Africa. Certainly, I am not unmindful of the significant changes of the last few decades compared to the era of slavery trade, colonization and many dehumanized factors that created a wide cleavage between color people and the world.
Quite frankly, looking back today one could say the gulf has been closed a bit, though with many rooms for improvement. But the coming of Barack Hussein Obama to the presidency of this great ingenious country and its people in 2008, was to all Africans and black around the world more like the coming of a messiah/emancipator. A hope and aspiration already in limbo as his trip recently appears a replicate of his predecessor’s rhetoric on the continent and its people.
This and many more are what the Africans awaited that the black "tanned" skin man (courtesy Berluscone) could have looked into and possible use his position to make the difference needed to bring the attention of the world to Africa with a view, at least to encourage investment channel to the continent, to begin the much awaited African economic renaissance.
Without fear or favor, President Barack Obama just concluded trip to 3 African countries of Senegal, South Africa and Tanzania to meet with leaders from Government, businessmen/women and civil servants does not in any way answered the question in the minds of many or meet the expectation of many Africans who had hoped and thought that his elevation to the white house office had made the difference.
Sincerely, what Africa need at this point in time is not aid package or prolonged economic promises that had not imparted any significant desirable change, but a genuinely policy change and commitment that will usher in a shift from the past.
This will include equal partnership in the world’s financial and Trade institutions. A permanent seat at UN general Assembly for equity and dignify representation, and an economic blue print to make up, on the longtime effect of resources scrambling in African of occasioned by slavery, colonization and systematic economic blockage.
Let it be known that the poverty, decay and the diseases in African are ma made and not God´s choice as many would want us to believe. The time for Europeans and America to change polices and give back to the continent they collectively plundered; to build the new world is today, and not tomorrow.
Finally,Has Obama been a blessing to Africans or a Failure!
Adams Kennedy Chidi