Obama Came To Africa, So What?
President Barrack Obama of the United States of America finally made the much hyped trip to his father’s homeland Kenya amid much expectation and indeed the trip is proving worthwhile and showing the vast differences between priorities of third world and first world countries.
It is much appreciated that as a sitting black American President Obama saw it befitting to visit his ancestral home of Kenya and double up meeting with his father’s relatives and also find ways of cooperating on fighting terrorism, improving cooperation and also cementing trade relations.
Among those three beliefs there is indeed a platform for the Americans not only to work with Kenya but any other African country guided by the principles of cooperation, dialogue and mutual business relations.
Obama applauded Kenya for setting up what he termed one of the most progressive constitutions in the continent with respect for human rights and promoting development.
It would rather be too ambitious or self-serving for anyone to view the visit by America’s black President with African roots as a way of confirming that the American way of engaging with Africans will somewhat change and be fair or at least favourable to Africa.
Once an American always an American and that is exactly why President Obama has the audacity to lean towards an Africa that respects homosexuality and such issues that are seen as somewhat taboo by the African society in general.
Obama although rather diplomatic did not hide the fact that America as a super power would want to see a rather friendly Africa in relation to people’s sexual orientation.
Well President Uhuru Kenyatta like many other African countries feel this is not a priority topic of discussion.
Somewhat the discourse on public media across the continent seem to applaud the middle aged Kenyatta as a cream of the crop for his generation of leaders for being able to stand up and declare that while there are many channels of cooperation between Kenya and America the choice of sexual orientation is not one of them for now.
Americans took their time to develop and sort out all the other human needs for their citizenry before legalising same sex marriages recently, so what is the rush in Africa in tackling such issues as widespread as they are.
Perhaps he is right in declaring that Kenya and indeed Africa if we are to look closer we should be more concerned about bread and butter issues than sexual orientation issues.
This is not to say the issue is not part of African everyday debate though. This is an era most African countries cannot afford decent housing for its citizenry, can also not afford portable water and sanitation for their people and need not to say a good number of our people are still going to bed with empty stomachs.
Certainly being dragged by a hyped Obama visit to Africa to debate the need to open up a society to allow homosexuality as a way of giving human rights is seriously tantamount to jumping several phases of development just to be in the same level as the mighty Americans. Or perhaps for appeasement. Never in a life time has appeasement worked as the best model of being sustainable because those being appeased have many demands.
One mistake that Africans seem to be making is to view the visit by America’s President as a way of softening out a somewhat hard-line stance by the Americans on Africa.
The major reason why an American President would set foot in Africa is simply to ascertain his country’s dominance in the world, push the American dream of economic expansion and certainly creating allies in a manner that is beneficial to the American people than it is to the African folk.
As a continent we made the same mistakes when Obama was inaugurated as the President and hullaballoos were made thinking that finally Africa has coined a soft spot in the hearts of many Americans.
All Americans are proud people for one reason they stand for their country, do what is necessary to drive their pride and certainly put their country first.
That is a notion that has carried them from the ancient days of the Great Depression to date. They have managed to be prosperous for such beliefs so there is certainly no need for any African state to look deep into the symbolic visit of the current American President to Africa as a way of creating a great path of success for Africa.
Africans need not to look at the visit by the American President as the arrival of the great messiah on a land that needs all the solutions but rather use such opportunities to push the African agenda.
Of course President Obama was in Africa and he is to leave but the African child still has to wake up and ask for food, shelter, education and even the simplest social amenities without finding the, These are realistic challenges that as a continent and as a people we need to look at with a different view from the grand visit.
Perhaps take a look at the expenditure the Americans made on security for their President coming to Africa that shows whose interest are catered for. They will always look out for their own and their interest and never for the suffering African who celebrates the arrival of a motorcade coupled with arguably the biggest Caddilac one has ever seen in a long time.
By Tiri Masawi