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What Will ‘Brother Barack’ Do for Africa?

Posted on Dec 26, 2008
Kenyans for Obama
AP photo / Riccardo Gangale

Kenyans in Kisumu, in the west of the country, celebrate the U.S. presidential election victory of Barack Obama.

By Gbemisola Olujobi

(Page 3)

That “something else” is succinctly articulated by Ghanaian journalist Kofi Akordor, who says, “Ever since Africa and its people and natural resources were ‘discovered’ by white adventurers, ever since Africans were shipped into slavery and ever since some Europeans met in Berlin in 1844 and shared Africa among themselves, the continent and its people have been struggling for a psychological valve to redeem their image.”

According to Akordor, “The Obama victory [it is hoped] has restored the confidence of the African. If great America can see something good in the African, to the extent that it is ready to entrust its destiny into his care, what about the African? How does he see himself?  [Does he still see himself as] a miserable being who cannot survive without foreign assistance?”

Akordor points out even more inspiration from Obama’s feat to “our African-American brothers and sisters in the U.S. and other places.” He says, “They have no excuse to remain where they are now [societally]. Obama has shown that they can go beyond the boxing ring, the tracks and the musical stages just entertaining others. They can also reach the top. That barrier of inferiority complex, that barrier of inadequacy, that barrier of self-pity and dependency has been broken.”

“History has been made,” Alhassah Adamu told AfricaNews at the celebrations that greeted Obama’s victory at the Headlines Hospitality Centre in the Ghanaian capital, Accra. “Obama has proved to the world that everyone irrespective of race, culture and background is equal. He has made blacks proud.”


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Desmond Tutu, Nobel Peace Prize laureate and archbishop emeritus of Cape Town, who was in the vanguard of the anti-apartheid struggle, says Obama’s victory shows that “for people of color, the sky is the limit.”

Drawing on his memories, Tutu says the feeling Obama’s victory gives is “almost as when Nelson Mandela became president of South Africa in 1994. We [Africans] have a new spring in our walk and our shoulders are straighter.”

The day after Obama’s victory was announced, Tutu is reported to have left a religious service in Tygerberg Hospital in Cape Town with tears in his eyes.

The iconic Nelson Mandela himself told Obama: “Your victory has demonstrated that no person anywhere in the world should not dare to dream of wanting to change the world for a better place.”

Liberian President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, the first woman elected to head an African country, says she had not expected to see a black American president in her lifetime. “All Africans now know that if you persevere, all things are possible.”

Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki declared a public holiday “for Kenyans to celebrate the historic achievement by Sen. Obama and our country.” Kibaki described Obama’s victory as “momentous” for Kenya. “The victory of Sen. Obama is our own victory because of his roots here in Kenya,” Kibaki said. “As a country, we are full of pride for his success.”
Kofi Akodor of the Daily Graphic (Ghana) asks all black people, “Shall we begin to see ourselves in a different world, a world of hope, prosperity and progress after Obama’s achievement?”

Answering that question in the affirmative may be a greater gain for Africans than any aid that may come from having “our brother” in the White House.


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By uglyfemale, January 5, 2009 at 10:51 am Link to this comment
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NOT fund Africom; a militay post to protect corporations fleecing Africa.  Stop selling arms to various factions in African countries.  Stop that abstinence/no condom distribution nonsense that are killing people.  Stop allowing Big Pharma to treat Africa as a petri dish for its toxic medications.  Stop the Cold War games with China for Africa’s oil/timber/minerals.  Let Africans grow their own food supply without GM seeds.  Stop trying to destroy Zimbabwe because Briton lost its colony.  Forgive all debts incurred by the puppets the US/UK/FRANCE/BELGIUM imposed on these countries.  Pay fair market value for African minerals/oil/fabrics/commodities, etc.  Have real war crimes trials inside Africa, not the truth-and-reconciliation show trials.  Bar foreign countries from seizing huge swaths of arable land to produce food for their citizens.  Need I go on?

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By KDelphi, January 4, 2009 at 11:17 pm Link to this comment

Unless the upper mioddle class wants to give up their tax cut, and , use it for such things…

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By KDelphi, January 4, 2009 at 11:16 pm Link to this comment

Is the rest of the world completely unaware of the finanaical situation of unemployed USAns?

Or, do they just believe what they see on tv? Or people that they see on the internet…

Did they not notice New Orleans? I thought everyone, outside of the uS, was now, well aware of what a farce the “Ameican dream” is. It destroys the rest of the world , along with itself—not restores it!

I guess that people are just referring to impressions that they get from images…if he said anything like that—I sure as hell never heard it! He wont even consdier reparations for the Af Ams of THIS country!

All I every hear about it the politically beloved “middle class”—up to $250,000 a year, supposedly…

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By Tony B., January 4, 2009 at 8:26 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Why shouldn’t Africans expect something from a black president? The Irish lobby has done quite well in this country on behalf of Ireland…getting favorable immigration quotas on behalf of the Irish people. The Jewish lobby has probably done even better on behalf of their people. There are 30+ million black people in the United States, and there should be some expectation that`Africa should be in the forefront of policymaking when we have a black president. I see NOTHING wrong with that line of reasoning.

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By M.B.S.S., January 4, 2009 at 11:15 am Link to this comment

obama will let down most everyone aside from wall st, military manufacturers, and the fred barnes of the world.  although the fred barnes types wont admit they are pleased and will try to push obama even further right.

he simply doesnt listen to the left because in his political algebra they dont equal as much as the center and the center right, his most coveted treasure.

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By mike112769, January 4, 2009 at 3:58 am Link to this comment

irspariah: Amen! Reparations and erase their debt? Who will erase OUR debt? What a crock!

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By M.H.Buraleh, January 3, 2009 at 11:54 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Africa first must help itself, then outside help might matter.
Africa have to go back to their basic life and froget imitating the West or the rich Arabs.
Africa have to learn many lessons, first to be stop killing each others due to power,greed and proxy wars.
Stop tribal wars, since no tribe have vanished or will be allowed any refuge in any cross borders.
Whites and Arabs will then be tackled, and dealt with.


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By COGITO, January 3, 2009 at 10:16 pm Link to this comment
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The question is not what Barak can do for Africa, but, rather, what can Africa do for itself. Barak will do what it takes to stay in power.

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By irspariah29, January 3, 2009 at 1:52 am Link to this comment

Delusional thinking at its finest. The man is an American politician, not the coming of the messiah!

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By Rob, January 2, 2009 at 3:35 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I can’t help but predict that many Africans will be gravely disappointed with Obama in that many of their expectations of the era he is ushering can be likened to an almost Rastafarian-like prophecy of a black leader bringing total prosperity to the continent. On the other hand, I am reminded of how joyous the oppressed people of Ireland were at Kennedy’s presidency, how they considered him one of their own, and how he actively worked on bettering Ireland and today is deeply respected in that country.

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By Dave Schwab, January 2, 2009 at 12:27 pm Link to this comment

One of the best things President Obama can do for Africa’s future is reduce US military spending, which has fueled so many violent conflicts on that continent.

Sign the petition for a Secure Green Future from

Tell Obama to cut wasteful military spending by at least 70%, and invest the savings in education, health care, preventing foreclosures and developing green energy.

More military spending and projects like AFRICOM will not make the world safer. True security comes from living peacefully, within the limits of Earth’s capacity, and making sure everyone’s basic needs are met.

Read, sign, and spread the word:

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By samosamo, January 2, 2009 at 9:05 am Link to this comment

This just from the headline, hopefully obama will be able to start a rebuilding of sorts for our country so that he can start reaching out the the world to repair the damage that the w & dick show has done, but we still have 19 days left to see what will happen, well make that 20 days because those elitist people in d.c. are bound and determined to have this goddamn party to celebrate a new president from a different party. I would rather see something along these lines, right after the ceremony, w & dick and their cabal are arrested and locked up for their crimes, the federal reserve is shut down and lobbyists are outlawed from doing buisness anywhere, especially keeping them away from all member of congress, the president and the supreme court.
But don’t get too much hope up. For me, obama has jumped in bed with the lobbyist and special interests far too much already, the type politics this country definitely needs to get away from.

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By MzScarlett, January 2, 2009 at 1:03 am Link to this comment

sad to say: in Germany he gave his speech in front of the place where Hitler stood; “images” mean so much, we are told: & telling it was indeed; the “changes” which WE will decide! one Senator snarled: the “restore & rebuild” the USA which was done during the DNC are such: water laws were passed; unable to drink even from your own well; they are agressively destroying all water supply: one city I live near is extending ski lodge; another mining; etc: From Fed, to St, to county to city exactly how they have “thrown away” items remaining to declare “need more $”; from taxpayers every single year; now they just mark it down on paper as expense & keep the $; charing “toll” instead of gasoline tax sounding small will in reality be 3 or more times the tax as you will pay “tolls” & then be charged per mile to drive; water is human need not a right; if you do not pay in 3 days you die.

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