As a circumcised and sexually fulfilled African woman who has been lectured for years by Western NGOs about the moral implications of my genitalia, you can imagine my surprise learning about the the wind of labiaplasties and genital rejuvenations currently sweeping across Europe and America.
Linda, a 24-year-old sex worker in Kigali, Rwanda, didn’t want to be tested for HIV because she feared she would find she would soon die. Her fear was not unfounded. Being aware of one’s HIV-positive status was a first step toward dying of AIDS in Rwanda, as in most parts of Africa. Anti-retroviral drugs were expensive and hard to come by. But that was before President Bush's PEPFAR.
As the dust settles from the feverish dances that greeted Barack Obama’s victory in the American elections, Africans wonder what “our son and brother” will be able to do for Africa in the face of daunting challenges in the United States and other parts of the world.