HOW OBAMA FAILED AFRICA.
.Mr Obama’s trip to both Kenya and Ethiopia is a climb down from the administrations rule of law , human rights and democratic governance high horse.
While for Kenya the homecoming is imperative and a ‘Big’ global conference provided something of a fig leaf, there is no such thing for Ethiopia and the only way to read it is the administration’s desperation to shore up the Somalia strategy. The prognosis is not good. Somalia looks destined to implode. The caliphate is coming to the Gulf of Aden.
Democratic space is shrinking very fast in Africa, including right here in Kenya. I cannot imagine that the Obama administration is unaware of this. The opposition has been extinguished in Ethiopia and Rwanda. It is on the run in Burundi. In Uganda, brutal assaults are the order of the day, and will be so until President Yoweri Museveni wins his umpteenth term.
IT THEN BEGS THE QUESTION WHAT CAUSE HUMILIATING OUR OPPOSITION LEADERS WAS MEANT TO ADVANCE. I am not suggesting the Mr Obama should not have had a candid, pointed conversation with them, but I fail to see what USEFUL PURPOSE his public comments were meant to serve, knowing, as he ought to have, that they WOULD PLAY INTO THE HAND OF A GOVERNMENT HELL-BENT ON ROLLING BACK DEMOCRACY.
I would expect Mr Obama to appreciate how difficult it is to sustain opposition here, that it is more beneficial to join the Government gravy train, and, in fact, that is what the majority of these leader’s followers would prefer. Whatever he thinks of them, THESE OPPOSITION LEADERS ARE THE ONLY THING STANDING BETWEEN US AND A TOTALITARIAN STATE.
The US is a citadel of higher education in the world. Even today, a number of our private universities, including USIU and Nazarene have American roots.If there is one thing Africa’s burgeoning youth need and are thirsting for, it is higher education.
Allow me to dream. Mr Obama could have leveraged the billion dollars he is said to have mobilised for entrepreneurs to establish a spanking new American university in every African country. MIT Nairobi, Stanford Dar es Salaam, Harvard Abuja, Berkeley Accra, you get the drift. Soft power par excellence.
All might not be lost. Mr Obama’s democratic predecessors, Mr Jimmy Carter, and Mr Bill Clinton have gone on to spend their retirements making up for their over promised , under delivered international development agendas. Not so for Mr Ronald Reagan and the Bushes. So, let us wait for the Obama foundation.
In the meantime, I will be rooting for Jeb Bush in America.