President Obama makes his sub-Saharan Africa debut with a visit to Ghana next week and WHYS is doing a TV special to discuss it. We’re looking for African and American guests in London, Johannesburg, Lagos, Washington and New York to take part in the discussion (that’s where we have TV studios), so let us know if you’re interested in participating.
But not everyone’s so optimistic. Horace Campbell doesn’t think Obama will deliver the kind of change promised in the election campaign.
He says hiring Lawrence Summers as Obama’s chief economic adviser proves this. Summers once wrote a memo saying it was more economical to dump toxic waste in 3rd world countries.
And Amedor in Accra is sceptical about why Obama is going to Ghana. He asks if it’s for ‘America’s gain especially in our newly found oil’. Here’s some other issues facing Obama and Africa:
Africom is set to continue under Obama. It’s the new US Dept of Defense Africa Command, responsible for military operations in Africa. The idea was so unpopular there, that only 1 out of 53 countries was willing to host it. It’s HQ is currently in Germany.
Homosexuality and Abortion
Obama’s views on these are very different to Bush, so how will that go down in Africa? Rodney says that if someone like Obama ran somewhere in black Africa on a platform enhancing gay rights and legalizing abortion, he would lose.
Farooq argues Ghana’s reward is Nigeria’s punishment because the US approves of countries progressing towards democracy and is showing “tough love” to those that are seen as corrupt.
Many Africans hoped Obama’s inauguration would be start a new push to alleviate poverty and hunger but some experts believe his proposal to double foreign assistance to $50 billion by the end of his first term is unfeasible.
So what can Africa really expect from its beloved son? He’s only stopping in Ghana for 1 night. Will Africans great expectations turn into anything real?
Post your comments here or email me if you interested in taking part in our tv programme on Friday 10th July.