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Achikulire asks: Should Africa leaders be schooled by Obama on how to run a govt?

Africans generally love Barack Obama, the celebrated US president whose father came from Kenya and Africans think Barack is one of them.

 Obama has wished Africa well,  which may explain why he is hosting Malawi’s APM and other 50 other African Heads of State at the  US-Africa Leader’s Summit  in Washington D.C. from 4 – 6 August, the  largest event any US President held with African heads of state and government

The only heads of state not present at this summit are few. They include Zim’s Bob and Bashir of Sudan-for obvious reason: They don’t see eye to eye with the US for a number of reasons, including being led by dictators.

The summit will build on the progress made since President Obama’s trip to Africa in June 2013 and  will advance the focus on trade and investment in Africa, and highlight America’s commitment to Africa’s security, its democratic development and elevate the ideas of young people.

The Summit is also seen as an opportunity to discuss ways of stimulating growth, unlocking opportunities, and creating an enabling environment for the next generation.

Its theme is simply called “Investing in the Next Generation.

The summit—or what Obama is trying to do, is coming a bit late, critics charge. Obama will be leaving in the next few years, while China have invaded Africa with its cheap exports, projects and while searching for raw materials from Africa to boost its growing economy and huge economy. 

The Chinese get anything from Africa—timber, oil, minerals, tobacco and other crops. they also try to import their people to Africa, to reduce population pressure.

Africa instead has benefitted from China infrastructure development—at a cost through loans, its people who are flooding the continent doing anything—from selling clothes, running bottles stores to restaurants. It’s all a bad deal.

But the other day, I liked what Obama said: Africa should look for its own solutions and not make excuses based on a history of dependence and colonisation.

“At some point, we have to stop looking somewhere else for solutions, and you have to start looking for solutions internally,” Obama says, adding: “and as powerful as history is, and you need to know that history, at some point, you have to look to the future and say, ‘Okay, we didn’t get a good deal then, but let’s make sure that we’re not making excuses for not going forward.”

Obama, the first black president to occupy the White House, says Africa is rich in resources which should spur development. There is not a “single country” in Africa that could not be doing better with the resources it had.”

He adds: “There are a lot of countries that are generating a lot of income, have a lot of natural resources, but aren’t putting that money back into villages to educate children. There are a lot of countries where the leaders have a lot of resources, but the money is not going back to provide health clinics for young mothers.”

You know one of the countries Obama was referring to? Of course, Malawi. Let history judge us. But it is quite a shame for African leaders, including our own APM who went there with a large delegation, some from the private sector, to be told things that they should be doing without any plodding from one Obama.

Why are they leaders? Why do they want to become presidents, ministers and MPs? Let us wake up from the slumber of corruption, Cashgate, theft and all vices.  

Cry my Beloved Africa!


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