President Barack Obama has pledged U.S.
support to poor nations in their efforts to fight poverty and hunger. The President
expressed U.S. commitment Tuesday during his inaugural speech. Africans around the continent welcome
what appeared to be President Obama's message to corrupt and power-hungry
leaders around the world.
said Americans could no longer afford to be indifferent to the suffering of poor
people outside the United States.
the people of poor nations, we pledge to work alongside you to make your farms
flourish and let clean waters flow; to nourish starved bodies and feed hungry
minds. And to those nations like ours that enjoy relative plenty, we say
we can no longer afford indifference to suffering outside our borders; nor can
we consume the world's resources without regard to effect. For the world
has changed, and we must change with it," he said
Obama also sounded what appears to be a message to corrupt and power-hungry
leaders around the world.
those leaders around the globe who seek to sow conflict, or blame their
society's ills on the West - know that your people will judge you on what you
can build, not what you destroy. To those who cling to power through
corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the
wrong side of history; but that we will extend a hand if you are willing to
unclench your fist," Mr. Obama said.
have been some reactions from Africans around the continent to President Obama's
Besigye, leader of Uganda's opposition Forum for Democratic Change says the
speech reinforces the hopes and aspirations that Africans have in President
Obama. But Besigye says Africa is waiting to see whether Mr. Obama will back up
think that was a sort of very strong warning to the dictatorships that frankly
still are in the majority within the continent of Africa. Of course what
remains now to be seen is how much he will be able to walk the talk. The taste
of the pudding as they say is in the eating. And so we are very expectantly
waiting," Besigye said.
Wekesa, Kenya's Minister of Forestry and Wildlife, congratulated Americans for
a smooth transition of power and says Obama's election proves that anyone with
talent can succeed in the United States. Wekesa hopes the election of Obama,
whose father comes from Kenya, would lead to better relations between Kenya and
the United States.
times I've been asked where is Kenya? Is it Nigeria? You know questions like
that. I think for the average American, they will be able to know where Kenya
is, and we expect that we can get a slight increase in tourism from America,"
Garba, special advisor on media relations to former Nigerian Vice President
Atiku Abubakar, says there is another reason why Africans should be proud of
the election of Barack Obama.
more than two years ago, a Harvard University professor said a black man had a
lower IQ than his white counterpart. Now this is God's doing that today the
world's most powerful nation, is being led by a black person today. It's a
major collapse of a huge psychological barrier, and every black man must be
proud of the event of today in the United States of America," Garba said.
Garba was quick to caution Africans not to expect too much from the Obama
administration because of the enormous U.S. domestic economic challenges he
said the new administration would have to contend with.