Acclaimed African historian and
political analyst Ali Mazrui said he hopes President Barack Obama will deliver
a historic message to Africans during his visit to Ghana this week.
This visit is Obama's first visit to Sub Saharan Africa as president.
speech in Cairo to the Muslim world was breaking new ground I was hoping on his
arrival in Ghana he would deliver something perhaps not quite as dramatic as
what he did in Cairo but equally historic," said Mazrui, Director of
the Institute of Global Cultural Studies at the State University of New York at
Mazrui said the expectations of Africans have risen, especially since
President Obama's 4 June speech to the Moslem world in Cairo, Egypt.
said President Obama's message of change and his triumph have raised optimism,
particularly among young Africans.
think with regards to politically conscious, especially younger Africans,
there's no doubt that his success in the United States has inspired many young
Africans…and raised the expectation about what is achievable even in developing
societies," Mazrui said.
some published reports, President Obama appealed to African leaders to fight
corruption and end political instability.
hopes President Obama will address corruption, even though he said the
president's trip to Ghana is more about rewarding that country's democratic
sure he would include that, though his choice of Ghana was based less on issues
of what is about corruption and more about optimism to democratic performance.
But like most African countries and indeed most other countries in the world,
they do have severe corruption problems," Mazrui said.
expressed optimism President Obama will address the whole of Africa from Ghana on
the issue of corruption," Mazrui said.
President Obama's trip to Ghana was announced, Nigerians and Kenyans have been
debating why he chose Ghana and their countries to make his first visit to
Africa as president.
is Africa's most populous country while Kenya is the birth place of President Obama's father.
said President Obama probably chose Ghana for a number of reasons, including
its democratic credentials.
is a country which has been making progress in democratization…and indeed in
economic progress as well. Secondly, this is the 100th anniversary
of the birth of Kwame Nkrumah, the founding president of Ghana," Mazrui said.
was an advocate of Pan-Africanism, and Mazrui said that is an important reason
for admirers of that aspect of Nkrumah's legacy to celebrate his 100th
said Ghana was the first Sub Saharan African country to gain independence from
colonial rule and that, he said might have been another reason why Obama chose
Ghana to make his first visit to Africa as president.