In his first trip to sub-Saharan Africa as president, Barack Obama urged Africa to embrace democracy and stop pointing fingers.
“We must start from the simple premise that Africa’s future is up to Africans,” Obama said as he addressed the Ghanaian Parliament on Saturday, according to the New York Times.
He acknowledged that the West damaged the social fabric of Africa by colonization and has mostly treated it as a cash cow, rather than a friend, but said it’s time that they move on.
“No country is going to create wealth if its leaders exploit the economy to enrich themselves, or police can be bought off by drug traffickers,” he said. “That is not democracy, that is tyranny, even if occasionally you sprinkle an election in there.”
Obama said it’s time for Africa to adopt a new style of governance.
“Africa doesn’t need strongmen,” he added. “It needs strong institutions.”
All of Africa needed to hear what Obama said… because it was the truth.
Obama is someone who will be able to connect with the continent like no other leader from the West has ever done, so I suspect most of the continent tuned in.
His skin tone is the attention grabber but his genuine goodness and care for humanity is the real difference makers that I believe will actually touch the hearts of Africans and invoke progress.
Europe and America have severely crippled Africa but there has to be an end to blaming the West for its current state. The civil wars, genocide, and corruption that prevail is nobody’s fault but their own and they must accept responsibility and want to change for the better.
Africa is in bad shape but not as bad as the media and Hollywood portrays. There are many productive, non-violent Africans. But as a whole, Africa needs help from outside but more importantly from within.
After all, everyone is African whether we realize it or not.