President Obama is in Africa for a brief stay of 24hrs. He is visiting Ghana on the West Coast of Africa. Ghana formely known as the Gold Coast is one of the few successful democracies in a continent filled with war, despair, poverty, malnutrition, corruption and dictatorships. Obama hailed his host country on their progress on Democracy but has strong words for the rest of the continent.
Obama spoke quite frankly and directly to the African Leadership and to the new African generation about the duty to rise above corruption, dictatorship, drug trafficking and more. There is absolutely nothing in his remarks that I will dare disagree with. This is indeed the continent of the longest dictatorships in the entire world. Most African President will hold to power against their people and often die in power. They rule by corruption, feeding on the poverty of their people in order to manipulate, corrupt and suck their country dry of anything valuable. This is often done with the Neo-Colonialists in the Western World that sustain this shameful system by provide heavy guns and artillery to the system against their own people. Through the years the world has seen Rwanda, Liberia, Uganda, Zimbabwe, Ethiopia, Somalia, Cote D’ Ivoire (Formely know as Ivory Coast), Republic of Congo (formely known as Zaire) and many more fall further into violence, lack of healthcare and outmost inhuman poverty. This is truly absolutely appalling and sad to say about a continent who has many richesses and many bright minds.
Obama wants the Continent to stop blaming the past and to embrace the promise of possibilities and responsibilities. Although it is true that some people in the west benefit from the wars and struggles in Africa, it is even more true that the Economical and social demise of the continent rests in majority in the hands of its leaders that do not know anything about the “government of the people by the people for the people”; democracy in short.
I mean just look at the late Omar Bongo in Gabon for example who bled his country dry while enriching himself. He is the world’s longest serving President to date governing for 41 years with a stong hand.
“When longtime dictator Omar Bongo died earlier this month, he left behind at least 66 bank accounts. The first family owned 45 houses in France, including at least 14 in Paris and 11 on the French Riviera. And they boasted of 19 or more luxury cars, including a Bugatti sports model that cost the Republic of Gabon $1.5 million…..
In 1999, the U.S. Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations launched a probe into Bongo’s U.S. accounts. The inquiry revealed that at least $130 million had moved through the president’s Citibank accounts, including $49 million in six months.
Bongo asked the bank to convert $1.6 million into cash for a single family trip to New York in 1995. On another occasion, a third party withdrew $100,000 from Bongo’s account, saying it would be delivered to his son.
When pushed to justify the source of these funds, Citibank told investigators that 8 percent of Gabon’s budget — around $110 million — is set aside each year for discretionary use by the president’s office. Bongo’s personal banker said couriers were sent to bring suitcases of cash back from the oil companies operating in Gabon....” This part of this post was extracted from SouthCoasttoday.com; Read more about Bongo here
I absolutely like what the U.S. President had to say and hopefully this will strike the rise of a new beginning for Africa and the start of a new wave of awareness and awakening around the continent.
One thing that still remains true nonetheless is that it will take a long time for Africa to truly emerge from its current trance and rise to the challenge. Aside from time it will also take the help of Countries like the U.S. and its people. An good example is the progress that is being made now in Liberia only because few years back President George W. bush said enough is enough to the then dictator Charles Taylor and gave him a 48 hr ultimatum to leave power. Sometimes it might take these kind of actions to help the people of this awesome continent.
HOW DOES AFRICA FIND HAPPINESS?
Basically Obama’s response to Africa is this: “Your future is in your own hands but we will stand by you”
President Obama is absolutely right. Sometimes Peace and Happiness come through being able to lean on a friend and the self-determination to find it. Hopefully we will see a change coming in Africa.
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