Lekgotla: Has Obama Done Enough for Africa?
Welcome to Africa.com’s first ever Lekgotla. In Botswana, South Africa, and other southern countries, a kgotla is a public meeting, community council, or traditional law court. As many of you know, online discussions can sometimes bend towards the uncivil. True to the tradition of kgotla, on this forum, anyone is allowed to “have their say,” but no one may interrupt or be uncivil–though of course, disagreement and divergent views are welcome. As a Setswana saying goes, “the highest form of war is dialogue.” Today’s Lekgotla topic is: Has Obama done enough for Africa?
As reported by Africa.com, for the first time in history, Martin Luther King Jr. Day coincides with the inauguration of a president whose roots lie in Africa. Four years ago, Obama visited Accra, Ghana with his wife and daughters, and was met with adoring crowds. In a speech to the Ghanaian parliament, the President said that Africa would not be ignored.
Four years later, many are wondering if the first African American President has kept his word. The editors of This is Africa wrote, “[W]hile the continent is serenaded diplomatically and commercially by the emerging economies of Asia, South America and the Gulf, Mr Obama has not set foot in sub-Saharan Africa since [his trip to] Ghana. And US strategy for Africa has not changed as much as his rhetoric might have suggested.”