Obama’s Africa Visit: Time Africans Stopped Toying with Spearheads

Published on 2nd July 2013

A section of political analysts have interpreted President Barrack Obama’s visit to Africa as a move to win back Africa’s confidence in the US. Others point out that the US president is ‘playing catch-up’ to the recent Chinese President’s visit. Some however, cite the democratic credentials of the host countries and point out that the US President’s visit is a political message to Africa on the type of governments the US is ready to work with.

Whichever the case, Obama in his just concluded 3 nation tour of Africa raised several important issues that Africa should put in cognizance. Obama acknowledged that Africa is on the move, but pointed out that this economic renaissance is unequal, as it has not translated to improved living standards to a majority of Africa’s citizenry. Africa’s development ought to review this aspect. The US President also pointed out that his country has backtracked on giving foreign aid to Africa and will now advance trade. African countries whose lifeline depended on aid have consequently no option but to wean themselves off foreign aid, look inward and nurture their value proposition to the world. Obama appreciated the continent’s youth bulge and asked youth to shun passivity and be creative in their respective countries’ socio-political and economic endeavors. This is a challenge to the youth to be innovative in addressing problems facing themselves, their communities and country. 

Finally, Obama said that it is Africans who will build Africa; for this to happen, Africans must stop toying with spearheads and evolve a strategy to understand and engage the forces that hold the spear.

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