Africa News blog

African business, politics and lifestyle

Is Obama Africa’s saviour?

July 10, 2009

Africa is rich in natural resources like oil, gold, diamonds, platinum and yet millions of African people live in abject poverty. The global economic and climate crisis have made life even harder.

At the recent G8 meeting in Italy, African leaders and members of civil society voiced concerns over the promises made in previous G8 meetings of aid and assistance that have yet to materialise.









But should African leaders be taking greater responsibility for the plight of their people? Is the West to some extent being asked to bear the responsibilities of African governments that have failed their people through wars, rigged elections and spectacular self enrichment? Should Africans not be investing more in their own economies?

Many in the diaspora have stayed away from their countries of origin as a result of lack of progress, resources and infrastructure. But will that continue forever? Should Africans look to the West for handouts while some of its leaders live in luxury and some of their governments are ravaged by corruption?

The visit to Ghana by U.S. President Barack Obama is seen by many as an opportunity for a new era of engagement, respect and partnership with Africa.

But is Africa looking to the wrong man to be a saviour, simply because he has such a close connection to Africa through his Kenyan father?

Africa has clearly not been among his top priorities since he took office and that may be little surprise given the magnitude of the global financial crisis. There are certainly doubts over whether he will do much more to help Africa’s leaders get the aid and support they say the West should provide.

But should Africans in any case be looking to Obama – or anyone from outside – to solve the continent’s problems? Or is there more that Africans should be doing themselves to improve their lives?


Africa doesnt need promises and aid. Africa needs free and fair trade just like the rest of the world . WTO agreements that are fair and balanced.Africa doesnt need a saviour its needs to be treated like any other part of the world.Fair trade not speeches and lectures

Posted by muita | Report as abusive

Africa needs to be gutted of all of its corrupt leaders succumbing to corruption from European countries.

Posted by MsE | Report as abusive

Obama can help. First, USA should stop fomenting trouble in Africa by way of arms supplies to their stooges/repressive and corrupt governments in Africa. This will be a great help in deed.

Posted by I G Okorji Esq. | Report as abusive

Obama is not africa’s savior. I wish him to be savior for US. we africans want business. we want the west and Obama to stop manipulated trade and leave us alone for our political advancement. We africans want Obama to respect us. So far, i am deeply disappointed of Obama’s attitude to africa. We have seen how he boy to limitless dictator of Saudi arabia, we have seen him how friendly he is to Libya’s leader and more importantly, we have witnessed how reluctant he was to criticize Iran after the crackdown. But In Accra, he was criticizing and talking elementary facts about the importance of good governance and blabla.

Posted by kacapa` | Report as abusive

Is Obama Africa’s Savior ?no, that was George Bush and the AIDS medicine. Not the Socialist Obama. Run far away from him and open up your markets to free and open trade.

Posted by bill | Report as abusive

Obama an African saviour?Why?It was not Africans who votedhim into power.What we need is a responsible and balancedrelationship with America and all other global role players.We also need to shape up and start mapping out our destiny to achieve this objective.Ex-President Thabo Mbeki’s rise to this challenge was commendable.What about other African leaders trying to pick up the cudgels and taking Africans into the 21st century.Obama is answerable to his people and will do what is best for his people first-whether it’s talking to limitless dictators or otherwise.The fact is he’s representing his country and people in a constructive manner which is more than we, can say of many African leaders.However much we may disagree with his policy on the Middle East,Europe,Africa or any other place,the fact is he is answerable to his people.He may be a world leader but on his agenda America is first.How may African leaders are prepared and capable to take on the task of representing Africa and it,s people first.The fact that Africa has large amounts of natural and human resources,there is no doubt,but only Africans can and must remove themselves from the pitiful condition they find themselves in.

Posted by solly | Report as abusive

Why on earth is someone expecting Obama to be the messiah of Africa when we undo our own selves there in Africa under our corrupt and inept leaders? We need a good foundaton of good governance first in Africa before looking afar off. Our African leaders (except just a few) have failed us woefully. What can Obama do when our leaders loot and plunder the treasury of their own state? Or when a leader who is no longer useful for the day chose to get stuck on to power through crook or hook until death do them part with power? Or when the handout from somewhere meant for the under-provileged get usurped by the few greedy so called elites who are supposed to be the stewards of the people? There are too many questions we need to answer amongst us first before looking afar off. Let’s call a spade a spade and a shovel a shovel. Let’s not point one accussing finger at anybody while three are pointing directly at our own nose. Thanks.


Obama’s message about Africa depresses me; he is very likely the American President the most literate in African issues ever, yet he recycles mantras from the Bush and previous regimes. Change? Hardly.He may have gotten his Harvard Law degree, but perhaps he could have taken a history course or two. Barack Obama doesn’t care about black people:  /07/26/barack-obama-doesnt-care-about-b lack-people-africa-and-the-results-of-hi storic-myopia/


Post Your Comment

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see