Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Would Obama’s presidency Affect Africa?

Many people fear that if Barack Obama became the president of the US he will not benefit Africa while others disagree. Still you have the fence sitters who think that he will neither hurt nor benefit them. The ones who say he will be a hopeless case think he will want to please the same establishment that has exploited Africa for centuries and so will be aloof. While those who think he will help will do so due to his affinity with the continent as son of the soil whose father hails from Kenya. But those in between argue that in 47 years he has visited Africa only three times and that whether he wins or not he will still not show much interest.
Economically he will introduce policies of economic survival. He will try to redeem himself. Looking at Obama’s economic package for America if implemented it will not only be America that will benefit, but the growth will also trickle across the Atlantic to Africa. The nature of the African economy will be easy for him to advise since he has dealt with people whose life is based on subsistence economy.

Militarily Obama will expand AFRICOM faster and better because most African countries will trust him than they have trusted President Bush or would have trusted McCain. The presence of AFRICOM has many advantages for stable countries mean stable governments and stable governments mean stable economies. The money used for defense could be ploughed into the economy like in the days of the occupation of Japan and West Germany. The cold war will be more accentuated in Africa and concentrated within Southern and Eastern Africa. Most Islamic regimes will not benefit from him because he will fear being associated with Islam. That is the reason he has not been quick to jump to Africa during his world tour like he recently did.

Politically, violence and hostilities, and vote rigging will no more be the order of the day. The violence in Africa will subside for it will make people to really feel that they too have a shot at the presidency. The danger may be for him trying to please the west like he began doing by singing their chorus. Immediately he knew everyone was against Mugabe, he began speaking against Mugabe. But the situation in Mugabe and Kenya were the same; the elections were not properly conducted. However, he could not be to overly involved in Kenya because Raila Odinga the main opposition leader who many claimed won the elections though his cousin is a Muslim. If he spoke too loud, they will attach him to Islam-the bête noir of most Americans. Though Odinga won the elections but because the West feared an Islamic ascension in Kenya, they preferred Kibaki to keep the post by all odds. If Odinga was a Christian, the story would have been different though.

Socially, if Obama wins, intermarriage will now come out of the closet and will be more accentuate as never before. The African mentality will change about who governs and who does not. The social barrier between the young and the old will be broken and the tradition of having certain people as the custodians of African presidency will vanish.

Religiously mushroom religions will now strive better and ecumenism will have more power. Many Africans and developing nations will tend to embrace the United Church of Christ as the brain behind his success because success always has many brothers and sisters. Therefore, Pentecostalism will soon be facing a threat in case he wins.

Psychologically his victory will bring the same results like the independence of India that bolstered the Black Americans, South Africans, decapitated colonialism and woke up Feminism. Most politicians will believe they too can. Until he came to this position, most young people could only ascended to power in Africa via way of Coup D’etats or factional wars. With his victory, many youths will boost their self confidence that they too can do it politically. In Africa young people will use him as reference point to stake their claim that one does not need to be old to run for the presidency as has ways been the tradition.

However, first he has to win and God has control of whoever comes to power. God rules the kingdom of men and decides who takes the scepter (Dn 4:17). Yet he wants man not to be an automaton but to play a role in making those decisions. That is why he adjures us to vote godly leaders (Ex 18:21; Num 11:16; Deut 16:18) because when the righteous rules the people rejoice but when the wicked rules the people weep (Prov 29:2). If it is the will of God that he should be no matter how the tides may beat him round, he will be the next US president.

Until then, time may be the best oracle.

Prince & PA Hamilton Ayuk

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