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Last updated: 23 February, 2009 - Published 19:20 GMT
 
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Forum: Will Obama be a friend to Africa?
 

 
 
Barack Obama
Is Barack Obama likely to be a 'President for Africa'?
Do you think his foreign policy will prioritise seeking the end to Africa's bloody and drawn-out conflicts?

Or will the problems facing the United States prevent him from substantial commitments to his father's homeland?

Could it be that President Bush and his generous aid packages have set the bar higher than Obama with his inherited tight purse strings can better?

Join the Focus Forum

To take part in the debate simply fill in the form on the right. A selection of your comments will appear below.


Morris Sanoe, Stone Mountain, USA:

No, No, No, he has lots of problems to solve

Aseugeng Nelson, Bamenda, Cameroon:

I do not think Obama will do something for Africa if he is not given the second mandate, because Bush has caused a lot of problems for him to solve both at home and abroad

Chris Chase, Nungua, Ghana:

Yes President Obama is going to be friendly with Africans, he is an African-American

 What I expect from him is to bring change in Africa and implement democracy, peace and unity
 
Kasim Mohd, Maiduguri, Nigeria

Kasim Mohd, Maiduguri, Nigeria:

Yah I think Obama will help Africa becouse he knows about Africa. What I expect from him is to bring change in Africa and implement democracy, peace and unity

Nelly Ating, Yola, Nigeria:

Obama will or might be a friend of Africa. All we need to do is only have hope at this point and pray he will be a friend. Besides, in one of his statements he said, "to those who cling to power through deceit and corruption, know that you're on the wrong side of history but we will extend a hand if you're willing to unclench your fist". So therefore African leaders should unclench their fist and Obama will be a friend as expected

Shey IV Fonjoh, Kumbo, Cameroon:

Obama has a great responsibility, not only for making Africa a priority but to stop African bloody conflicts. He is a son of the soul and will use his foreign diplomacy as a world leader to influence conflicts in Africa. But Africans should fight for their freedom for real, before expecting Obama to help them

Wany Nyok Nhial, Juba, Southern Sudan:

President Obama is really of African origin, but a citizen of America by policy and nationality. What I expect from Obama is to implement democracy, justice and fairness to all God's creatures

Saidu Yahya, Kano, Nigeria:

The fact remains that Obama is an American whose national interest overpowers his. Therefore I doubt much if he will accord Africa any preferential treatment, more so that he is totally engaged with revamping USA`s economy

Sam Rwigamba, Kigali, Rwanda:

Will Obama help Africa? Yes and no. Most pressing problems of Africa (HIV/Aids, corruption, etc) are man-made. How will Obama compel some African leaders and citizens to put their houses in order? Yes, the west may help to solve some natural disasters which are beyond Africans to solve but they can't force you to have good governance which is a prerequisite for financial assistance. After all, the Africans have a saying that you can help those who help themselves

Bulasio Bulasio, Milan, Italy:

Well I do hope Obama will turn out to be a good friend of Africa but it is up to Africans to set out their priorities right. Look, Bush gave millions of American dollars for the combat against Aids - more than any American president ever! But what do you get? African presidents buying new planes for themselves, minister and MPs going for 4-wheel drive vehicles! Unfortunately they are the majority. Wake up Africa, wake up!

 He sounds genuinely interested in cultivating a real friendship with Africa
 

Nicholas Karani Njebi, Meru, Kenya:

Yes! From his pronouncements, one can deduce that he will make efforts to come up with policies which will tackle issues like HIV/Aids, the genocide in Darfur, leaders who steal elections in Africa and manipulate constitutions to perpetuate themselves in power, education, health and democracy. He sounds genuinely interested in cultivating a real friendship with Africa despite America's current problems and former President Bush's previous record in Africa

Nana Tutu Yeboah, Accra, Ghana:

It should be noted that the American political institution is not run by just the president. Laid down procedures are followed in pursuing foreign policy. Who knows, he might be the most unfriendly US president to Africa considering, his roots or connection with the continent and the sort of criticisms that may follow it if he is ''too generous'' to Africa

Bewu Senyo, Ashaiman, Ghana:

Which country is Barack Obama ruling?

Idris Baba Tijjani, Sauna, Nigeria:

Barack Obama, I think, would be a friend of Africa because genetically he is an African and he may not betray his fathers land

Kemi Adeleke, Lagos, Nigeria:

Africa is not Obama's problem for now. America is in a deep economic mess and thats what he is going to be tackling, plus America has other problems too. I want to believe that one of the problems Africa has is that of corrupt leaderships. Until we are able to tackle that problem, there's little or nothing Obama can do for Africa

 The solution to Africa's problem is here with us, not in the White House
 
Okotie Maurice, Lagos, Nigeria

Okotie Maurice, Lagos, Nigeria:

Yes, as Africans, Obama's stepmother and his other African relatives will now have free access to the White House for the next 4 years. The solution to Africa's problem is here with us, not in the White House. It is for Africans to change our values of worshipping corrupt leaders who loot our national treasury dry and quit office only after their demise like Muommar Ghadafi, Hosni Mubarak and Robert Mugabe

Seye Joseph, Ota, Nigeria:

Why are we all seeing Obama as the saviour of Africa. I am not disputing the fact that his background is traced to Africa, but one thing we must all realise is that Obama is a human being like us. Should we wait for before we know what is good for our life? No! He is a man like you and I, he's a family man who must respond to the responsibility of his family and to the citizens that voted him to power. There is no amount of aid that can be given to Africa from the Obama regime that can change the continent to excellence if we have nepotism and a tribalism mind set. So let us leave Obama alone and focus on how we help Obama to help Afica

Vivian Logan, Matanzas, Cuba:

I think Obama will be more than just a friend to Africa because he is an African-American. Besides, Obama has brought hope to the world especially Africa because those African leaders are going to listen to him. PRESIDENT OBAMA AFRICA LOVES YOU

 His ascendency to power is a sign of good tidings for pro-democracy leaders
 
Mwanzia James, Kangundo, Kenya

Mwanzia James, Kangundo, Kenya:

Yes, Obama has shown his commitment to democracy and the rule of the law. He has challenged autocratic regimes to losen their grip and embrace good governance. I firmly believe Obama will be a true friend of Africa and throw his weight behind regimes that are pro masses. His ascendency to power is a sign of good tidings for pro-democracy leaders

Komba Songu-M'briwa, Freetown, Sierra Leone:

Firstly, I think America and the American politics will be right in Obama's mind throughout but with his African roots, Africa will surely benefit. Being a black man, some of our callous leaders like Mugabe will be willing to sit down with him for peace talks, economic development and the fight against terrorism in Africa. He'll surely be a blessing to Africa

Ibrahim Mark Musa, Lagos, Nigeria:

President Obama may not have enough time for Africa. This is because of the economic crisis he met on the ground, coupled with the fact that he cannot just jump to African issues, as the American people may suspect that he wants to go back to his roots

Richard Opoku, Kumasi, Ghana:

To me Obama's presidency has, is, and will affect the African continent positively. Now many people who once thought no black man can ever be a president of the states are walking with heads bowed; these are like those who say Africa can never make it. Now if not all Africans are emancipated mentally, the majority of us are. Again those superpowers who have made and want to maintain Africa as a reservoir of raw materials will never be allowed by the Obama's crew; I know this because blood, they say in Africa, is thicker than water. In fact we as Africans did not need anything such as food aid, loans, among other benefits from his victory than what we already got. We Africans have got mental emancipation and the assurance that oppression from the superpowers will very soon come to an end

 So Obama may or may not be an African friend because he is a person like any other before him in the White house
 
John Ng'anjo, Lusaka, Zambia

John Ng'anjo, Lusaka, Zambia:

Will Obama be a friend to Africa? "YES HE CAN" just like he effectively used his campaign trade mark of YES WE CAN. However, the cultural differences make him incompatible with the aspirations and traditions of African continent. His values and norms are totally American and therefore have very little in common with Africa. Apart from name and paternal genes, Obama is neither black nor white, making him a more universal citizen of Africa and America. Mankind, the world over, must be very frank and call a spade a spade and not a big spoon. The fact that Obama is both black and white cannot earn him a name, 'the first black American president'. He is the first mixed white/black-blood American President. So Obama may or may not be an African friend because he is a person like any other before him in the White house. Let us debate productive issues more than the usual white and black relationships since the days of slavery to date. There is a 50/50 chance that Obama will be a friend to Africa. If not, do not worry about him. He is just one of many human beings to hold that office

Isaac Kamara, Conakry, Guinea:

Yes, just like the other presidents that have past, he will be more friendly with Africa if we Africans change our mentality. With this he will be able to help show us how we will use our godly given natural resources to develop our continent. Nobody should think of Obama pouring out money into Africa while America has its own problems

Ngwani Felx Bawe, Kumbo, Cameroon:

President Barack Obama has occupied the White House at a time when there is so much to be done. His table is hot with many problems left by George Bush and world problems ranging from wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the fight against global warming and the high unemployment rate in the country where he governs. The US economy is drowning and Obama has the hardest nut to crack in revamping it. It is often said that charity begins at home so obviously Obama has to put his house into order! I would love it if he does just one thng for Africa: put some real sense into these long-term, old presidents in Africa for a better wind of change to blow across the black continent!

Donald Bitrus, Yola, Nigeria:

I think Obama will be more than just a friend to Africa because he is an African American. He, unlike the other prevous US leader is in a better position to assist the blact continent

Musa Laidoji, Kumbo, Cameroon:

It is very normal for things to change, the Obama who we see as an idol can solve some of the African problems but not all because there are some African countries with problems that date back from the period of African independence and such problems will not be easy to handle

 Africans should learn to live as if they are in the era of George Bush because Obama remains world president not only for Africa
 
Shey Fonjoh, Vo, Kumbo, Cameroon

Shey Fonjoh, Vo, Kumbo, Cameroon:

"A son of the soil hardly eats alone"; a wind of change has come to Africa because with Obama as President of USA, most African problems will be solved. But Africans should learn to live as if they are in the era of George Bush because Obama remains world president not only for Africa. My advice to Mr Obama is that he should consider American interests first before tackling the Middle East and Africa because his coming to power has renewed the love for America all around the world. If Africa stops corruption, embezzelment, dictatorship, wars, famine and HIV/Aids, Obama may influence decision making in Africa

Shaaban Yunusa, Bauchi, Nigeria:

I want Obama to help General Muhammadu Buhari in his 2009 election in Nigeria because our president is also corrupt

  What we need in Africa are principles of government that include truth, justice and equity. Obama will export these to Africa
 
Felix Busolo Nabiswa, Nairobi, Kenya

Felix Busolo Nabiswa, Nairobi, Kenya:

What Obama sets out to do is markedly different from previous American presidents. What we need in Africa are principles of government that include truth, justice and equity. Obama will export these to Africa

Arali Sidi, Desert of Algiers:

Obama is a good leader. I hope he helps stabilise the Tuareg people in Mali and Niger

Asah Francis Nforba, Douala, Cameroon:

Dear Brother Obama, please concentrate and deliver to the American citizens, who voted you into the White House, the campaign promises made to them. If among the campaign promises you told them that you were to offer to us Africans some cash, please send it to us through international NGOs only headed by your fellow Americans. Let the people of Africa stand up, fight for their destiny and construct their continent politically and economically; otherwise let's wait until, 'Thou Kingdom Come'

Francis Mans-Khanu, Philadelphia, United States:

Obama would be a friend to Africa but he would not be the solution to Africa's problems. Change in Africa has to come from within Africans. Africans brought upon themselves many of the problems that they face today. We 'Africans' are used as scapegoats by many Western nations. Our African history is not taught in Africa. Millions of Africans do not have a clue about African history because it is not been taught in our African schools today. We need to learn, understand and write our own history before we can bring about that change

Gabriel Ayach Akech, Calgary, Canada:

Absolutely, USA President Obama is not thinking for a particular one country but the whole world in general, and this lets me think that President Obama will reach some darkened part of the world, especially Africa, within no time

Rukundo Jackson, Kigali, Rwanda:

Some of the Presidents have been providing assistance with strings attached to solving African problems. But let Obama give assistance with no strings attached i.e. use this assistance to do this and this, because Africa knows its problems but lacks resources. Other presidents have failed to do that and he will be a friend to Africa

Mohammed Avu, Rumbek, South Sudan:

Yes, Obama will be a friend to Africa becouse he said in his speech on the inaugaration day that America was friendly to all countries, including Africa

 Why should Obama waste his time on solving the problems of Africa?
 
Abdulai Bah, Guangzhou, China

Abdulai Bah, Guangzhou, China:

American presidents will look to win a second term and Obama is no exception. Why should Obama waste his time on solving the problems of Africa? The solution to our problems is our mentality and once this is fixed there will be no need for external help. If you have doubts in this statement ask the Ghanaians

Lazarus Ogbonna, Lagos, Nigeria:

Obama will be more than a friend to Africa, he will be a brother for Africa and not a president. His presidency will be a wake-up call for African leaders

Joe Molley, Charlotte, USA:

Well, I think we as Africans must be able to create or establish a system, in that this will attune many mischevious practises. Then the world will hail a system geared toward creating a better Africa

 Africans have to limit their expectations and wait for Obama's declarations
 
Fonjoh Shey Ivo, Kumbo, Cameroon

Fonjoh Shey Ivo, Kumbo, Cameroon:

Financial crises and Israel's war on Gaza comes first, before Africa. Obama was silent during Israel's invasion in Gaza but now has the power to influence the international body to isolate Israel. Africans have to limit their expectations and wait for Obama's declarations

Sani Uba G. Kuki, Kano state, Nigeria:

Obama may make a clear change but don't forget that one of the previous American presidents said that America is American. They maintain their policy to uplift the image of America and American's only. Our prayer here is that Obama should change this policy

Zyyana Kabir, Lagos, Nigeria:

Without any iota of doubt President Obama will have a soft heart towards Africa. However, we Africans should always have it in mind that in the US it is "country first." We should equally know that only we can solve our problems no matter what

Ibrahim Abdullahi, Bauchi, Nigeria:

Obama is a good leader, he can do the right thing

Lotsmart, Buea, Cameroon:

I don't think the foreign policy of the US towards Africa will change tremendously. Western policy is one of interest and Obama reiterated this very clearly in his inaugural address

James Kamwagha, Lilongwe, Malawi:

Barack Obama is a president for the white American as well as Africans. This does not mean that for him being an African should be favouring Africa. He has also the right to visit his father's homeland during his leave days. He's a person like anyone else but my advice is that he should treat and judge America as a single entity without looking at the ethnic background of its people. May God bless you Obama

 Obama is for America, not for Africa
 
Wam Caleb, Douala, Cameroon

Wam Caleb, Douala, Cameroon:

If Africa thinks that Obama is the right choice for the Americans then we should try to have our own Obama in Africa. Obama is for America, not for Africa

John Ng'anjo, Lusaka, Zambia:

Obama is an agent of change. He will make a clear difference for the better, both domestically and internationally. All he needs to do is not continue with George Bush's foreign policy. End both wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, mobilize the Arab Middle East to allocate more land to the state of Palestine, share the city of Jerusalem and leave Israel with the 1967 land share. Then the war on terror will die a natural death

Justin Meen, Rumbek, Sudan:

Hello Obama you are welcome but don't forget about the problems of us Sudanese, especially in the south, because if Bashir refuses to go to ICC, there will be no peace in Sudan

Ike Dennis O, Uyo, Nigeria:

President Obama's foreign policy may not put an end to the numerous wars and conflicts experienced in Africa

Bashir Adamu Lamido Gora, Taraba Jalingo, Nigeria:

Obama will try his best to stop wars in Africa completely so that Africa can progress

Sahr Tengbeh, Kailahun, Sierra Leone:

Obama may be having good thoughts about his African policies, but this is no justification that Africa's plummeting social and economic development will change. Even if Obama plans to lavishly spend US money for Africa's development, our leaders are waiting as usual to lavishly misappropriate funds. I am less optimistic

 Obama is an American, American national interest comes before any other in the scheme of things in the White House
 
Akinkunmi Fatokun, Lagos, Nigeria

Akinkunmi Fatokun, Lagos, Nigeria:

America has its own problems to deal with at the moment. Obama is an American, American national interest comes before any other in the scheme of things in the White House. Africans should look inwards and see what they can do for the black race instead of looking towards the American continent for some messiah they aint even gonna get. Big ups to GHANA, great polls, thats what we are talking about...

Lawrence Teh, London, United Kingdom:

It is true the Obama has an African background but that is no guarantee for us to be over optimistic about his African policies. We should be thinking about improving our African ways of solving problems rather than waiting for aid which may not come, especially at this time of world economic fever

Zubairu S. Puwu, Maiduguri, Nigeria:

Obama 's election will improve leadership quality in Africa

Akilu Musa, Kuta, Nigeria:

It will be an eye opener to Africans. Of course, his foreign policy will bring an end to Africa's bloody and drawn-out conflicts. He is prepared to face the challenge

 Obama has a paternal link to Africa but he will always be an American. This is just the bitter truth
 
Ayodeji Fatokun, Durban, South Africa

Ayodeji Fatokun, Durban, South Africa:

It's just so funny how we Africans think. Obama has a paternal link to Africa but he will always be an American. This is just the bitter truth. I think it's about time we Africans come together as one and make the greatest continent in the world, "Africa", great. We need to start appreciating each other. Let us be our brother's keeper and stand as one

Ali Barka, Gashua, Nigeria:

We Africans have a lot of hope over Senator Obama. I BELIEVE he will change

Victor Olu Adewoye, New Barnet, United Kingdom:

It will be interesting to watch how President Obama handles the 'African Issue'. I feel that he may want to believe that he is commited to making a substantial difference in the issue of foreign policy to Africa where others have handled it with kid gloves. The real question though is, is Africa ready to be helped? Will they put whatever help and assistance they get to good use? Lets hope that they have learnt some sort of lesson about home-grown democracy in the last decade

 I think Obama will be sympathetic to Africa
 
Paul Kenneth Songa, London, United States

Paul Kenneth Songa, London, United States:

I think Obama will be sympathetic to Africa. He has been to Africa and seen how African people are struggling. He is an American and that is for sure, but he has ears on the ground for Africa

Joseph Aojar, London, United Kingdom:

Not until African leaders transform and uphold the principles of democracy. Bush favoured most dictators in Africa and Obama is unlikely to follow this route. Come on Barak!!

Chiemeka Iiwuoha, Lagos, Nigeria:

I hope so, but traditionally American presidents hardly paid attention to Africa unless when their raw material supply chain was disrupted by wars or coups. I hope Obama can help kick the ass of the deviant leaders that give Africa a bad name and reduce the continent to just one, with a population of fetchers of water and hewers of wood!

 Obama has brought hope to the world and makes the dreams of the late Martin Luther King Jr come to light
 
Major Samukai, Monrovia, Liberia

Major Samukai, Monrovia, Liberia:

Obama has brought hope to the world and makes the dreams of the late Martin Luther King Jr come to light. Yes, Obama can be a friend to Africa, if only we agree to work in line with the American foreign policies and the practices of democracy in the various African countries. Obama is the President of America, not Africa. We must be cognisant to the fact, we must read to change the political process and practice democracy. He will be our friend at all times

Maryann Hamzat, Houston, United States:

According to my own view, I think Obama will be a friend to Africa because he is an African-American and also since there is no conflict among Africans and Americans

Abubakar S. Abdul, Kano, Nigeria:

Basically yes, but in some circumstances a lot of pressure and advice should be given to him and he too has to look back and remember where he came from

Sermah Teglir, Gbarnga, Liberia:

He has an African background and will definitely be a friend to Africa

Abdul Alhaji Salihu, Bauchi, Nigeria:

Because he has African parentage does not mean that he will be Africa's friend. But he should tried to reduce conflict that is going on, on African soil

 Frankly if he concentrates on the governance of America and tries to improve the economy of that vast country, Africa will greatly benefit
 
Alex Blanklson Muah, Nkroful, Ghana

Alex Blanklson Muah, Nkroful, Ghana:

Barack Obama I believe, is the President-elect for the US. Africa has presidents or monarchs or better still coup leaders in their various countries. Why do we expect a miracle from Obama? Frankly if he concentrates on the governance of America and tries to improve the economy of that vast country, Africa will greatly benefit since as we all know in this global world, a problem in America is a global problem. A more recent problem in an area that is gradually taking global effect is the Russia-Ukraine oil wahala

Saybana Kamara, Makondu, Sierra Leone:

At long last we have someone at the helm in the US who is truly ours. In him, Africa will find a true friend, the numerous problems facing the US notwithstanding

Godwin Udoh, Abuja, Nigeria:

I think he will because Obama has a passion for the continent, apart from the obviuos fact that he's a son of the soil!

Simon Njoroge, Waweru, Nairobi, Kenya:

As much as Barack Obama would wish to help people from his father's land, American interests will always occupy the center stage of his governing policies. He made a number of promises to the American voters which he is obliged to fulfill. The only benefit Africa has is goodwill from the world superpowers' top leadership

 He owes his allegiance to the US first before any other nation, so they should not rely solely on the proverbial olive branch from the US
 
Kwaghbo Lizzie, Maiduguri, Nigeria

Kwaghbo Lizzie, Maiduguri, Nigeria:

Obama will definitely be a friend to Africa, but what Africans and indeed African leaders should know is that Obama is an American and not an African president. He owes his allegiance to the US first before any other nation, so they should not rely solely on the proverbial olive branch from the US, but should rather borrow a leaf from the US experience. Getting hand-outs from the US and other countries will not solve the numerous problems facing the continent. Africa is blessed with abundant natural and human resources to take care of itself. A journey of a thousand miles begins with a step, say the Chinese

Yesenia Ramirez, Chicago, IL, United States:

Yes, I do believe that Obama is a friend to Africa, period. Don't look at the race or "Oh, he's an American" because he's NOT. It's a shame some people see it that way. But, I have to tell you, that you are WRONG!!!!!! I Love Africa!!!

Dr Salieu Nyassi, Banjul, The Gambia:

Africa's expectations from Obama's administration should not be high, and I personally will not hold him responsible for that. Since, as we know, he inherited many problems, starting domestically with politics and economics and externally with problems like unpopular terror wars, created by the Bush regime. These will be high on his agenda: Middle east conflicts and how to deal with those states declared by Bush as rogue ones. He will put his focus on Africa but it may not be key on his agenda. I am of the notion that he should not be blamed for it

 There is too much work for him to prioritise Africa
 
Edward Sellu, Moscow, Russia

Edward Sellu, Moscow, Russia:

I think Obama is going to give his best to the Americans. There is a lot to be done for the USA. During his campaign he said a lot about change in the US, NOT Africa. If there is any commitment to Africa, it is not in his first term of office. If nothing happens in his second term, then Africa's problems will remain as they are. There is too much work for him to prioritise Africa

Atango Atango, Hyattsville, USA:

The fact that President elect Barack Obama has ties with Africa doesn't mean that he is going to treat Africa differently. I'm very convinced that he will follow the normal path of American foriegn policy to Africa. Unless otherwise stated there'll be little or no change

David Williams, Louisville, U.S:

The post Bush era in the U.S is overwhelmed with national and global challenges. The best Obama can do is to join hands with leaders who seek to improve the lives of their people. African problems require African leadership that may be supplemented by other world leaders

Muhammad Sani Gado, Sokoto, Nigeria:

Africans conflicts can come to an end by God's intervention, Obama cannot solve United states problems talk more of my beloved continent AFRICA

Mohammed Konneh, Monrovia, Liberia:

Africa's expectation toward the adminstration of President elect Obama of the United States of America will be little because Obama will be faced with domestic or internal problem so little Africa expect little or nothing at all

Fola Aina, Zaria, Nigeria:

Senator Obama has demonstrated his desire for tackling the problems that have plagued the African continent over the years by proposing Dr Susan Rice, a hardliner on such issues like genocide to be America's ambassador to the UN. What remains to be seen however, is how much he intends to enlarge US priorities to include Africa especially during these times of great uncertainty

 I do not see how and why Obama should bother himself helping Africans when we sit in rich natural resources and still struggle with poverty
 
Sena Nani, Accra, Ghana

Sena Nani, Accra, Ghana:

It is really a big surprise to me when most Africans see Barack Obama's presidency as a panacea to our own irresponsible problems created due to greed and over enthusiastic politicians, in order to amass wealth for themselves. I do not see how and why Obama should bother himself helping Africans when we sit in rich natural resources and still struggle with poverty

Musa Otto, Gombe, Nigeria:

Obama is for the Americans and African Leaders be for Africans. Our so-called leaders should wake up to their responsiblities now and stop putting HOPE on the Americans, European Union and Asia for solutions of "problems-made and designed" by Africa. Lets leave Obama alone and be true Africans because AFRICA will be GREAT again

 I believe African leaders will listen to him more easily than past American presidents
 
William Kokulo, Monrovia, Liberia

William Kokulo, Monrovia, Liberia:

I am also optimistic that Obama's friendship with Africa will be the most respected one ever because I believe African leaders will listen to him more easily than past American presidents. However, let Africa understand that Obama is elected as president of America, but not Africa therefore African expectations should be limited

Willie Tandoh, Accra, Ghana:

Why should Obama be a friend to Africa? We have to learn to solve our own problems and stop expecting 'love' from other world leaders. He was voted in by American citizens and so he must serve them. No African should expect any handouts from him. We have to learn to create happiness for ourselves and to work hard to change our situation, Obama or no Obama

Eric-Kenny Maduagwu, Awka, Anambra state, Nigeria:

I think as an African-American, Obama's foreign policy will prioritise seeking the end to Africa's bloody and drawn out conflicts, not withstanding the global economic crisis. Maybe Obama's presidency will teach Africans and their leaders that Americans have to move beyond politics of skin colour to salvage their country. In as much as Obama is an African-American, we must not assign too many responsibilities to the illustrious gentleman after all he is the president of United States of America not (Africa)

Francis Koroma, Richmond, Virginia, United States:

Will Obama help Africa because he has African blood in him? No, he is an American and would seek American interests only

Alex Dennis, Philadelphia, United States:

Why should Africans look to the United States to solve their problems? Obama will be the president of the United States not president of the world. He has enough problems to start with. Let the African Union solve the problems facing the people of Africa

Laura Golakeh, Monrovia, Liberia:

I am optimistic Obama will not only be a friend to Africa but someone who is also willing to put a smile on the faces of Africans again. I hope he will be a role model to our policticians. BRAVO TO OUR BLACK PRESIDENT

Jean-Claude Katte, Yaounde, Cameroon:

I think Obama's election is going to strengthen the relationship between the US and Africa but I am sure we should not expect it so soon. The US has to deal with its own problems first, especially the financial crisis

Saybana Kamara Makondu, Sierra Leone:

At long last we have someone at the helm in the US who is truly ours. In him Africa will find a true friend, notwithstanding the numerous problems facing the US

 
 
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