Obama Africa Tour: US Presidents’ Promises That Never Left Words


what is ed geneva;”>prescription sans-serif; border: 1pt none windowtext; padding: 0in; font-weight: normal;”>What hurts most is that their promises have never yielded any major tangible results.

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I doubt if what Obama has promised the development sector will be that different. Right from the Seventies, I recall an American President who was in Nairobi, Kenya, South Africa, then Egypt.

He vowed to get Africa out disease and poverty. “Africa will be disease and poverty free” he said.

What he did not tell people was that the money that was meant to be AID was indeed soft loans with very high interest rates. That alone kept African countries paying for the American development in form of interests. It had less impact on the African continent development.

Africa cannot develop with the Western countries giving Africans soft loans and expecting them to pay huge interest rates on a long term. Sadly Africans sometimes end up paying back heavily with our natural resources or lives.

Africa must be vigilant and awake when accepting American’s money. It is not AID but loans. African leaders should not burden their future generations with unsustainable debts which come in as a AID. For the last 40 years, little development can be traced involving American cash in Africa apart from military hardware which have claimed unlimited number of Africans lives.

What we should do is become trade partners not AID receivers. It has been tested and proved that AID does not do much for developing Africans.

Anyone who thinks that an American President can promise 600 billion dollars as free money (AID) is not facing reality. Such an amount cannot be released to poor African when Americans are demanding free healthcare and jobs.

May be the Western world do not understand or just stubbornly refuse to accept the facts about Africa and her culture and traditions. When talking about homosexuality, it should not be taken as the major policy to Africans.

Sex cannot be performed nor can’t people wed when they are ill, sick, hungry and lacking. What the continent needs is a proper health care system, fight against illiteracy, modern infrastructure for example, railways, roads and more new airports, electricity (that will include nuclear power).

Not forgetting agriculture modernisation as being the back born of our income. This brings food processing factories and food preservation into play. Obama said little about the above core policies. But even if he mentioned them, they will remain in words. That is what American presidents have been doing to Africa. Talk but hard to implement when it comes to Africa.

Well, the Chinese are different. Yes, China is accused of littering the world with substandard goods, but when it comes to implementing what they promise, they do it without strings attached. But any dollar that comes from America has a 1000 pound weight attached to it.

Look at Nairobi and other African cities! The Chinese touch is visible. There are roads, stadiums, government buildings, railway lines, hospitals, manufacturing plants and many more projects.

However, they do not boast about it. It is done openly as a business venture. No wonder why Africa is turning red. My advice to African leaders is “Think trade not AID.” And remember most American presidents’ promises concerning Africa “Never left words.”

David Wangusi Masinde

Uganda Reserch Development and Innovation Forum

London United Kingdom


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