I intended to boycott the media frenzy on Obama´s second visit to Africa as over 25,000 children died around the world on the same day but “We don’t need Obama to show us how to make Kenya a great country” by Barrack Muluka writing in Nairobi’s Standard put a stop to that foolishness. His rant, “we would not crave a visit by some foreigner whose existence we did not even know of ten years ago”. Elsewhere expectations were enormously high as the White House made sure Internet and mobile phone users around the world got involved with the visit to Ghana using Face and Twit!
The importance of President Obama’s visit to Ghana was not lost on the folks at Google as they teamed up with the Ministry of Tourism in Ghana to create a special site for President Obama’s visit. Shame the ajax.googleapis.com application was awfully slow but the numbers game showed Obama was the only party on the web. Mainstream media not to be outdone contributed an overkill of analysts but without any worthy of mention as blogs took the play and the debate continues today.
There were many one line condemnations of Obama’s shallow and simplistic speech from a surprising number of people including Nigerian Lawyer and human rights activist, Femi Falana who thought it was a huge embarrassment to the African continent and black people. But the Glaring Omission on Nigerian Curiosity proved quite popular with a lot of thought provoking comments. The updated version clarified that “Obama could freely ‘scold’ Africa, he neglected to acknowledge the historical role played by American government and even certain businesses in creating some of the problems Africa now faces.”
Solomonsydelle’s theme is repeated in Obama’s Ghana Speech Under whelms on GlobalVoices. Non seulement que l’Afrique est le dernier continent qu’il visites malgre ses origines, perhaps they should have left out the cringe-worthy label, Obama Africa. I also enjoyed Obama In Nigeria, Oh Sorry, Ghana! on Nairaland, “I guess he doesn’t want to be kidnapped by Militants” a comment quipped.
“After the illustrious son of Africa, Barack Obama has left Ghana on the July 12, 2009; I decided to call him because the sermon he delivered to Ghanaians and Africans was too far beyond my comprehension. As a matter of fact, he gave me enough time and this was what ensued between us. That was how “Comment: My Telephone Conversation with Obama!” by Joy Online’s Abdulai Hanan R. Confidence who went over the speech line by line. “So, is that the reason why you chose Ghana because we have just discovered oil? Or the Africom matters?” Highly recommended!
For Richard B. Muhammad, “President Barack Obama’s pilgrimage to Africa’s first modern independent nation may be one of the most significant trips to the continent by any U.S. political figure”, however, President patronizing was how Nigerian social justice activist and blogger saw the visit in nibl. Sokari Ekine aka Black Looks, pointed out the contradictions in Obama’s denial of the destructive role of the West played in Africa. Sokari also revealed that the Ghana speech lacked substance in her review on Pambazuka News.
The enormous historic and symbolic visit was reduced to Obama: Ghana’s Gain, Nigeria’s loss by Ghana Pundit who added that Former Lagos State Governor Bola Tinubu also listened to Obama speak. Not the miracle speech and I was almost annoyed with the bellyaching was how Akín began but concluded that the speech struck the right balance. President Obama in Ghana. Why not Nigeria? by Ghana based Nigerian blogger and web entrepreneur – Oluniyi David Ajao added that “The President of the United States is at liberty to decide which countries to visit or not to visit, and in what order he visits them.”
Is Obama Africa’s saviour? by Reuter’s Mpho Majoro finished with the question common to most of blogshere. 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? In the end, are we still bitter or have we learnt something from this tech Savvy Obama Ghana speech in English, French, Swahili, Arabic and Portuguese? Thanks to all the contributors but did the message get home? How many African countries are planning to sow the seeds of information using technology?
In 1985, around 85,000 people visited the tropical country; that number has now skyrocketed to around 600,000. In June of this year, the Ghana Tourist Board launched a promotional initiative with the aim of attracting 1 million annual visitors by the end of 2012. – Forbes.com – Obama Went To Ghana. Should You?
To those that missed the performance, A New Moment of Promise in Africa is at the White House, USA.